A 500 million-pound deal for BAE systems, Britain's biggest defence contractor, to supply Hawk jet trainers is expected to be among a string of high-profile contracts to be signed during Prime Minister David Cameron's two-day visit to India commencing on Wednesday.
There is also likely to be a major cultural agreement involving museums, 'The Observer' reported Sunday.
Cameron is taking with him seven Cabinet ministers and a huge trade delegation, including representatives from BAE as well as from Rolls-Royce, Standard Chartered Bank,construction group Balfour Beatty and the British Museum.
BAE has set up joint ventures with the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics in Bangalore. The Indian group makes BAE's Hawk trainer aircraft under licence.
Dick Olver, BAE's Chairman, said British business needed to think about India becoming as important a trading partner as America. "We need to build a second special relationship."
According to the Sunday Telegraph, BAE Systems will announce a 500 million-pound deal to build 57 Hawk trainer jets in collaboration with their Indian partners HAL near Bangalore city in south India, as a centrepiece of Cameron's
Cameron, who will first fly to Bangalore, the hub of "infotech" and innovation, will visit along with Business Secretary Vince Cable and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker the headquarters of Infosys, the cutting edge IT firm based in the city.
Cameron is expected to make a keynote speech there calling for an "aspirational partnership" between Britain and India.
George Osborne, the Chancellor of Exchequer, will visit Mumbai, the financial capital of India, while David Willetts,
the Universities and Science Minister, will travel to Chennai to promote university tie-ups.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt, the Culture and Sport Secretary, will go to Delhi, which is hosting the Commonwealth Games in October.
In Mumbai, Osborne will ring the bell to open the day's trading to the headquarters of top computer software companies.
On Thursday, Cameron will be accorded a ceremonial reception in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.
Besides holding talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, Cameron is scheduled to meet Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Discussions about the growing threat of LeT, the Pakistan-based terrorist group behind the Mumbai attacks in 2008, will be on the agenda of meetings between British Foreign Secretary William Hague and India's security chiefs.
Cameron and Singh will announce a new forum
of top British and Indian chief executives to explore how to dismantle regulatory barriers to trade and make recommendations to their governments.
"It will make a significant impact," Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told the Sunday Telegraph.
"When the captains of Industry meet in an
institutionalised forum, with the composition decided at the highest level, it's surely a major step forward. We have seen it can make a difference with the United States, Russia and
France," he said.
Sharma said his government is equally concerned about Cameron's plans to restrict student and other visas for non-EU nationals.
"(These) immigration policies would affect adversely the professionals, Indian doctors, engineers and nurses who have made a notable contribution to the UK economy," he said.
The new rules could also hamper Indian IT professionals and other executives, many of whom use London as a hub for doing business in Europe.
"It could have an adverse impact, that's why I've raised it. I've asked the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to intervene so it won't hurt the growing economic engagement," Sharma said.
The British manufacturers accompanying Cameron are not just looking for export orders. In many sectors, companies are linking up with local firms in long-term joint ventures that
would have been unthinkable a generation ago.
The British Prime Minister wants to secure a special relationship with the emerging superpower.
In a letter to the delegation, he argued that the visit is about "laying the foundations of an enhanced relationship" between the two countries for decades to come.
"For our part, government ministers on this trip will be stressing the importance of trade and demonstrating to our Indian counterparts how Britain is open for business again.
But you have a crucial role too.
"In the meetings you have, the delegations you meet, places you visit, you can showcase the ingenuity and creativity our country has to offer. Of course, this task is not for business alone. That's why I am so pleased that
representatives from the worlds of sports, culture and academia will also be joining us."
Barry Gardiner, the Labour MP who chairs the all-party UK-India trade and investment group, said India was embarking on a huge infrastructure programme.
That could mean opportunities for British industry, "but we have to be careful that we don't end up seeing what has happened in America, where companies have been bought out by Chinese sovereign wealth funds."