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The United Kingdom has agreed to work with India to develop Tejas Mark 2 fighter aircraft.
In the recent virtual dialogue held between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, the topic of the latter aiding the development of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK2 was breached.
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 UK Ministry of Defence said in a release.
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 (HAL) 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.