I have spoken with French Minister of the Armed Services, Florence Parly, via videoconference to discuss the progress of the Future Submarine Program, as well as Australia’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan.
This is our second quarterly meeting this year, after we agreed at the Munich Security Conference in February 2020 to meet regularly to review the progress of the Future Submarine Program.
Minister Parly and I discussed the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of ongoing close collaboration between our Governments, officials and prime contractors to ensure the Future Submarine Program remains on track for its next major milestone, the Systems Functional Review, in January 2021.
We reaffirmed our commitment to the Australia-France strategic defence partnership, and agreed to continue to work together to advance our mutual security interests.
I briefed Minister Parly on last week’s release of Australia’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan.
We will continue to meet quarterly to progress the work on the Future Submarine Program, as well as the broader defence relationship.