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NEWS | June 21, 2023

Readout of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Dr. William LaPlante and Ms. Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Engagements at the 21st Australia-United States Ministerial Defense Acquisition Committee Meeting

DOD Release

WASHINGTON -- Pentagon spokesperson Jeff Jurgensen provided the following readout:

Dr. William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, and Ms. Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, co-chaired the 21st Australia – United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) Defense Acquisition Committee (ADAC) meeting last week in Canberra, Australia. Australian Deputy Secretary of the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Mr. Christopher Deeble AO, CSC; and Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro AC, serve as their Australian counterparts.

In support of a shared vision for a free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and Australian delegations conducted plenary sessions on a range of science, technology, acquisition, and sustainment topics. This included Australia’s recent Defence Strategic Review, capability acceleration, industry integration, and supply chain resilience. Plenary sessions also reviewed a number of specific capability cooperative areas, such as guided weapons and explosive ordnance; the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) initiative; and co-development efforts for the MQ-4 Triton, E-7A Wedgetail, Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE), and other critical technologies.

The robust, collaborative discussions emphasized opportunities for greater co-development, co-production, and co-sustainment. The talks also reaffirmed the two countries' commitment to strengthening cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally through AUKUS and other regional partnerships.

In addition to the ADAC program, the co-chairs met with Australian Minister for Defence Industry, the Honorable Pat Conroy MP, for discussion on efforts to bolster production in both nations and opportunities for greater industrial collaboration. They also conducted an industry site visit to CEA Technologies, an Australian defense contractor specializing in radar and communications technologies, and participated in a demonstration flight of the E-7A Wedgetail. In April 2022, the airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft was selected by the U.S. Air Force to replace the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). Earlier in the week, Dr. LaPlante and Ms. Shyu participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.

The annual ADAC meeting is one of the primary events that informs the AUSMIN Consultations between the U.S. Secretaries of Defense and State and the Australian Ministers for Defence and Foreign Affairs.


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