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HomeHeadline newsIndia’s defence minister Rajnath Singh to visit UK

India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh to visit UK

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India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to commence a three-day visit to the UK, from Monday (8), aimed at revitalising strategic and security engagement between both nations. The visit aims to explore potential collaborations for joint development of fighter jets and other military platforms.

Singh is scheduled to hold wide-ranging talks with his British counterpart Grant Shapps with a focus on sharing of critical technology and expanding bilateral industrial defence cooperation, people familiar with the matter said.

Singh and Shapps are also expected to delve into the situation in the Indo-Pacific, West Asia and Ukraine, they said.

In April 2022, prime minister Narendra Modi and his then British counterpart Boris Johnson agreed on a new and expanded India-UK defence partnership.

During his visit to India, Johnson announced that the UK is creating an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) for India to “reduce bureaucracy and slashing delivery times for defence procurement.

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Johnson also said the UK will help India in the co-development of military hardware including indigenous production of fighter jets.

A statement issued after the talks between Modi and Johnson said the two leaders reiterated their commitment to “transform” defence and security cooperation as a key pillar of the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The India-UK relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the India-UK virtual summit held between Modi and Johnson in May 2021.

At the summit, the two sides adopted a 10-year roadmap to expand ties in the key areas of trade and economy, defence and security, climate change and people-to-people connections among others.

Both sides are also keen to expand cooperation in the maritime sphere.

In June, 2021, the UK posted a liaison officer at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC) that has emerged as a key hub in tracking movements of ships and other developments in the Indian Ocean region.

The UK joined a select group of countries such as the US, Australia, Japan, and France to depute officials at the Gurugram-based facility.

The Indian Navy established the IFC-IOR in 2018 to effectively keep track of the shipping traffic as well as other critical developments in the region under a collaborative framework with like-minded countries.

(PTI)

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