Australian French Defence Industry Symposium, September 2018

On the 24th and 25th of September 2018, the inaugural Australian-French Defence Symposium was held in Adelaide, South Australia, where the shipyard is located in which the Collins class is supported and the new submarines (SEA 1000 Future Submarine program) will be built.

Co-hosted by Australian Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne and French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly, the symposium brought together government ministers and representatives from France and Australia, defence industry players and peak industry bodies. In addition to Minister Pyne and Minister Parly, speakers and panellists included Pierre Jaffre of Airbus, Herve Guillou of Naval Group, Chris Jenkins of Thales Australia, and senior Australian Department of Defence representatives including Rear Admiral Gregory Sammut, Head Future Submarine Program.

The symposium was an opportunity for Australian and French businesses to share their experiences and identify complementary capabilities, engage with government officials, network with defence primes and other industry players, and participate in Austrade and Team Defence Australia workshops.

The Symposium is one of the first projects to result from the Australia-France Initiative (AFinit) framework, which was announced during the visit to Australia by French President Emmanuel Macron in May 2018.

“The Symposium will strengthen industry partnerships and identify opportunities to deepen cooperation and collaboration,” Minister Pyne said.

“Australia’s Future Submarine Program is the cornerstone of our defence industry relationship with France, but the Symposium demonstrates that the relationship is set to grow further.”

Australia and France have developed a robust defence industry relationship through a number of major projects, ranging from the Air Force KC-30 Multi-role Tanker Transport (MRTT) program delivered by Airbus, the Army’s ARH Tiger and MRH-90 Taipan Helicopters and the upcoming $80 billion SEA 1000 Future Submarine program, which will see the 12 regionally superior submarines delivered to the Royal Australian Navy.

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