When the two nations’ prime ministers meet on Friday, Britain is expected to offer India know-how for building its own fighter jets as well as a licence for faster delivery of defence goods, as the West strives to wean India away from Russia.
Boris Johnson will address strengthening trade and security ties with the South Asian country, which buys more than half of its military gear from Russia, during his first visit to New Delhi as Prime Minister.
“The world faces growing threats from autocratic states which seek to undermine democracy, choke off free and fair trade and trample on sovereignty,” Johnson said in a statement after visiting PM Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Thursday.
“The UK’s partnership with India is a beacon in these stormy seas. Our collaboration on the issues that matter to both our countries, from climate change to energy security and defence, is of vital importance as we look to the future.”
According to the announcement, he was anticipated to talk about “support for new Indian-designed and constructed fighter jets, delivering the best of British know-how on developing battle-winning aircraft.”
To reduce delivery delays for defence equipment, the former colonial master Britain will provide a “open general export licence” to India. According to Johnson’s spokeswoman, only the European Union and the United States currently have such a licence.
In an effort to entice India away from Russia, the US has increased defence and energy supplies to New Delhi. Despite US pressure, Mr Modi’s government has hesitated to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine other than to call for a stop to the violence.
India has also continued to purchase Russian oil, citing the fact that European countries were doing so as well, albeit in much larger quantities.
Nonetheless, Mr. Modi has stated that the conflict in Ukraine has increased the need for India to strengthen its domestic defence equipment production. At their disputed Himalayan frontier, India faces a superior Chinese army.