The Defence Secretary, Minister for the Armed Forces and Minster for Defence Procurement met US Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, for the first time today.
They reviewed a number of defence and security issues, including our close Carrier cooperation, our deepening capability collaboration on F-35s and P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft, and the UK’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. The meetings underscored the strength and strategic importance of the UK-US Defence relationship, as well as each other’s role at the forefront of NATO.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
Britain has no closer friend than the United States and across the globe our nations stand side by side defending our values. Our Armed Forces work closely together in every area of defence from planning for future challenges through to working together on operations around the world today.
Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said:
As the Minister responsible for the Royal Navy, I was delighted to welcome Secretary Spencer on his first official visit to the UK. Our meeting highlighted the unrivalled levels of interoperability between the Royal Navy and the US Navy, and the disproportionate contribution they make to our overall bilateral defence relationship.
As previously announced we continue to make good progress on the plan to deploy HMS Queen Elizabeth on her inaugural deployment in 2021 with USMC F-35B embarked.
Minister of State for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said:
I thanked Secretary Spencer for the US Navy’s continuing excellent support in helping the UK quickly field P-8 maritime patrol aircraft in support of our joint requirements, building on the MPA declaration I signed earlier this year with former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, to ensure increased value for money and operational effectiveness for both countries.
We also discussed the UK National Shipbuilding Strategy, the importance of close partnerships with Industry, and opportunities for further collaboration as our countries look to new platforms in the coming years.