ADS, SMI and the Australian High Commission in London jointly hosted a webinar briefing on the Australian maritime market, to promote greater awareness of the potential commercial opportunities there are for UK firms to do business there in the maritime defence sector.

Naturally, there is a lot of interest in this subject since the 13 March 2023 announcement in San Diego about the nuclear submarine programme. This has only strengthened the interest that had already arisen from the announcement in June 2018 that BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship had been chosen as the preferred candidate for the Royal Australian Navy’s AU$35 billion Sea 5000 Future Frigate programme to provide 9 x Hunter-class anti-submarine frigates from 2027.

There was already considerable interest in doing business with Australia prior to the release on 1 July 2020 of Australia’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan, which clearly set out a highly ambitious plan for the future enhancement of Australia’s defence capabilities, so that by 2030 it was due to be spending c.3% of its GDP on defence. 

This was to include c.A$75bn (c.£41bn) to be spent enhancing its maritime capabilities between now and 2030. In addition, the AUKUS announcement of September 2021 about wide-ranging cooperation between the UK, Australia and US in a large number of areas, including in relation to nuclear submarines has only served to further greatly enhance interest in doing maritime business with Australia. Since then, on 24 April 2023, the Australian Government has additionally now also released a National Defence: Strategic Defence Review 2023 (to reinforce its commitment to a broad range of significant defence capability enhancements). 


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Claire Parsons

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Claire Parsons