“Rule Britannia!” This is what The Australian newspaper had emblazoned across its front page on Thursday morning.
The reason? The Australian government had just announced that it would procure the Type 26 frigate – to be called the “Hunter class” in Australia – for the Royal Australian Navy. Beating off Spanish and Italian competition in a deal worth some £20 billion, it marks an outstanding success story for the British military-industrial base.
Although the UK has sold smaller vessels to countries like Thailand, it has not sold the designs and components for large new complex warships to customers overseas since the 1970s.
It is hard to tell exactly what has driven this, but the relatively benign geopolitical environment of the past thirty years clearly has something to do with it.
Read more in The Telegraph.