Britain is set to deploy warships to the Indian Ocean, followed by the dispatch of an aircraft carrier to the region in 2025, the UK Government has said today. The move aims to facilitate joint training and operations with Indian forces, reflecting the ongoing enhancement of security ties between the two nations.
Grant Shapps, the British Defence Secretary, announced that the Royal Navy’s Littoral Response Group is scheduled to visit the Indian Ocean region this year, followed by the deployment of its Carrier Strike Group the following year.
Additionally, discussions between the two nations encompassed future collaborative efforts in defense, spanning joint exercises, knowledge exchange, and instructor exchanges.
These initiatives mark further progress in the comprehensive strategic partnership outlined in the 2030 India-UK roadmap, unveiled in 2021.
Looking ahead, the UK and India are poised to undertake more intricate military exercises, culminating in a significant joint exercise slated to take place by the conclusion of 2030.
These endeavors align with shared objectives of safeguarding critical trade routes and upholding the international rules-based system.
Mr Shapps said in a statement as his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh visited Britain: “There is absolutely no question that the world is becoming increasingly contested, so it’s vital that we continue to build on our strategic relationships with key partners like India.
“Together we share the same security challenges and are steadfast on our commitment to maintaining a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
“It is clear that this relationship is going from strength-to-strength, but we must continue to work hand-in-hand to uphold global security in light of threats and challenges that seek to destabilise and damage us.”
Expanding upon the existing strategic partnership, the UK and India have jointly affirmed a series of new initiatives during the visit. These initiatives encompass the establishment of Defence Partnership-India, a specialized office crafted to enhance collaborative efforts in defense between the two nations.
Furthermore, there is a dedicated commitment to multiple instructor exchanges involving esteemed Officer Training Colleges and specialized schools, complemented by the formal signing of a Youth Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the already robust relationship between their respective cadet organizations.
Additionally, the signing of a Letter of Arrangement has been undertaken, providing a framework to intensify research and development endeavors between the two nations, with a specific focus on advancing next-generation capabilities. Lastly, the agreement on logistics exchange has been solidified, facilitating the provision of logistical support, supplies, and services between the United Kingdom and the Indian Armed Forces.
This collaborative arrangement is designed to support joint training, exercises, authorized port visits, and operations related to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).