Singapore, France reaffirm strong bilateral defence cooperation

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen visited France on Sept 2 and 3, during which he formally inaugurated the Republic of Singapore Air Force's newest training jets - 12 Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master jet trainers - at the Cazaux Airbase in south-western France. Dr Ng also met France's defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The Ministry of Defence released on Sunday a joint statement issued after the two ministers' meeting:

"France and Singapore reaffirmed the excellent state of the bilateral defence relationship that has been further enhanced after the signing of the Strategic Partnership by the Prime Ministers of both countries in 2012.

"Dr Ng also thanked Mr Le Drian for France's strong support for the Singapore Armed Forces' advanced jet training in Cazaux, which began in 1998 and was recently extended until 2035.

"Both Ministers expressed the commitment of their Ministries and Armed Forces toincrease collaboration to address common security challenges, especially in the areas of cyber defence, counter terrorism, defence technology and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.

"To deepen understanding between both Ministries in these areas, Dr Ng visited the cyber security centre COSSI, accompanied by Mr Francis Delon, General Secretary for Defence and National Security (SGDSN) and CALID, the IT defence analysis centre of the French Armed Forces.

"Both Ministers have tasked their respective agencies to step up concrete measures to enhance cooperation and collaboration and will review progress of these efforts periodically."