UK and France commit to further defence cooperation

Summary: Defence cooperation between the UK and France has been strengthened following agreements signed this week at the Farnborough Air Show.

Philip Hammond and Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed to bolster cooperation relating to the acquisition and support of military equipment for both the UK and French Armed Forces.

The agreement follows on from a summit attended by Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande at RAF Brize Norton in January, which set out plans for closer ties between the two countries.

Joint working and development

As part of the deal, signed this week at the Farnborough Air Show, the UK and France agreed a £120m feasibility phase with six industry partners for the joint working and development of unmanned combat air vehicle concepts and technologies.

They also signed a memorandum of understanding on the SCALP/Storm Shadow missile programme with MBDA that continues our co-operation on this important cruise missile capability.

Mr Hammond, formerly Defence Minister but now acting as Foreign Minister following a Cabinet reshuffle by David Cameron, said:

“The UK and France are committed to delivering effective military capabilities underpinned by cutting-edge technology, developed by strong and capable defence industries.

“This relationship is essential to how we will operate in the future, by ensuring we can deal with the global defence and security challenges we and our allies may face.”

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