Tejas a superb aircraft, says Singapore Defence Minister

Ng Eng Hen will discuss with Nirmala Sitharaman the possibility of multilateral naval exercises

Updated - November 29, 2017 11:11 am IST

Published - November 29, 2017 12:42 am IST - NEW DELHI

 Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen after a sortie on LCA Tejas in Kalaikunda on Tuesday.

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen after a sortie on LCA Tejas in Kalaikunda on Tuesday.

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is a superb aircraft and I am privileged to fly it, said Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday who flew a sortie at Kalaikunda airbase in the morning.

“They offered a ride. I asked my pilots since they offered me to take me in the Tejas. They said their pilots are the best in the work and the platform is completely reliable. It was a beautiful flight... It has very impressive avionics, it is superb plane…,” Dr. Ng said in response to a question from The Hindu .

Dr. Ng was speaking on India-Singapore relations at Brookings India.

Tejas is a light weight single engine fighter designed and developed in India. After a long development cycle spanning over two decades, it is now in the process of being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).


Cautions on Quad

On the Quadrilateral that was recently revived consisting of India. Australia, Japan and the US, Dr. Ng cautioned against them and said it was not in our interest to polarise it into trade or military blocs.

“What we are trying to craft is a stable system… a system where might is not right and where we can see peace and progress... In that context it is not useful to cast exercises whether Malabar or whatever else, against this bloc versus that bloc, It would be self-defeating,” he cautioned.

Talking on India’s Act East policy and the relations with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Dr. Ng said he would discuss the possibility of multilateral naval exercises in his talks with Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.

“Tomorrow, Ms. Sitharaman and I would discuss India’s relations with ASEAN which could include multilateral exercises both in the Indian and Andaman seas. That we are keen because Andaman is geographically very close to the Straits of Malacca and sea lanes of communication… I would see at as more confidence building measures and as a signal as what multilateralism can be,” he added.

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