Nehru and Shastri showed disinterest in helping the then newly-independent Singapore to set up and train its armed forces. Since then the Singapore armed forces train in the United States, Australia and some East Asian countries.
In the new strategic realities of the post-Cold War and post-9/11 world, Singapore and India are drawing together is a closer security relationship.
It’s a privilege that India has never extended. Not even to its closest neighbours. Come October, fighter arcraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force will be allowed to conduct exercises over Indian airspace while its army has also been given permission to train on Indian soil.
The unusual arrangement was finalised last week when India’s Defence Secretary Ajay Prasad met his Singapore counterpart Peter Ho. [The Indian Express]
Navies of the two countries already conduct joint exercises and operations. Extending the scope to cover air exercises will be particularly useful to Singapore with its limited airspace.
Although small in size, the Singapore armed forces are well trained, well equipped and have good experience in working on joint platforms with United States, Australia etc. Greater cooperation between the two armed forces will be of mutual benefit.