Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon, today met to strengthen defence materiel and industry cooperation between the two nations.
At the meeting, the two Ministers agreed to establish an historic and ongoing ministerial defence industry and capability dialogue, supported by a joint senior Defence forum to elevate Australian and United Kingdom materiel, industry, and innovation collaboration.
The Ministers agreed that Australia and the United Kingdom’s shared strategic interests and global threats and challenges reinforce the mutual benefit of closer collaboration and cooperation in these key areas.
“We are both investing record amounts in Defence and in harnessing innovation and science and technology to deliver cutting-edge technology and maintain our capability edge,” Minister Pyne said.
“Taking our defence materiel and industry partnership to the next level is a natural evolution and one which will deliver benefits for our Defence capabilities and defence industries.
“Both countries are embarking on major long-term naval shipbuilding endeavours, building our sovereign defence industrial bases, and seeking to pull through defence innovation into practical defence capability.”
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said that both nations are seeking to enhance defence exports in order to support stronger and more resilient industrial bases.
"From the historic battle of Passchendaele to modern challenges like Daesh, the UK and Australia have a close history of collaboration. Through our £178 billion equipment plan we, like the Australians, are investing in state-of-the-art kit for our Armed Forces as we continue to lead in tackling the threats of the future. The strong relationship between our two countries is growing stronger still through our increased defence cooperation and our dialogue this week,” Secretary Fallon said.
"As word leaders in the defence industry, with shared interests like P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and F35 fighter jet capability, we are stepping up our defence industry collaboration and enhancing these relationships to the benefit of both our great counties."
The Ministers agreed today’s meeting was an important step in elevating the Australia-United Kingdom’s Defence industry and capability partnership for enduring success and will support regular Ministerial engagement including with the United Kingdom’s Minister for Defence Procurement, the Hon Harriett Baldwin MP.
This regular engagement will continue in the coming months as Minister Pyne will travel to the United Kingdom in October 2017 and will meet with counterparts such as Minister Baldwin, and Secretary of State of International Trade Liam Fox.
Minister Pyne will have a further dialogue with Minister Baldwin, who will be visiting Australia later this year, and today’s meeting will be a precursor to those discussions.
The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon is visiting Australia as part of Australia-United Kingdom Ministerial Consultations (AUKMIN) 2017.