Highly complex Ajeya Warrior joint military exercise enhances UK-India strategic ties

Highly complex Ajeya Warrior joint military exercise enhances UK-India strategic ties

The UK and India concluded the seventh edition of their joint biennial exercise, Ajeya Warrior, this week with a special closing ceremony attended by Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami.  

Contingents from the British and Indian Armies have been undertaking demanding training on the Salisbury Plain Training Area in the UK for the past two weeks. This year, Exercise Ajeya Warrior involved troops from the UK’s 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles, and India’s 6th Battalion of the Bihar Regiment.  

Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said: “The UK and India are natural partners in defence and have increasing levels of interoperability, as shown by this highly complex and hands-on interaction between our militaries.  

“The UK has made the Indo Pacific ‘tilt’ a permanent pillar of our international policy. The region is critical to our economy, our security, and to our interest in an open and stable international order.” 

Increasing the scope, complexity and dynamism considerably from previous iterations of the exercise, a company from the Bihar Regiment was integrated into the 2nd Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles battlegroup to conduct high tempo operations in a pioneering simulated training environment. 

Brigadier Nick Sawyer, Defence Advisor, British High Commission, said:Exercise Ajeya Warrior has been thoroughly testing the soldiers of both our nations, encompassing the uncertainty and complexity experienced in contemporary multi domain operations. Throughout the exercise, both the armies have had an opportunity to showcase their capabilities and emerging military technologies, as part of their respective drives toward modernisation. There is no doubt we will have learned from each other, yet again. 


Highly complex Ajeya Warrior joint military exercise enhances UK-India strategic ties
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“Ajeya Warrior leaves us with an increased understanding about each other’s military capabilities and tactics, which is vital for a stronger UK-India strategic partnership.” 

Exercise Ajeya Warrior follows a series of bilateral visits and military engagements between the UK and India since the beginning of 2023, including the visit of the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, last month. 

Reflective of the wide-ranging ties, the UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) also issued a joint outcome statement on the ninth round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks. 

It said: “In continuation of the eighth round of negotiations held during 20-31 March 2023 in New Delhi, the United Kingdom and the Republic of India held the ninth round of talks during 24-28 April for a UK-India FTA

“As with previous rounds, these were conducted in a hybrid fashion – a number of officials from India travelled to London and others attended virtually. During the round, detailed discussions took place across a range of policy areas. The tenth round of negotiations is due to take place in the coming months.”

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