Singapore's air force has deployed six of its advanced F-16 fighter aircraft to train alongside the IAF's six Sukhoi combat aircraft during their upgraded joint military training in India.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) are conducting the Joint Military Training (JMT) from October 31 to December 12 at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in West Bengal.
To commemorate the 10th edition of the JMT, the scope of the exercise was expanded to include an air-sea training component for the first time, with assets from the Indian Navy supporting, said Singapore's Defence Ministry in a press release on Thursday.
The RSAF has deployed six F-16C/D fighter aircraft to train alongside the IAF's six SU-30MKI fighter aircraft, it said.
The JMT allows aircrew from both air forces to hone their operational skills and enhance interoperability through high-end training such as Air Combat and Mission-Oriented Trainings.
Highlighting the significance of this year's JMT, Commander of the RSAF's Air Combat Command, Brigadier-General Ho Kum Luen said, Since the conduct of the first JMT in 2008, the exercise has grown in scale and complexity with advanced fighter assets from both countries training together to enhance our interoperability.
"The scope of the exercise, which includes both air-to-air and air-to-surface scenarios, provides realistic training and increases the operational readiness for both air forces.
"The RSAF values the opportunity to train alongside our counterparts from India, which enhances our competencies and also builds mutual trust amongst our people," Ho said.
Reaffirming the strong and long-standing defence relations between the two air forces, Senior Air Staff Officer of the IAF's Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal V R Chaudhari said: "the JMT provides the IAF and the RSAF, both being professional and capable air forces, with excellent opportunities to train alongside each other.
"Through this exercise, our IAF personnel also have the opportunity to further our interactions with the RSAF counterparts. This 10th edition of the JMT is testament to our strong relationship and the lasting friendship that we have built over the years.
The JMT is conducted under the ambit of the Air Force Bilateral Agreement, which was signed in 2007 and was recently renewed in 2017.
Aside from the JMT, both air forces also interact regularly through visits, cross-attendance of courses and other professional exchanges, said the release.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last week visited Singapore and took a sortie on a Super Puma helicopter of the RSAF.
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