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Fallon: UK-Australia defence relationship of strategic benefit

The Defence Secretary has today discussed defence co-operation and innovation with Australian Minister for Defence Industry Chris Pyne.

Sir Michael Fallon, joined by Minister for Defence Procurement Harriet Baldwin, met with Minister Pyne to discuss defence co-operation and fostering defence innovation, at the heart of both Britain and Australia’s national defence policies, during his visit to the UK.

They also discussed joint operations carried out by both the UK and Australia and the important partnership the two nations share as members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the Five-Eyes Intelligence alliance.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

The UK’s Defence relationship with Australia remains close and strong. After operating together in Afghanistan and Iraq, we are now working together to tackle the threat of Daesh in the Middle East and brutal terror they spread around the world.

Britain’s defence and intelligence relationships with Australia and the close bonds we share support our mutual interests and help make both Britain and Australia safer and more secure.

In September Sir Michael and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with their Australian counterparts in London to discuss mutual interests between the two nations.

Defence ties between the UK and Australia also have focus on Defence exports and equipment.

As part of the UK-Australia export relationship, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship has been shortlisted for Australia’s Future Frigate programme.

The Defence Secretary announced last month that the steel cut for the Type 26 frigates will begin in summer 2017.

Sir Michael added:

This Australian Frigate programme is another opportunity to strengthen our shipbuilding ties, as well as greater cooperation between the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy.

Backed by a rising UK Defence budget, we will also continue to work together with Australia on our Defence capabilities.

During his visit Minister Pyne also met with a number of representatives from the MOD, Defence Equipment and Support, and yesterday visited Rolls Royce and BAE Systems.