India has agreed to give access to its missile test facility to Singapore. The city-state is already using Indian artillery and armoured training facilities

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the use of Chandipur Integrated Test Range by the Singapore defence establishment was signed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen. Singh is on his two-day visit to Singapore to participate in the 4th Singapore-India defence ministers' dialogue.

Chandipur is also the location of the Indian Strategic Forces Command's Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island. Several missiles have been tested and launched from the ITR, including nuclear-capable Prithvi, Agni and Shaurya ballistic missiles, as well as Akash and Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles.

During the discussion, Singh also offered the setting up of a joint test facility under the defence testing infrastructure scheme of India, while the two ministers also agreed to explore cooperation in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), Geospatial data sharing and Cyber Security. The dialogue comes after Singapore, India and Thailand held their first trilateral maritime exercise named as SITMEX in the Andaman Sea in September, which was seen as a significant move in the maritime domain. 

According to defence officials, during the discussion, Singapore defence authorities have also shown interest in India's indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. Officials privy to the developments claim that a Request for Proposal is expected to be floated by Singapore next month in this regard. It is notable that Ng Eng Hen has already taken a ride on Tejas in July 2018. Malaysian Air Force has recently short-listed Tejas in its upcoming contract for 36 fighter jets.

A statement issued by the ministry of defence in New Delhi stated that the Singapore defence minister appreciated India’s continued support for the training of the Singapore Armed Forces in India. Of note, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Singapore Air Force-Indian Air Force Joint Military Training this year, the exercise was expanded to include an air-sea training component for the first time. "The increasing degree of complexity of the bilateral exercises reflects the growing confidence and mutual respect for each other’s professional capabilities," the MoD said in its statement.

"Rajnath Singh reaffirmed India's full support and active participation in the regional security architecture, namely the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and its many initiatives. Dr Ng expressed support for India’s upcoming co-chairmanship of the ADMM Plus Experts’ Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and welcomed India’s deepening engagements with other ASEAN States, both in bilateral and multilateral formats," the defence ministry said while adding that in this regard, both sides welcomed the conclusion of a Letter of Intent to reaffirm mutual commitment to explore deepening HADR cooperation in areas such as information sharing and capacity building."

Both the ministers expressed satisfaction at the deepening defence ties between India and Singapore and reaffirmed their commitment to support further initiatives that would promote stability to the region.

The dialogue between the defence ministers of India and Singapore commenced in 2015 after both countries signed the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) to further strengthen the long-standing bilateral defence relationship. Since then, the MoD said, the relationship has broadened and deepened to encompass military cooperation across all three services of the armed forces of India and Singapore, defence technology cooperation as well as cooperation through multilateral engagements.