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UK Defence Secretary of State to visit India


Eurofighter Typhoon is in the race for the USD 11-billion IAF tenders for 126 Medium Multi Role fighter aircraft.

NEW DELHI (PTI): In a bid to enhance bilateral defence relations with India, United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox will be here on a four-day visit beginning November 21.

During the trip, Fox will meet his Indian counterpart A K Antony, when the two leaders are expected to discuss issues of common interest including the security situation in South Asia, terrorism and ways to improve defence cooperation between the two countries.

"Fox will arrive here on November 21 and he will meet the Indian security top brass including Antony," Defence Ministry officials said here Friday.

He is also expected to meet with the three armed forces chiefs during his stay.

The two countries have a robust defence relationship, with their armed forces holding joint exercises on a regular basis.

The Royal Air Force and IAF frequently hold an air war game nicknamed 'IndraDhanush' and this year's exercise was held recently at Kalaikunda in West Bengal, when the British had brought their latest fighter aircraft Eurofighter Typhoon to match its prowess with IAF's frontline Su-30MKI fighters.

Eurofighter Typhoon, a product of European consortium EADS, is in the race for the USD 11-billion IAF tenders for 126 medium multi role fighter aircraft, which is dubbed as the 'mother of all deals' for its likely contract value.

It is pitted against US majors Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Boeing's F/A-18, Russian MiG-RAC's MiG-35, French D'Assault's Rafale and Swedish SAAB's Gripen fighter aircraft.

The two navies too hold regular maritime exercise called Konkan and the Indian Navy had sent its warship to UK for the exercise held in 2009.

The two armies too hold joint exercises periodically and in a significant step, Indian Army had sent its troops for mechanised warfare exercise in UK in 2008.

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