Aus-US defence ties and industries key strength of alliance

AUS-US defence ties and industries key strength of alliance
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and US Secretary for Defense James Mattis

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne met with US Secretary for Defense James Mattis to discuss the strengths of the two nations' defence industries

The pair met in Washington, DC to reflect on their nations' desires to further deepen co-operation in defence and defence industry.

Minister Pyne said the meeting with Secretary Mattis was an important opportunity to highlight the strength of Australian defence industry to its key ally and to demonstrate its capability as a potential partner in future projects.

"Australia is a great friend and ally of the United States and has strong and deep involvement on a defence industry level," Mr Pyne said

"The Australian government is embarking on its largest ever renewal and investment into defence capability; investing approximately $195 billion to grow our local defence capability across the decade, boosting our economy," he said.

"Similarly, under President Trump the US has flagged a significant increase in defence spending over the coming years.

"This will create enormous opportunities for Australia’s burgeoning defence industry, capitalising on our involvement in existing programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter and any potential new programs instigated by the new administration," he said.

The meeting between the two comes after they had their first phone call in February this year, during which Minister Pyne praised Secretary Mattis' support of the JSF program.

"Secretary Mattis reiterated his strong support for the Joint Strike Fighter program as a key strategic capability for the United States and allies across the globe," Minister Pyne said.

"We talked about the fact that the price for lot 10 of the Joint Strike Fighter has been recently announced and has dropped below $100 million for the first time. For Australia, this is hugely significant and represents a 25 per cent reduction from the price of the fighter in 2014, showing the program is on track in terms of delivery and efficiency."

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