By Dominic Beales – First Secretary Defence & Security, British High Commission, New Delhi
Forming an integral part of the UK Carrier Strike Group’s visit to India in October, the Royal Navy hosted a series of engagements in Mumbai with both the UK and the Indian defence industry to promote closer ties.
Demonstrating Industrial Capability
Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Scotland, Lord Malcolm Offord and Commanding Officer, Vince Owen RN hosted a Defence Capability Industry Day on board HMS Defender. The engagement featured nine British defence OEMs, all of whom played key roles in making the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyers the most advanced warships ever constructed. Industry demonstrated capabilities in Maritime Propulsion, Complex Weapons, Replenishment at Sea, Naval Helicopters, Sonar Technologies and Anti-Submarine Warfare, Ship Design and Maritime Survival Equipment.
Enduring UK-India partnerships are currently servicing MT30 marine gas turbine engines in India and producing M777 Howitzers in Uttar Pradesh. UK industries have demonstrated a willingness to invest in India and promote indigenisation
Forging Industrial Cooperation
The Royal Navy hosted CMDs from Indian defence industry for a half day aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth while at sea 60km off the coast of Mumbai. The delegation witnessed demonstrations of fifth generation F-35B lightning multi-role aircraft, including take-off and landing; Merlin Helicopters departing from INS Shikra; Power Systems; Complex Weapons, Weapons Handling Systems; and Command & Control Operations.
Powering Partnership in Maritime Propulsion
Both the UK and India agreed to explore Maritime Propulsion partnership in the India-UK 2030 Roadmap. To this end, both Indian and UK MoDs and industrial experts capitalised on the Carrier Strike Group visit to further explore partnership for delivering Electric Propulsion capability to India. A joint Electronic Propulsion team visited HMS Queen Elizabeth, comprised of senior engineers from the Indian Navy and Industry. The team toured the ship’s mechanical systems accompanied by UK MoD’s forefront expert in Maritime Propulsion, Captain John Voyce OBE and HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commander Chief Mechanical Engineer, Cdr S Chatterjee. UK industrial Subject Matter Experts from GE Power, BAE Systems and Rolls Royce were on-hand to outline the UK’s long, but ultimately fruitful journey towards achieving Integrated Full Electric Propulsion.
Support from the Aerospace & Defence Industry Group
In November 2019, following extensive consultation between government, industry and associations representing business, the UK India Business Council launched the Aerospace & Defence Industry Group (ADIG) to improve its support to UK firms (and those looking to invest in or trade with) India.
ADIG contains 20 aerospace and defence firms with a combined global turnover of USD 60Bn. Membership is diverse – including most UK OEMs operating in (or aspiring to operate in) India, systems operators, and niche or supply chain SMEs – all united by a desire to do more business with India.