During Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bilateral visit to India, the two countries plan to collaborate on a number of critical military technologies, including combat aircraft design, marine propulsion, and jet engine technology.
On the defence front, discussions centred on enhancing collaboration on collaborative research, co-design, and manufacture of developing defence systems, with the UK promising that the Indian sector will be given the highest level of access to technology in the coming days.
“The United Kingdom will engage with India to improve security in the Indo-Pacific region, including new fighter aircraft technology, helicopters, and collaboration in the undersea battlespace,” the British High Commission said in a statement.
At the highest level, the possibility of collaborating on marine electric propulsion technologies was explored.
The cutting-edge technology for powering next-generation warships would also help India reduce its reliance on Ukrainian gas turbine engines, which are currently in use.
The United Kingdom has also showed interest in forming a strategic partnership with India to produce new fighter aircraft, pitching its companies to collaborate on projects such as the Advanced Medium Role Aircraft (AMCA), which is being developed in-house. British Aerospace (BAE) has a track record of developing fighter jets and is eager to collaborate with Indian industries on next-generation combat aircraft.
Following the talks, the two countries issued a joint statement emphasising the need of sharing sophisticated core technology for jet engines, which India has been looking for to reduce its reliance on foreign suppliers.
The AMCA is in discussions with a French engine manufacturer as well as Rolls Royce in the United Kingdom about building high-powered engines.
“The leaders emphasised the importance of strong defence industrial collaboration for the manufacturing of defence equipment, systems, spare parts, components, aggregates, and other related products and key capabilities under the Make-in-India programme,” according to the statement, which added that this can be accomplished through co-development, technology transfer, and the formation of joint ventures to meet the needs of the armed forces.
The UK’s Defence Science & Technology Laboratory and India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation have also signed a Letter of Arrangement for cooperative-research, co-design, co-development, and joint manufacturing of defence technology and equipment.
An open invitation to participate in the UK’s aviation and navy shipbuilding programmes has also been appreciated by the Indian side.