U.K., Turkey Near Military Accord
LONDON—The U.K. and Turkey are negotiating a military pact that would see the two European powers take part in joint exercises and share expertise, a person familiar with the matter said.
The agreement underscores how the U.K., Europe's most active military, is eager to work more closely with allied militaries amid budget cuts. In October, the British government announced cuts to the military budget of 7.5% over the next four years.
An accompanying Security and Defense Strategy Review placed great emphasis on alliances and partnerships to "enhance capability."
Britain hopes to have completed its memorandum of understanding with Turkey by July, this person said. Much of the deal will hinge on joint exercises. For instance, the U.K. could train helicopter pilots in Turkey, whose hot and mountainous terrain replicates Afghanistan.
Further down the line, the two countries are looking at cooperating on equipment programs.
One "possibility" is that the Turks would help build Britain's Type 26 Frigate, a type of naval ship due to enter service in the early 2020s. Britain also wants to offer more places to train Turkish officers at its Royal College of Defence Studies and the Turks will invite British personnel to their training courses.
U.K., Turkey Near Military Accord - WSJ.com