Indo-UK de­fence part­ner­ship

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - [ By Our Spe­cial Correspondent ]

The UK Sec­re­tary of State for De­fence Sir Michael Fallon was on a four-day visit to In­dia from April 11, 2017. The In­di­aUK del­e­ga­tion level talks were held here where the UK side was led by Sir Michael Fallon while the In­dian del­e­ga­tion was headed by the De­fence Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley.

The joint state­ment said: “Min­is­ter of De­fence Arun Jait­ley and Sec­re­tary of State for De­fence Sir Michael Fallon set out a shared vision for the In­dia-UK De­fence Part­ner­ship.”

At the in­vi­ta­tion of Min­is­ter of De­fence Arun Jait­ley, the Sec­re­tary of State for De­fence Sir Michael Fallon vis­ited In­dia for the In­dia-UK Strate­gic De­fence Di­a­logue from April 11 to 14, 2017. The visit reaf­firmed and con­sol­i­dated UK-In­dia de­fence 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.

This en­dur­ing de­fence part­ner­ship will en­com­pass not only co­op­er­a­tion in de­fence in­dus­try but also stronger mil­i­tary to mil­i­tary en­gage­ment, in­clud­ing train­ing and ad­vanced joint ex­er­cises. The re­newed en­gage­ment will place ca­pa­bil­ity and tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment at its core and seek to har­ness the com­ple­men­tary strengths of both na­tions in de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing and use the com­bined strengths of their re­spec­tive pri­vate and public sec­tors

to de­velop de­fence so­lu­tions for use in both home and shared ex­port mar­kets.

The De­fence Min­is­ters will also con­tinue to con­sult and co­or­di­nate 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.

An En­hanced De­fence Part­ner­ship

Based on the De­fence and In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity Part­ner­ship (DISP) and build­ing on ex­ist­ing De­fence Con­sul­ta­tive Group (DCG) mech­a­nisms, both sides will ex­plore ad­di­tional ar­eas for in­sti­tu­tional en­gage­ment.

The 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, a key de­liv­er­able of the DISP. The two Min­is­ters also agreed to fur­ther de­velop co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the UK Hy­dro­graphic Of­fice and the In­dian Navy Hy­dro­graphic Of­fice.

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. Ef­forts are al­ready un­der­way with ex­changes of sub­ject mat­ter ex­perts to dis­cuss air safety col­lab­o­ra­tion and fu­ture CT re­quire­ments. The Min­is­ters tasked the rel­e­vant Ex­ec­u­tive Steer­ing Groups (ESGs) to fi­nalise pro­pos­als for con­sid­er­a­tion at the next DCG meet­ing sched­uled later this year.

As In­dia and the UK con­tinue to trans­form and mod­ernise their de­fence struc­tures with a shared de­sire to max­imise the ef­fi­cien­cies and op­er­a­tional ben­e­fits of es­tab­lish­ing joint force struc­tures, the two Min­is­ters agreed to share rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence in this do­main.

De­fence In­dus­try

Whilst ac­knowl­edg­ing the progress be­ing made, the two Min­is­ters recog­nised the po­ten­tial for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion in de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing be­tween the UK and In­dian companies un­der the ‘Make in In­dia’ frame­work.

Jait­ley wel­comed the UK’s in­ter­est in man­u­fac­tur­ing in In­dia as ev­i­denced through re­cent an­nounce­ments in­clud­ing the mem­o­ran- dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) be­tween the Bharat Dy­nam­ics Lim­ited and Thales UK on tech­nol­ogy trans­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties for mis­sile sys­tems and ef­forts to de­velop an ad­vanced hawk jet trainer jointly by the BAE Sys­tems and the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL).

To fur­ther en­cour­age and fa­cil­i­tate co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the UK and In­dian companies, they 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 de­fence plat­forms used by In­dia, which may in­clude set­ting up joint ven­tures and other col­lab­o­ra­tive ar­range­ments. The UK and In­dia will en­cour­age in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the In­dian Army De­sign Bureau and De­fence Equip­ment and Sup­port (DE&S)/Army Ca­pa­bil­ity Branch through their De­fence Equip­ment Sub-Group.

The UK and In­dia will ex­plore es­tab­lish­ing a se­cure com­mu­ni­ca­tions method in or­der to share clas­si­fied ma­te­rial. The two coun­tries will also con­sider up­grad­ing their bi­lat­eral Gen­eral Se­cu­rity Ar­range­ment.

Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy

The two Min­is­ters recog­nised the need for stronger R&D co­op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing ac­cess to de­fence R&D train­ing, to en­able new and vi­brant tech­nol­ogy part­ner­ships across the de­fence do­main.

They noted re­cent progress made on De­fence Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy col­lab­o­ra­tion with the signing of the Phase 2 fol­lowon re­search Col­lab­o­ra­tive Project Agree­ment on Hu­man Sciences, signed at Aero In­dia 2017.

Con­clu­sion

The above com­mit­ments will bet­ter en­able the UK and In­dia to meet the evolv­ing threats and chal­lenges that face democ­ra­cies in the 21st cen­tury. Both coun­tries recog­nised their shared per­spec­tives on the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion and agreed to main­tain their close in­ter­ac­tion in this re­gard.

Sir Michael Fallon thanked Min­is­ter Jait­ley for the warm hos­pi­tal­ity ex­tended to him and his del­e­ga­tion and looked for­ward to a re­turn visit by the Min­is­ter of De­fence to the UK.

Union Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Cor­po­rate Af­fairs and De­fence Arun Jait­ley with the UK Sec­re­tary of State for De­fence, Sir Michael Fallon in New Delhi on April 13, 2017

Union Min­is­ter for Fi­nance, Cor­po­rate Af­fairs and De­fence Arun Jait­ley with the UK Sec­re­tary of State for De­fence Sir Michael Fallon at the del­e­ga­tion level talks in New Delhi

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