The Commonwealth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Switzerland to strengthen defence materiel and industry cooperation.
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne and Swiss Ambassador to Australia Pedro Zwahlen jointly signed a statement of acknowledgement in respect of the establishment of a new defence materiel cooperation MoU.
According to Defence, the MOU will facilitate cooperation between defence industries in Australia and Switzerland while recognising the fundamental importance of a sovereign defence industry to develop and maintain defence capability.
Minister Pyne said the MOU would be a central element of Australia and Switzerland’s defence materiel and industry relationship and would deliver long-term tangible benefits to both countries’ defence capabilities.
“The MOU will allow us to identify opportunities for collaboration, support defence equipment transfers and sharing of information,” Minister Pyne said.
“The joint declaration reflects the mutual commitment of Australia and Switzerland to deepen our friendship as well as our dedication to increased bilateral defence materiel and industry cooperation to the benefit of both countries.
“Australia and Switzerland already share a long and productive history, and I look forward to strengthening our relationship in relation to defence materiel cooperation, sustainment and capability development”, Minister Pyne said.
Australia and Switzerland operate a number of common platforms, including FA-18 Hornets and PC-21s. Swiss company RUAG has a strong local presence following the purchase of Rosebank Engineering in 2013, and Lucerne-based Pilatus is supplying PC-21 training aircraft to the RAAF under the Air 5428 program.