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India-UK Defense Relations, Cooperation, Joint Military Exercises 2024

India-UK Defence Exercise: Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is on a two-day visit to the UK, aimed at enhancing strategic and security relations, including potential joint development of fighter aircraft and military platforms.

India-UK Defense Relations Overview

Post-Independence Defense Policy: To navigate the complexities of cold warfare, India adopted a non-aligned stance after gaining independence in 1947.

Initiation of Strategic Partnership: In 2004, post the cold war era, India and the UK initiated a strategic partnership.

High-Level Dialogues: Annual summit meetings and discussions were established for key government and foreign ministry officials to engage in talks regarding cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism, civilian nuclear initiative, and space programs.

Common Security Challenges: Both countries face similar security threats like terrorism and extremism, necessitating strong defense collaboration.

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Defense Cooperation Commitment: Collaboration includes capacity-building, technology exchange, joint military exercises, and sharing of intelligence.

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Make in India’ Commitment: The UK supports India’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, particularly in the defense sector, where there is potential for development.

Defense Industry Collaboration: Nearly 70 UK defense companies supply parts for Indian military aircraft and assist in the maintenance of older fleets.

2015 Defense Partnership Agreement: During the 2015 UK visit of the Indian Prime Minister, a new defense and international security partnership agreement was signed, focusing on cyber security and maritime security.

Growth in Maritime Participation: The deployment of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean aligns with its Indo-Pacific strategic focus.

India-UK Joint Exercises and Visits

Exercise Ajeya Warrior: A biennial India-UK bilateral army exercise. The 7th edition took place in April-May 2023 in the UK, with a focus on team building.

Konkan Exercise: An annual naval exercise held in March 2023 off the coast of Kochi, involving the Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Navy (RN).

Eastern Bridge: In March 2023, the Indian Air Force participated in this multilateral air exercise hosted by the UK, promoting interoperability.

INS Tarangini Tour: The Indian Naval sailing training ship visited the UK and Gibraltar in August-September 2022 as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.

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