UK and Australia partner to build next generation frigates

21 October 2020 (Last Updated October 21st, 2020 17:18)

The UK and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build and deliver next-generation frigates.

UK and Australia partner to build next generation frigates
Two Hobart-class destroyers being fitted out / built in South Australia. Credit: User:LordHello1.

The UK and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build and deliver next-generation frigates.

This is expected to boost the defence relationship between the two countries.

An important part of the MoU is the exchange of information to ensure the best practices of shipbuilding.

Both frigate programmes will deliver the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy with improved maritime capabilities.

The two countries will also use the Type 26 and Hunter programmes to generate jobs and boost the economies of the countries to aid small and medium-sized enterprises.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “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.

“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.”

The two countries will work along with each other in Afghanistan and Iraq to safeguard the global order.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “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.

“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 prototypes of the Hunter-class Frigate Programme are expected to commence by the end of this year.

Earlier this week, the US and UK navies were set to operate more closely as they aim for ‘interchangeability’ between the two forces, the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday on Tuesday announced while addressing the 2020 Atlantic Future Forum.

Last month, ASC Shipbuilding signed a contract with professional services company GHD Group to aid the prototyping of the Hunter-class Frigate at the Osborne South Shipyard.