Defence industry organisations from India and the U.K. have decided to create a new Defence Industry Joint Working Group (JWG) for more effective cooperation, according to the U.K. High Commission. The inaugural meeting of the JWG was held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.
“The JWG is part of an ongoing initiative between the two countries to strengthen the defence and security partnership through industrial collaboration. The U.K. recently issued its first Open General Export License (OGEL) in the Indo-Pacific region to India, shortening delivery times for defence procurement,” the statement said.
DefExpo-2022 has representation from 20 U.K. defence companies. The U.K. industry is already integrating Indian defence suppliers into their global supply chain, manufacturing defence equipment not just for India but for the world.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) recently conducted a subject matter expertise exchange with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) during the visit of Eurofighter Typhoon, Voyager and A-400 in New Delhi and also held joint-flying exercises with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
“A stronger UK-India defence relationship is an essential element of the British and Indian governments’ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, stated Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India.
Mark Goldsack, Director of U.K. Defence and Security Exports termed it another step in the growing defence relations between the two countries while stating that they are “working to establish a portfolio of collaborative projects to support the development of new technologies and capabilities as agreed under the 2030 Roadmap.”
Stating that the U.K. is a world leader in critical defence technologies such as jet engine developments and electric propulsion technology, the statement said, “We are keen to share this expertise with India supported by our respective industries.”
In the April 2022 joint statement, the UK and India have welcomed the finalisation of the Letter of Arrangement between the U.K.’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and India’s DRDO.
The U.K. has offered advanced core technologies to India, capable of creating an indigenous, ITAR-free jet engine owned, manufactured and exported by India.
India and the U.K. have established an Electric Propulsion Capability Partnership and the Joint Working Group will establish a strong partnership between the two navies for development of Electric Propulsion capability for India, the statement said.
“The U.K.-India 2030 Roadmap commits to partnership on India’s indigenous combat air programmes, including Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-MkII and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA),” it added.