Australia, UK to look at GCS partnership
By James Hardy
Australia has given the strongest signal yet of interest in joining the UK's Global Combat Ship (GCS) programme.
Speaking to reporters with visiting UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond in Perth on 17 January, Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith said that the GCS was a contender for the Royal Australian Navy's future frigate programme.
"Down the track ... we will need to look at a future frigate programme. The UK is going through comparable deliberations with its proposal for a Type 26," Smith said after taking Hammond on a tour of HMAS Stirling naval base. "And so one of the things that Philip and I have had a preliminary conversation about [is] the extent to which in the future there could be collaboration."
BAE Systems Surface Ships was awarded a GBP127 million (USD203.5 million) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in March 2010 to lead the four-year assessment phase for the Type 26. Having long struggled in the frigate export market, the UK wants to involve international participants to share costs, achieve greater economies of scale, and open up additional opportunities for UK industry.186 of 689 words
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