The UK and France have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to foster closer cooperation for the procurement of urgent operational equipment.

The MoU will further enhance existing close relationships between the countries’ armed forces and will provide potential opportunities for securing greater cost-effectiveness in the future procurement of urgent operational requirements (UORs).

UK Defence Minister Quentin Davies said that to ensure success in Afghanistan, it was important for the UK to cooperate closely with its international allies, including France.

“We often have the same urgent requirements for equipment, so it makes good sense to examine ways in which we could cooperate on procurement to mutual economic advantage,” he said.

The closer ties, which were hinted at with the publication of January’s defence review green paper, aim to share best practice and seek rapid solutions to common procurement requirements, not deliver interoperable solutions.

In addition, the bilateral agreement also provides a framework for the sharing of each other’s UOR procurement activities, subject to national laws and the rights of third parties.

The agreement follows the 6 July 2009 signature of the UOR statement of intent between France, the UK and Northern Ireland.