Professor John Louth, Director of RUSI's Defence, Industries and Society Programme, was invited by the Australian Defence Ministry to lead the UK delegation to the Australian-UK Defence and Industry Strategic Dialogue, held in Sydney this week. The Dialogue is part of the US and UK's Defence Ministers’ Strategic Defence Dialogue. It focuses on Britain as a defence partner in the Indo-Pacific, defence industrial policy, the supporting defence trade and technology relationship, the UK and Australian future frigate programmes, emerging enabling technologies and future collaboration opportunities.
The UK delegation comprised of Professor Trevor Taylor and Dr Lauren Twort from RUSI, both of whom presented; William Gibaud, First Secretary to the British High Commission, Brigadier Andrew Harrison, UK Defence Attache; Adrian Spragg, Managing Director of Accenture Aerospace and Defence; Dr Christina Baylis, Director of Services and Products, QinetiQ Group; Charley Williams, Head of Foreign and Security Policy, British High Commission and John Woodcock MP.
A number of forward strands were developed for continuing bilateral work over the next twelve months. The Rt Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence, Australia hosted the discussions
Speaking in July, Minister Pyne said, 'Australia’s relationship with the United Kingdom has always been one of our strongest. This relationship is grounded by substantial bilateral defence engagement and shared contribution to global security challenges. The Australian defence industry agenda is a new and rapidly expanding dimension of our relationship with the United Kingdom, more so following the recent decision by the Turnbull Government to select BAE Systems to design Australia’s nine Future Frigates to be built by ASC in South Australia. This decision represents a significant milestone in a new and rapidly expanding dimension of our relationship with the United Kingdom. I look forward to meeting with Secretary Williamson and Minister Bebb to discuss how we can work together to grow the industrial bases of our respective nations.'