At the invitation of Minister of Defence Shri Arun Jaitley, the Secretary of State for Defence, UK Sir Michael Fallon visited India for the India-UK Strategic Defence Dialogue during 11-14 April 2017. The visit reaffirmed and consolidated UK-India defense cooperation in the framework of the Defence and International Security Partnership, agreed in November 2015, and the subsequent Joint Statement between the Governments of India and the UK in November 2016.
With Brexit or Britain’s departure from the European Union set in motion last month, British defense secretary Michael Fallon on Wednesday offered technology transfer to India for co-production of military platforms and weapon systems under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India drive.
Fallon is on a four-day visit to India, following chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond who visited Asia’s third-largest economy last week in a bid to forge closer economic ties in the aftermath of Brexit.
Following a referendum in June, British Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered “Brexit” on 29 March by sending a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk. Britain has begun moves to engage countries like India on new trade deals and increased economic collaboration in areas like financial technology. Fallon’s visit is seen as part of the process of forging stronger partnerships in defense where India has been looking to upgrade its manufacturing capabilities.
The renewed engagement will place capability and technology development at its core and seek to harness the complementary strengths of both nations in defense manufacturing and use the combined strengths of their respective private and public sectors to develop defense solutions for use in both home and shared export markets.
The Defence Ministers will also continue to consult and co-ordinate policies across a range of global security challenges, especially those intended to eliminate the scourge of international terrorism, in pursuit of their shared goal of a more secure world
To further encourage and facilitate cooperation between the UK and Indian companies, the two Ministers agreed to extend the current Defence Equipment Cooperation MOU and work towards early completion of an expanded MOU, that will provide a platform for the UK and Indian industries to collaborate on and support transfer of technology on projects in areas of mutual interest.
The two Ministers welcomed measures to ensure life cycle support and sustenance of UK-origin defense platforms used by India, which may include setting up joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.
Besides enhancing co-operation in the field of Defence manufacturing, the two sides also decided to place capability and technology development at its core and seek to harness the complementary strengths of both nations. This synergy will enable to use the combined strengths of their respective private and public sectors to develop Defence solutions for use in both home and shared export markets, a joint statement issues after the meeting said.
The two Ministers agreed to further strengthen their naval and maritime interactions, including enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through the bilateral technical agreement to exchange information to track terrorist and pirate vessels.
India and the UK will endeavour to build a range of capability partnerships focusing on varied aspects of military effectiveness such as specialised training interactions and exchange of best practices in the following areas — Counter Terrorism (CT), Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (CIED), Air Force Training, Air Total Safety, Aircraft Carriers, Maritime Safety, Shipbuilding and UN Peacekeeping