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The Hon Pat Conroy MP
Minister for Defence Industry
Minister for International Development and the Pacific
5 May 2023
The Albanese Government is delivering on the priorities of the Defence Strategic Review.
Today, the Government has appointed the head of the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise. The GWEO Enterprise will accelerate the establishment of a local long-range guided weapons and munitions manufacturing industry here in Australia.
The Defence Strategic Review recommended the appointment of a Senior Officer with the sole responsibility of leading the GWEO Enterprise, reporting directly to the Secretary of the Department of Defence and the Chief of the Australian Defence Force.
The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of the inaugural Chief of the GWEO Group, Air Vice-Marshal Leon Phillips OAM.
Air Vice-Marshal Phillips will be promoted to Air Marshal and will commence his new role on 8 May 2023.
A key recommendation of the Defence Strategic Review was to accelerate and expand weapons systems, including land-based maritime strike and long-range missile launchers – to be complemented by investments to replenish our GWEO stocks and to establish sovereign missile and munition manufacturing facilities in Australia.
In response, the Albanese Government has committed $2.5 billion over the forward estimates for GWEO, an increase of more than $1.5 billion.
This investment will help fund the manufacture of guided weapons and their critical components to improve the ADF’s self-reliance and Australia’s export capacity.
In total, the Albanese Government is committing $4.1 billion over the forward estimates to acquire more long-range strike systems and manufacture longer-range munitions here in Australia. This investment in key capabilities will better equip the ADF to meet our strategic circumstances, including increasing the artillery range of the Australian Army from 40 kilometres to in excess of 500 kilometres.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:
“Congratulations to Air Vice-Marshal Phillips on his appointment to this important role, which will oversee the delivery of the ADF’s guided weapons and explosive ordnance requirements.
"Air Vice-Marshal Phillips has over 36 years of experience in the Royal Australian Air Force predominantly delivering highly complex aerospace projects and managing their in-service support. He has a strong track record of establishing effective partnerships with defence industry.
"I look forward to working with Air Vice-Marshal Phillips and Australia’s defence industry on delivering critical capabilities we need for our national security.”
Air Vice-Marshal Phillips' biography is available at https://www.defence.gov.au/about/capability-acquisition-sustainment-group/our-leadership
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