BAE Systems wins £20 billion Australian naval defence contract
Prime Minister Theresa May has hailed a shipbuilding contract worth up to £20 billion between BAE Systems and the Australian government as the biggest Naval defence contract for a decade.
BAE Systems has been chosen as the preferred bidder for the ‘SEA 5000’ Future Frigate competition, with a design based on Britain’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
Fighting off competition from Italy and Spain, the deal will see BAE Systems build nine British-designed warships in Adelaide, the first export of a British design for new-build frigates since the 1970s.
The agreement will secure more than 4000 jobs in Australia and also boost Britain’s export economy for generations to come, with huge opportunities set to arise which the Government believes the specialist knowledge and capability of British firms will be best placed to fulfil.
In turn, it is hoped that this will benefit the UK economy, with exports having the potential to drive regional growth, create new jobs and showcase the strength of British innovation on the world stage.
The deal is a result of four years of intensive government engagement involving a number of departments across Whitehall. The Prime Minister has been directly involved in making the case for the UK bid, including in bilateral talks with Prime Minister Turnbull at Chequers earlier this year.
Over the past 18 months the Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, and International Trade Secretary have visited Australia to extol the benefits of the UK’s world class design, engineering and innovation.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The sheer scale and nature of this contract puts the UK at the very forefront of maritime design and engineering and demonstrates what can be achieved by UK industry and Government working hand-in-hand.
“We have always been clear that as we leave the EU we have an opportunity to build on our close relationships with allies like Australia. This deal is a perfect illustration that the Government is doing exactly that.
“And while this is an enormous boost for the UK economy, it will also cement our strategic partnership with one of our oldest and closest friends for decades to come.”
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