Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on building and delivering the next generation of world-leading frigates.
Under the agreement, the two countries have committed to exchange information to ensure shipbuilding best practice is shared and both frigate programmes deliver cutting-edge maritime capabilities to the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the agreement also sets out a framework to enable both nations to utilise the Type 26 and Hunter programmes to create jobs and contribute to the growth of the UK and Australian economies.
“The UK and Australia have always been natural allies and this agreement demonstrates this Government’s ongoing commitment to the Type 26 shipbuilding programme whilst supporting our Australian allies to design and build the Hunter class frigate,” Mr Wallace said.
“As we look to the future of our respective navies, our shared continued cooperation will benefit not only our close alliance but will also support the industrial supply chain to grow each nation’s shipbuilding sectors.”
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds noted that seven Australian companies are currently contracted for work on the UK’s Type 26 programmes.
“We are already seeing the benefits of cooperation on the two programmes, with Australian workers involved in the Type 26 build ready to come home and help build the Hunter class frigates in South Australia,” Ms Reynolds continued.
“This Government is committed to delivering a continuous naval shipbuilding programme and the Hunter and Type 26 programmes provide significant opportunities to capitalise on our shared industrial capability with the UK.
“The MoU will support successful delivery of Australia’s Hunter Class Frigate Programme, while also growing key defence capabilities in Australia.