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Kolkata: The defence minister of Singapore, Ng Eng Hen, today took a sortie in the trainer version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) at the Indian Air Force base at Kalaikunda in West Midnapore.

Air Vice-Marshal AP Singh, the project director for flight testing at the Aeronautical Development Agency, was the pilot who flew the visiting dignitary in the LCA.

Enthralled by the experience, the Singapore defence minister said: “For 45 minutes, I placed my life in the hands of Air Vice-Marshall Singh as we flew 20,000 feet above Kalaikunda skies in IAF’s new fighter plane ~ Tejas. I never met him before, but my RSAF pilots who have trained regularly with IAF pilots say he is among the best. Hence, it was an easy decision. In fact, the plane ride was so smooth despite the G-turns and maneuvers that I even managed to take some selfies!” (See photo above)

Hen was on a day’s visit to Kalaikunda and was received at the air base by Air Marshal Anil Khosla, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command headquartered at Shillong.

During the visit, he interacted with the detachment commander and other officers and men of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), who are presently at Kalaikunda, undergoing an annual training.

The joint military training is scheduled to start in a few days at Kalaikunda wherein the RSAF pilots would fly F-16s and their IAF counterparts will fly Su-30.