It has been announced that a further £1 billion is being pumped into the UK defence supply chain. The Australian Government has chosen BAE Systems to build nine British-designed warships for the Royal Australian Navy, valued at £20 billion. The agreement has been hailed as the biggest naval ship deal for a decade.
According to the MOD, the agreement “has massive potential benefits across the entire existing Type 26 supply chain”. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also highlighted that this supply chain has now seen an investment of more than £1 billion across more than 80 companies.
Future projects with Australia
During her July visit to BAE’s Glasgow shipyard, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne was extremely positive as she spoke about the country’s relationship with the UK defence sector.
Touring the shipyard with Mr Williamson, Ms Payne saw the location where the first of Britain’s new warship fleet is being constructed. Mr Williamson said:
“This renaissance in British shipbuilding is great news for our major yards, but also for the whole defence industry, with millions being injected into so many businesses, both big and small, supporting and supplying our world-class warships. The Type 26 supply chain has now seen investment worth over £1 billion, and many of the businesses involved are now perfectly placed to benefit from Australia’s £20 billion build.”
Supply chain opportunities
After the visit, BAE Systems Chief Executive Charles Woodburn announced that the company is open to working with suppliers from all backgrounds, commenting:
“In the 12 months since cutting steel on the first of the UK ships, we have committed more than £1 billion with supply chain companies, large and small – vital partners in delivering cutting-edge capability to the Royal Navy, supporting thousands of jobs and contributing to national prosperity.”
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