UK and India Prime Ministers announce Enhanced Defence Cooperation

In a virtual summit, Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson have today (4 May) set out a shared vision for the UK-India defence partnership and agreed to advance the relationship to a new level, with a particular focus on maritime and industrial collaboration.

The leaders reaffirmed the benefits of closer co-operation in a free and open Indo-Pacific, recognising their shared interest in regional prosperity and stability. They agreed to significant new cooperation on Maritime Domain Awareness, which includes new agreements on maritime information sharing, an invitation to the UK to join India’s Information Fusion Centre in Gurgaon and an ambitious exercise programme which includes joint tri-lateral exercises.

The two countries are also working to conclude a Logistics Memorandum of Understanding that will enhance our joint ability to tackle shared challenges.

In addition to commitments on the Indo-Pacific, the two countries agreed to build on existing government-to-government collaboration on India’s future combat air engine requirement. As part of a ‘2030 Roadmap’, they agreed to work closely together in support of India’s indigenous development of the Light Combat Aircraft Mark 2. They also spoke of the potential for further industrial collaboration in areas like maritime propulsion, space and cyber, marking the start of a promising new era of UK-India research, capability and industrial collaboration on Indian combat air and beyond.

This agreement builds upon that signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Rolls Royce to move aspects of the manufacture of the MT30 Gas Turbine engine to India, supporting PM Modi’s Make in India initiative. The MT30 is an engine employed widely in navies around the world and is the basis of the UK’s Integrated Electric Propulsion system that powers the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.

UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, said:

The UK and India enjoy a strong defence and security relationship.

We remain committed to close collaboration with India as we both adapt to meet future threats and look to innovate our defence equipment programmes and systems.

British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said:

The UK and India are natural partners in defence and security. Today’s announcements underline our shared ambition for that partnership, enhancing cooperation, building joint expertise and accelerating industrial cooperation, building up to the arrival of our new aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships to India this autumn.

Today’s announcements follow the news that the UK’s Carrier Strike Group 2021, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, will sail to India in the autumn on its maiden operational deployment.

The UK Integrated Review – a landmark review of foreign, defence, development and security policy, published last month – committed the UK to becoming the European country with the broadest, most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific in support of trade, shared security and values.


Sally Hedley, Head of Communications

Press and Communications, British High Commission,

Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021

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