FACTBOX-UK and France agree on military cooperation

Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain and France agreed on Tuesday to
set up a joint military force and share equipment and nuclear
missile research centres in what British Prime Minister David
Cameron hailed as a new chapter in their relations.
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Here are key details of their defence cooperation plans.

NUCLEAR

– The two nations will work together at a new nuclear weapon
simulation centre in Valduc in France to model warhead
performance, supported by a joint technology centre at
Aldermaston in Britain.

OPERATIONS AND TRAINING

– A combined joint expeditionary force involving army, air
force and navy services will be available for bilateral, NATO,
European Union, United Nations and other operations. Combined
air and land exercises will start in 2011.

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

– Britain will install catapults on a new aircraft carrier
under construction so that both French and British jets can
operate from it. By the early 2020s the two nations aim to
combine their carrier operations. The Royal Navy and the French
Navy will work in the “closest co-ordination over the next
generation”.

EQUIPMENT

– Integrated support for the A400M military transport
aircraft to save money. Single contract with Airbus Military
(EAD.DE: ) to be signed by the end of 2011, ready for arrival of
first French A400M in 2013.

— France could take up some of the spare capacity in
air-to-air refuelling that Britain will have once it takes
delivery of a new fleet of 14 modified Airbuses “provided it is
financially acceptable to both nations”.

– Britain and France will also coordinate work on:

— equipment and technology for next generation of nuclear
submarines

— military satellite communications

— countermeasures for maritime mines

— unmanned air systems (drones).

DEFENCE INDUSTRY

– The two countries have agreed a 10-year strategic plan for
the French and British “complex weapons” sector, aiming for a
single European prime contractor and efficiency savings of 30
percent. Joint projects to include anti-surface missiles, cruise
missiles and short-range air defence.

(Reporting by Tim Castle)

FACTBOX-UK and France agree on military cooperation