Following the selection of the British defence company BAE Systems as the successful tenderer for the Navy’s Future Frigates Program last month, the Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, has today traveled to the United Kingdom to take part in the Defence Industry Dialogue with the United Kingdom.
The Dialogue is an important platform to discuss deeper defence industry collaboration and ways in which Australia and the United Kingdom can collectively enhance defence capability.
As part of the Dialogue, Minister Pyne will meet with United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Defence, the Gavin Williamson and the United Kingdom Minister for Defence Procurement, Guto Bebb.
Minister Pyne said the visit would be an important opportunity soon after the announcement of BAE Systems as the successful tenderer for the Hunter class Frigates to promote the Australian defence industry agenda and identify further areas for cooperation with the United Kingdom.
“Australia’s relationship with the United Kingdom has always been one of our strongest. This relationship is grounded by substantial bilateral defence engagement and shared contribution to global security challenges,” Minister Pyne said.
Minister Pyne said the decision to select BAE Systems represents a “significant milestone” in Australia’s relationship with the United Kingdom.
“The Australian defence industry agenda is a new and rapidly expanding dimension of our relationship with the United Kingdom, more so following the recent decision by the Turnbull Government to select BAE Systems to design Australia’s nine Future Frigates to be built by ASC in South Australia,” he said.
In June, BAE Systems won the $35 billion contract to build nine anti-submarine frigates for the Royal Australian Navy, beating off competition from Italy’s Fincantieri and Spain’s Navantia.
BAE Systems’ Hunter Class of frigates will be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.