Peace Time: Britain And India, Together Again


October 1, 2011: Britain and India have agreed to pool their research efforts in the areas of UAVs, advanced explosives, the psychological impact of combat on troop performance and better defenses and treatments for chemical and biological weapons. There are many practical reasons for this cooperative effort.

Both India and Britain have been using Israeli UAVs. Britain has leased Hermes UAVs, and licensed the Hermes technology for British built Watchkeeper UAVs. India has bought Heron UAVs (built by another Israeli firm) and seeks to develop its own UAV industry. The U.S. Predator UAV was developed from earlier Israeli designs, and the companies that make Predator, Heron and Hermes control over 80 percent of the market for medium-sized UAVs (weighing about a ton, can stay in the air 24 hours or more and carry missiles). Britain and India would each like to become major players in the UAV market, and believe some cooperation might help that happen.

Both countries have been doing research into more powerful, stable and, in general, advanced explosives. Same with improved defenses against chemical and biological weapons. Both countries are targets of Islamic terrorists, who have been trying to get ahold of these weapons. Both countries are also threatened by Islamic terrorists based in Pakistan, which is India's neighbor and long-time antagonist.

Both countries have also had a lot of troops in combat lately. Britain had troops in Iraq and still has them in Afghanistan. India has been fighting Islamic terrorists in Kashmir for over two decades now. When Britain left India in 1948, they left behind many British military techniques and traditions. So the troops of both nations still have a lot in common, and want to learn from each other's more recent experiences.




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