Military Capabilities

RN, RAN develop strategic partnership for ASW co-operation

29 November 2018

An artist’s rendering of the RAN’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship-Australia (GCS-A). The RAN’s procurement of the Type 26 GCS-A is enabling wider co-operation with UK Royal Navy on ASW. Source: BAE Systems

Key Points

  • The UK Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy are seeking to improve ASW co-operation relating to concepts, doctrine, training, equipment, tactics, and operations
  • The ASW focus is part of the renewal of wider co-operation between the two navies, and has been enabled by Australia's procurement of the Type 26 ASW frigate

The UK Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have announced the development of a strategic partnership for co-operation on anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

The ASW emphasis reflects a wider agreement - a 'Joint Guidance for the RAN-RN Relationship' - that was signed in London on 28 November by RN First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir Philip Jones and RAN Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.

The two navies have an enduring relationship on ASW but their mutual investment in the Type 26 Global Combat Ship ASW frigate is presenting an opportunity to deepen and codify this co-operation.

Adm Jones told a seminar at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London on 28 November that "if the Type 26 has [a] coalescing effect for combined RN-RAN co-operation, it will surely enhance our ASW strategic partnership too".

While the RN has already been refocusing on the Asia-Pacific region, he said, the RAN's Type 26 acquisition (announced in June 2018) provided the opportunity to heighten the relationship between the two navies in terms of doctrine, training, tactics, and capability development.

"That's what we really see as the potential of this global ASW partnership," he said. "The ability to tap into the skills, the knowledge, and the experience that our navies both share to address the future challenges in the underwater battlespace … will make this a very powerful partnership."

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