Kalaikunda (West Bengal): With an aim to increase mutual operational understanding, India and Singapore will hold joint military training activities at the Air Force base here next month.
Starting from October 14, the Air Force base at Kalaikunda will host the seventh IAF-RSAF (Republic of Singapore Air Force) JMT activities for 30 days, defence
While the RSAF detachment, comprising 150 personnel, will deploy eight F-16 D+ aircraft, one P STAR radar and two units of RBS-70 surface-to-air missile firing units, the IAF will field Mig-27 and Mig-21 aircraft of the resident squadrons operational at the airbase.
The RSAF pilots will also carry out air-to-ground firing practice at the IAF`s Dudhkundi firing range, 40 km from the airbase, and will also carry out night flying training at the airbase for the first time, the sources said.
First held in 2006, the JMT is aimed at increasing mutual operational understanding and refine procedures for future joint exercises between the two countries."The training will lead to `exchange of best practices` on all professional aspects," the sources said.
Noting that infrastructure at Kalaikunda airbase has been well developed, the sources claimed that it has become an airfield of choice for hosting major international air exercises in recent years.
Among the oldest airfields under the Eastern Air Command, the Kalaikunda airfield came into existence during World War II as a forward airfield against the Japanese conquest of Malaya and Burma.
The airbase, which once hosted the American heavy bomber B-24 Liberator, was also one of the four B-29 Super Fortress bases of the US Air Force in India.
Kalaikunda has also served as a base for several IAF aircraft including Mystere, Canberras, Toofani, Hunter, Gnat, Packet, Vampires, Mig-21 and Mig-27.