Australia and the UK have further strengthened their enduring defence relationship by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on building and delivering the next generation of cutting-edge frigates.
The MoU signed this week re-enforces the two countries’ commitment to working together on delivering these important high-profile national programmes and exploiting mutual opportunities. A key aspect of the MOU is a pledge on information exchange to ensure shipbuilding best practice is shared and that both frigate programmes deliver world beating maritime capabilities to the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy.
The agreement also sets out a framework to enable both nations to utilise the T26 and Hunter programmes to create jobs and contribute to the growth of the UK and Australian economies, seeking to support small and medium-sized enterprises.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
The UK’s defence relationship with Australia is based on deep historical and cultural ties, reinforced by strong operational cooperation.
From working together in defence operations around the world and to the broader shared interest in safeguarding the rules‑based global order, UK and Australia continue to invest in their long-standing alliance.
In his role as Shipbuilding Tsar, the Defence Secretary is actively reinvigorating UK shipbuilding. This role brings together other government departments to shape policies and strategies and to ensure British shipbuilding thrives.
Australian Minister for Defence, the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said:
Prototyping for the Hunter Class Frigate Programme will begin by the end of 2020.