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India, UK to work on fighter jet, engines, marine projects

Source : The Economic Times

India, UK to work on fighter jet, engines, marine projects
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India and the UK are planning to work together on several key military technologies, with combat aircraft design, marine propulsion and jet engine technology being discussed during the bilateral visit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Talks on the defence front focused on intensifying cooperation on joint research, co design and production of emerging defence systems, with the UK assuring that the highest level of access to technology will be given to the Indian industry in coming days.

“UK will work with India to boost security in the Indo-Pacific, including new fighter jet technology, helicopters and collaboration in the undersea battlespace,” an official statement by the British High Commission read.

The prospect of working together on marine electric propulsion technology was discussed at the highest level. The futuristic technology for powering next generation warships will also help cut Indian dependency on sources in Ukraine for gas turbine engines that are used predominantly as of now.

The UK has also expressed its willingness for a strategic collaboration on developing modern fighter aircraft, making a pitch for its companies to partner with India on projects like the Advanced Medium Role Aircraft (AMCA) being developed indigenously. British Aerospace (BAE) has a proven track record of fighter jet development and has been keen to partner with Indian companies for next generation combat aircraft.

A joint statement after the talks made special reference to sharing of jet engine advanced core technology, a key knowhow that India has been looking for to cut dependence on foreign suppliers. Talks have been on with a French engine manufacturer as well as UK’s Rolls Royce on developing high-powered engines for the AMCA.

“The leaders noted the importance of robust defence industrial collaboration for manufacturing of defence equipment, systems, spare parts, components, aggregates and other related products and key capabilities, under the Make-in-India programme,” the statement read, adding that this can be achieved through co-development, transfer of technology and setting up of joint ventures for meeting the requirements of the armed forces.

The two sides have also finalised a Letter of Arrangement between UK’s Defence Science & Technology Laboratory and India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation for joint-research, co-design, co-development and joint production of defence technology and systems. The Indian side has also appreciated an open opportunity to participate in the UK’s aviation and naval shipbuilding programmes.

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