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UK invites Indian army for 2-month-long jt military exercise


LONDON (PTI): Britain has invited the Indian army for the first of its kind joint military exercise here for two months next year, a media report has said.

The exercise would involve a company of Indian soldiers training alongside British troops for two months next summer, 'The Times' daily said Tuesday.

Liam Fox, the British Defence Secretary, is in New Delhi to offer India joint missile and other weapon technology research programmes and press it to sign a 7-billion-pound fighter jet contract of Eurofighter Typhoon consortium.

Admitting that the Typhoon, which he is trying to sell, was expensive, Fox said the consortium of companies from four nations behind the aircraft -- the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy -- would offer more than "just hardware".

The prospect of India aligning its Air Force more closely with the "battle-hardened" Royal Air Force (RAF) of the UK, with experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, was also on offer, he told the newspaper.

Eurofighter is one of the six contenders in the IAF deal expected to be worth over USD 12 billion for procuring 126 fighter jets.

American F/A-18 and F-16, Russian MiG 35, Swede Gripen and French Rafale are the other contenders in the race.

Sir David Richards, Chief of the UK's Defence Staff, and junior Defence Ministers Gerald Howarth and Peter Luff are all due to visit India in the next few months as Britain seeks to broaden its ties with Indian military establishment.

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UK  India  Military  

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