During a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Tuesday, India and the UK pledged to extend bilateral defense cooperation, including through technology partnership in developing combat aircraft and complex arms.
The two countries will reinforce cooperation to take “decisive and coordinated steps” against internationally proscribed terrorists and terror groups, according to a 10-year roadmap unveiled at the summit to improve overall India-UK relations.
During the talks, the two countries agreed to boost maritime cooperation, and India invited the UK’s liaison officer to the Indian Navy’s knowledge fusion center, which keeps a close eye on developments and ship movements in the Indian Ocean area.
Broadening dialogue on “combat air cooperation to decide how the UK can help India’s aspirations for their light combat air MK2 program,” according to a 10-year roadmap unveiled at the summit for improving overall India-UK relations.
“Both prime ministers agreed to deepen their defense and security cooperation through the India-UK defense and international security partnership process and welcomed the finalization of the new logistics MoU,” according to a joint statement released after the Modi-Johnson talks.
The two leaders agreed that a promising new era of India-UK collaboration on key military technologies such as combat aircraft, maritime propulsion systems, and complex weapons lies ahead, leveraging the strengths of Indian and British industries, government laboratories, and academia, according to the statement.
According to the statement, such partnerships would assist in the creation and production of next-generation defense and security capabilities.
Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs’ Europe West division, said at a press conference that the two sides discussed military hardware co-development and co-production.
“They agreed to improve operational cooperation and increase maritime co-operation by inviting the UK’s Liaison Officer to India’s information fusion center, creating an annual India-UK maritime dialogue, and inviting the UK’s Liaison Officer to India’s information fusion center,” according to the document. “Our mutual interests will underpin greater cooperation in multilateral fora,” it said, adding that “a strengthened UK-India partnership will help create understanding among diverse partners on international security and will help set global rules for cybersecurity and space taking into account their respective interests.”
It also stated that the two countries would work together to foster international cybersecurity and stability, including through bilateral cooperation on critical national infrastructure, healthcare, and vaccines.