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U.K., Australia Pledge Cooperation on BAE Frigate Design

The U.K. and Australia signed a defense treaty, highlighting cooperation over the design of BAE Systems Plc’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ship used by Britain’s Royal Navy.

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, visiting his Australian counterpart in Perth today, will sign the accord that promises greater cooperation in areas such as cyber security, defense reform, personnel exchange, equipment and science and technology.

Stephen Smith, the Australian defense minister, agreed to collaborate with the U.K. on his nation’s future frigate requirements and explore the possibility of cooperation over mutual design work for the Global Combat Ship -- a design that could meet the needs of the Royal Australian Navy.

“This defense treaty will drive forward closer cooperation on a wide range of issues, making our forces more inter-operable and maximizing our capabilities,” Hammond said in an e-mailed statement. “In times of budget pressures for all nations, it makes sense to maximize economies of scale and work with our friends to get the best value for money on all sides.”

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