UK and Russia on the brink of major new defence deal
Summary: The UK and Russia could be set to sign an historic arms agreement in the first half of 2014, enabling British and Russian defence industries to work together on ‘unclassified’ issues.
Landmark defence contracts
The Telegraph has reported that the landmark defence contracts deal will enable arms producers in each country to buy components from one another and exchange certain technical data, provided it does not contradict ongoing secrecy regulations.
The deal could also create a legal framework for the British Army to begin using Russian equipment such as the Kalashnikov rifle.
The deal is described as undergoing ‘quick progress’ and could be signed by spring 2014 and is a further example of the burgeoning relationship between Russian and the United Kingdom, a relationship strained since the Cold War.
UK defence opportunity
The UK is currently the world’s fourth largest military spender, just behind the third largest: Russia. The new deal could mean a huge opportunity for UK defence contractors looking to expand their business into new markets.
According to an MOD spokesperson quoted by the Telegraph: “Work is ongoing on a Military Technical Cooperation Agreement (MTCA) between the UK Ministry of Defence and Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, which will provide a framework for Russian and UK defence companies to cooperate at an unclassified level.”