THE UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne, said the British government is keen to work with India in the defence sector as there is tremendous potential for mutual benefits, especially in the naval area.
Mr Dunne said that the UK, which is the largest supplier of arms in Europe, has been associated with Indian defence forces for the last four decades and is looking forward to build on the Anglo-Indian relationship which will serve both the armed forces.
He said that the British government is interested to work with India in the ‘Make in India’ programme and is looking for joint venture partners to build on the Anglo-Indian relationship, plus finding opportunities to generate capabilities to serve both the countries.
There has been a long standing relationship in aerospace with India involving the British-built Jaguar, Hawk and Harrier fighter aircraft, which are used by the Indian Air Force, while it has more than 1,000 aircraft built using British designs.
Regarding the maritime industry, Mr Dunne said there is tremendous potential and plenty of scope as the British government is keen to work in close collaboration with Indian companies to build the country’s new aircraft carrier.
Indeed, the aircraft carrier which has come out of service from the Indian Navy is the British Royal Navy’s former HMS Hermes. He said that the army and the British companies have a lot of technology which can be useful for the Indian Army and inland security.