In a bid to deepen defence cooperation, the UK will provide support for new Indian-designed and -built fighter jets, offering the best of British know-how on building battle-winning aircraft. The UK will also seek to support India’s requirements for new technology to identify and respond to threats in the Indian Ocean.
This was announced by the British government as visiting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. They will discuss next-generation defence and security collaboration across the five domains – land, sea, air, space and cyber.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who met Johnson just before the bilateral meeting between the two Prime Ministers, said, “Delighted to call on UK PM @BorisJohnson during his India visit. Discussed our expanding partnership and implementing the #IndiaUK Roadmap 2030.”
The British government also said that “to support greater defence and security collaboration with India over the coming decade, the UK will issue an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) to India, reducing bureaucracy and shortening delivery times for defence procurement. This is our first OGEL in the Indo-Pacific region.”
In an oblique reference to Russia and China, British PM Johnson said, “The world faces growing threats from autocratic states which seek to undermine democracy, choke off free and fair trade and trample on sovereignty.”
“The UK’s partnership with India is a beacon in these stormy seas. Our collaboration on the issues that matter to both our countries, from climate change to energy security and defence, is of vital importance as we look to the future,” he said.
The two countries will discuss new cooperation on clean and renewable energy in their meetings in New Delhi on Friday, aimed at supporting India’s energy transition away from imported oil and increasing its resilience through secure and sustainable energy, and addressing climate change in both the UK and India.
The UK and India are launching a virtual Hydrogen Science and Innovation hub to accelerate affordable green hydrogen, as well as new funding for the Green Grids Initiative announced at COP26, and collaboration on joint work on the electrification of public transport across India.
“As well as boosting our domestic energy and economic resilience, the UK and India are collaborating as a force for good globally. Our governments are committing up to £75 million to roll out adaptable cleantech innovations from India to the wider Indo-Pacific and Africa, and working together on international development and girls’ education,” the British government said.
Johnson came to New Delhi Thursday night, after visiting Gujarat. He was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Friday morning.