U.K.-France Joint Weapon Development Plans

A 10-year strategic plan for complex weapon development and a new unmanned air vehicle joint venture are among the industrial highlights of two defense treaties announced by Britain and France at a summit meeting here Nov. 2 between U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The treaty on defense and security cooperation covers a series of potential air and sea equipment programs, as well as an operational alliance involving the sharing of aircraft carrier capabilities and the creation of a joint expeditionary force.

A second treaty covers cooperation in the testing of nuclear warheads for safety and reliability at facilities in the U.K. and France.

The two sides have been partners on several projects in the past, but the new deal potentially brings industrial and nuclear cooperation to an unprecedented level.

Cameron said the agreement was "big, bold and radical … and shows a level of trust never equaled in our history."

The British prime minister said the agreement was "practical and hard-headed cooperation between two sovereign countries."



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