Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has stressed the ongoing importance of defence industrial base cooperation between Australia and the United Kingdom during key talks with her UK counterpart.
Minister Price spoke with UK Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin MP last night and said the discussion reinforced the depth of the relationship between the two countries when it came to defence matters.
“Australia’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan and the UK’s ongoing reviews of national defence policies highlight the importance of like-minded cooperation on shared defence industry challenges and opportunities,” Minister Price said.
“I spoke to Minister Quin with pride about how the Morrison Government has supported Australian businesses within the defence sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The recently announced $1 billion in economic recovery initiatives to support defence industry demonstrates the Government’s flexible and quick response.”
Minister Price said the pair had also discussed common programs such as Australia’s Bushmaster vehicles, the UK’s MQ-9B Sky Guardians, opening of Australia’s new F-35 maintenance, repair and operation facility at RAAF Base Williamtown, as well as our Naval Shipbuilding programs to deliver the Type 26 and Hunter Class frigates.
“This is the largest defence acquisition Australia has undertaken in partnership with the UK,” Minister Price said.
“I reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to this program and reinforced the substantial opportunities for Australian industry.”
“I also welcomed the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by Australia’s Minister for Defence and the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence to cooperate on building and delivering the next generation of cutting-edge frigates.
“We are both looking forward to further discussions and we hope to reconvene the Australia-UK Defence Industry Dialogue this year, which we will co-chair.”