The UK has decided to offer its support and technological expertise to help India develop fighter jets.

The announcement comes ahead of crucial talks between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

In the meeting, the two leaders are expected to discuss defence and security collaboration across major domains of land, air, sea, space and cyberspace.

According to a press statement, the UK plans to provide the best British expertise and capabilities to support India’s goal of building fighter aircraft locally.

The British Government is also keen to provide India with the necessary technological support to address the threats in the Indian Ocean.

Prime Minister Johnson said: “The world faces growing threats from autocratic states, which seek to undermine democracy, choke off free and fair trade, and trample on sovereignty.

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“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.”

The UK will issue an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) to India, the first of its kind in the Indo-Pacific region. The OGEL will reduce bureaucratic delays and streamline defence procurement.

Additionally, the licence may facilitate officer exchanges and additional military exercises, a spokesperson of Johnson told Reuters.

The European Union (EU) and the US have such licences.

Last month, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded contracts worth $911m (£695m) to support Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Hawk aircraft fleet.