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Defexpo 2022: India, UK launch defence industry group

A new India-UK working group is expected to focus on technologies to support Indian air combat programmes including the proposed Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, a computer-generated image of which is pictured above. (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd)

India and the United Kingdom (UK) have launched a forum to support enhanced co-operation between the two countries' defence industrial bases.

The inaugural meeting of the new defence industry Joint Working Group was held on the side-lines of the DefExpo 2022 exhibition in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, on 18 October, said the British High Commission in a statement.

The High Commission said that the working group is linked to a commitment – contained in a ‘road map' for bilateral collaboration agreed in 2021 – to significantly bolster defence industrial ties by 2030.

“This is another step in the growing defence relations between the two countries,” said Mark Goldsack, the director of UK Defence and Security Exports. “[India and the UK] are working to establish a portfolio of collaborative projects to support the development of new technologies and capabilities as agreed under the 2030 Roadmap.”

Goldsack added, “The UK is a world leader in critical defence technologies such as jet engine developments and electric propulsion technology. We are keen to share this expertise with India supported by our respective industries.”

The High Commission said that the India-UK collaboration in defence trade has been supported by a new export licencing arrangement, which it said is intended for “shortening delivery times for defence procurement”.

This arrangement is facilitated through a new Open General Export Licence (OGEL), said the High Commission. This OGEL was issued in July, and according to the High Commission, is the first that the UK has issued to any country in the Indo-Pacific region.

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