In the three-hour long UK- India Counter Explosive Ordnance (C-EO) Virtual Symposium, there was a huge participation of around 35 Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) specialists from Indian Security Forces.
For the first time, UK Defence and Security Exports met with Indian companies virtually to strengthen the UK-India Defence and Internal Security Partnership and to identify co-development opportunities for UK and Indian industry. In the three-hour long UK- India Counter Explosive Ordnance (C-EO) Virtual Symposium, there was a huge participation of around 35 Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) specialists from Indian Security Forces. This is the first time UK DSE has assembled a large congregation of C-EO specialists from Indian security agencies.
Sources have confirmed to the Financial Express Online that, “The meeting had taken place recently virtually and both sides are keen to share best practice between the UK and Indian security/defence agencies on C-EO.”
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“This meeting was initially planned following a Subject Matter Expertise Exchange request from Indian Ministry of Defence during the November 2019 Defence Consultative Group meeting. The focus was also on further deepening cooperation and seeking opportunities for joint ventures,” sources quoted above added.
In February 2021, in collaboration with UKIBC and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, will be meeting to support UK companies with viable ‘Make in India’ partners to cater to local requirements. Given the interest from Indian security forces, UK DSE plans a further B2B event.
Next year the UK DSE also plans to conduct a similar event on the theme of Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS).
UK Company Participation:
There were 23 companies expressing participation interest. And only nine were selected to participate: Kirintec; United Shield; Brimstone Site Investigation; 3D X-Ray; NIC Instruments; Pearson Engineering; Alford Technologies; Richmond Defence System; and ISSEE.
What was the importance of this Virtual Symposium?
First it took place ahead of the confirmed visit of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the chief guest for the Republic Day Celebrations next month.
According to UNICEF, one casualty every twenty minutes is caused by explosive weapons.
These explosive weapons which include conventional munition or improvised explosive are part of the modern day conflict and considered to be a threat globally for millions.
The Counter-EO UK and the Indian companies could together help in dealing with this menace of explosives which is a huge problem all across the world.
According to Mark Goldsack , Director, UK Defence & Security Exports “India and the UK have suffered the threat posed by the use of explosive devices — whether at home or overseas. And in response to this the two countries have developed skilled organisations and industry capable of removing or reducing the threat from explosive ordnance, including IEDs.”
“ It is essential that these organisations work together to better develop C-EO capabilities in order to be effective in the ‘five pillars’ of C-EO – Prevent, Protect, Detect, Defeat and Exploit,” he added.
With decades of experience of countering complex domestic and international explosive ordnance threats, Indian companies could play a critical role in dealing with this threat here in the country.
“The UK is at the forefront of C-EO capability and remains the ‘2nd largest defence exporter (on a rolling 10 year basis)’ and an ideal partner for India as we both strive to address the threats and challenges posed by explosive ordnance.”