Defence: International Cooperation

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 29th March 2021.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what measures he plans to put in place to contribute to deeper interoperability between the UK and (a) Norway, (b) the Netherlands and (c) France.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The integration of our Armed Forces with those of our allies will be fundamental to retaining our global strategic advantage. Specifically, we are deepening levels of interoperability with Norway through collaboration on similar capabilities (such as P-8A Orion maritime patrol aircraft and F-35), our regular cold weather training deployments to Norway, bilateral capability talks and membership of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF). The UK is similarly committed to continuing to deepen our relationship with the Netherlands, both bilaterally and through the JEF. Our Naval and Amphibious Forces are already amongst the most interoperable in NATO, and will continue to operate and train alongside each other. We will also examine ways to work more closely with the Royal Netherlands Army and the Royal Netherlands Air Force, including on future common capabilities. Meanwhile, UK and French Armed Forces are now closer and more interoperable than they have ever been. Having successfully brought our Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) to its full operating capability last year, we now plan to further develop CJEF from its current state as a contingent intervention capability into a long-term framework for improving our interoperability and strategic coherence.

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