IAF chief on Malaysia visit to bolster defence ties - The Times of India NEW DELHI: In consonance with India's continuing 'Look East' policy, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne left for Malaysia on Monday night to discuss bilateral defence cooperation, which since 2008 has included IAF training Malaysian pilots to fly Russian-origin Sukhoi fighters. During the four-day visit, ACM Browne will hold extensive talks on ways to further bolster bilateral military ties with Malaysian chief of defence forces General Tan Sri Dato Sri Zulkifeli bin Mohd Zin, and Royal Malaysian Air Force chief General Tan Sri Dato Sri Rodzali bin Daud at Kuala Lumpur. The IAF chief will also visit the Gong Kedak and Subang airbases to discuss professional exchanges, Sukhoi-30 training, maintenance and logistic issues. A team of IAF pilots and technicians were stationed in Malaysia for two years from 2008 onwards to train Malaysian pilots, weapon system operators and maintenance staff for the smooth induction and operation of their then newly acquired Sukhoi-30 MKM fighters. They also helped set up a 'Systems School' for the Sukhoi fighters at the Gong Kedak airbase. "The strengthening of bilateral relations with Malaysia is indicative of India's efforts to seek closer ties with its neighbours in south-east Asia. The defence cooperation ranges from counter-terrorism and peace-keeping operations to training and maintenance of defence equipment. Indian naval warships, incidentally, have also been regularly visiting Malaysia to conduct joint exercises," said an official.