India, Kenya agree to expand defence cooperation

New Delhi: The Goa Shipyard Ltd on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Kenya Shipyard Ltd for joint collaboration in ship design and construction, in reflection of growing defence cooperation between the two countries.

Separately, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presented to Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence Aden Bare Duale 15 pairs of parachutes manufactured by the Gliders India Ltd for use by the Kenyan armed forces.

Singh gifted the parachutes to Duale after holding wide-ranging talks with him.

“The meeting was a testimony to the increasing depth in the India-Kenya defence partnership,” the defence ministry said.   “Both the ministers agreed that the defence relationship between the two countries has evolved from being training-centric to include more strategic aspects,” it said.

Duale is currently on a three-day visit to India.

On the talks, the ministry said Singh underscored the importance that India attaches to the ties with African nations and that two sides concurred on the need for deeper cooperation in maritime security of the Indian Ocean region.

It said capacity building and cooperation in defence industry and equipment was also discussed at length by the two sides.

“A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Goa Shipyard Ltd and Kenya Shipyard Ltd in the field of capacity building and for collaboration in ship design and construction,” it said.

“As a token of friendship, Rajnath Singh presented 15 pairs of parachutes (main and reserve) manufactured by the Gliders India Ltd to the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence for use by the Kenyan forces,” the ministry said.

It said India also extended support towards setting up of an advanced CT scan facility in Kenya.

On his part, Duale appreciated the growing prowess of the Indian defence industry, including the private sector, and highlighted the areas in which the Indian industry can support the requirements of the Kenyan Forces.

He also suggested ‘training of trainers’ of Kenyan forces by the instructors of Indian Armed Forces in order to maintain continuity and extract greater benefit out of such programmes.

“Both sides agreed for joint training in counter insurgency and UN peacekeeping domains. Other regional security issues of mutual interest were also discussed during the meeting,” the ministry said.

Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane also attended the meeting along with senior officials of defence ministry, external affairs ministry and defence PSUs.