U.K.-France Joint Weapon Development Plans

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

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

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

The two sides have been partners on several projects in the past, butthe new deal potentially brings industrial and nuclear cooperation toan 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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