India, UK agree to co-produce military hardware during virtual summit

Both sides also agreed to increase maritime cooperation (File)

New Delhi:

In a major move, India and the UK on Tuesday vowed to expand bilateral defense cooperation, including technology cooperation in developing combat aircraft and complex weapons, during a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson. .

The 10-year roadmap unveiled at the summit to enhance overall Indo-UK relations noted that the two countries would strengthen cooperation to take “decisive and concrete action” against globally banned terrorists and terrorist entities .

The roadmap mentions “air war cooperation in detail to determine how the UK can support India’s ambitions for its light combat aircraft MK2 program”.

The two sides also agreed to increase maritime cooperation during their talks, while India invited the UK liaison officer for the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Center, a key facility that would link the development and movement of ships in the Indian Ocean region. Keeps watch. .

A joint statement on the talks between PM Modi and Boris Johnson said, “The two Prime Ministers agreed to deepen their defense and security cooperation through the Indo-UK Defense and International Security Partnership Framework and finalize the new Logistics MoU Welcome to give. “

It added that the two leaders agreed that there is a new era for Indo-UK cooperation on key military technologies, including fighter aircraft, marine propulsion systems, and complex weapons, which will build on the strength of Indian and British industries, government laboratories and academics. Harnesses

The statement said that such cooperation would help deliver the next generation of defense and security capabilities through co-development and co-production.

Sandeep Chakraborty, Joint Secretary in the Department of Europe West at the Foreign Ministry, said in a media briefing that the two sides discussed co-development and co-production of military hardware.

“They agreed to extend maritime cooperation to invite UK liaison officer to India’s information fusion center, establish an annual Indo-UK maritime dialogue and strengthen operational coordination,” the statement said.

“During the UK’s Career Strike Group’s deployment to the Indian Ocean region in 2021, they agreed to conduct a joint exercise that would deepen cooperation in an area of ​​significant strategic importance to both countries.”

The roadmap states that India and the UK will work in a strategic partnership to tackle cyber, space, crime and terrorist threats and strengthen efforts to develop an independent, open and secure Indo-Pacific region.

It added that our shared interests would underline greater cooperation in multilateral forums, where a stronger UK-India relationship would build understanding between diverse partners on international security and global regulations for cyber security and space in keeping with their interests Will help to set up.

It also mentions that the two sides will aim to increase cooperation to promote international security and stability in cyberspace through bilateral cooperation on important national infrastructure, healthcare and vaccines.

The joint statement said that the two leaders reiterated their full support for free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace and agreed to strengthen cooperation through the India-UK Cyber ​​Security Partnership to combat growing cyber threats.

“He reaffirmed their shared vision of an open, free, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, outlined by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation, and overflow in the international seas , Legitimate commerce without a license., And a peaceful resolution of disputes, “it said.

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