Over the next 12 to 18 months, Defence is developing First and Second Pass approvals of Defence Capability Plan projects worth over $6 billion.
In addition to the recent decisions to acquire a fifth C-17A Globemaster III heavy lift aircraft and the amphibious ship Largs Bay, approvals will be sought for a range of key capability acquisitions including:
- Air 9000 Phase 8 Future Naval Aviation Combat System
This project will replace the current fleet of Seahawk and cancelled Super Seasprite helicopters with multi-role naval combat helicopters, weapons and related training, infrastructure, logistics and support arrangements.
- Land 121 Phase 3 Project Overlander
Phase 3 will deliver Light and Lightweight unprotected Class vehicles and Medium and Medium Heavy protected and unprotected vehicles for land forces. While this phase of Overlander is post second pass, it will be reconsidered by Government when Defence completes the current tender evaluation activities for Medium and Medium Heavy protected and unprotected vehicles.
- Land 121 Phase 5A Project Overlander
This phase of project Overlander will deliver further Light and Lightweight unprotected Class vehicles for ADF tactical training critical for our personnel in preparation for operations.
- Joint Project 2072 Phase 2A Battlespace communications systems
This project will rollout the communication infrastructure to high readiness land formations and units of the ADF.
- JP 2048 Phase 3 - Replacement Watercraft
This project will provide ship to shore vessels to transport forces and equipment ashore and re-embark them back onto the Canberra Class Amphibious Assault Ships.
The Australian Government is continuing its investment in the package of enhanced force protection capabilities for our troops in Afghanistan.
Over the period 2009-10 to 2012-13, the Australian Government will invest $1.1 billion for these force protection capabilities. This initiative includes $480 million of expenditure in 2011-12. This is in addition to about half a billion dollars of existing force protection measures for a total over the financial period 2009-10 to 2012?13 of $1.6 billion of enhanced measures for force protection.
Our forces in Afghanistan are performing extremely well in dangerous circumstances on a daily basis and their support and protection is, rightly, our highest priority.
More broadly the Government is continuing its investment in Force 2030, as set out in the 2009 Defence White Paper, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century. A comprehensive package of air, land, maritime and networked information capabilities is being progressed to ensure the Australian Defence Force of the 21st Century will have the capabilities required to meet future strategic challenges.
For more information and access to the Portfolio Budget Statement go to http://www.defence.gov.au/budget/11-12/index.htm