The Government is committed to building a Defence force that meets the nation’s Defence needs, continues to acquire the core capabilities of the White Paper 2009, and invests inAustralia’s technology base and industrial future.
In order to contribute to our strategic requirements, Defence will progress a number of core White Paper 2009 projects in 2012-13, including:
- Replacement of Caribou transport aircraft.
- Consideration of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack capability.
- The acquisition of medium and heavy trucks.
- Upgrades to Orion maritime patrol aircraft, C-130J aircraft and ANZAC class ships.
Submarines are a critical element of Australia’s national security. A number of projects will be progressed which aim to enhance the availability and capability of the current Collins Class submarines.
In addition, the Government has recently undertaken initial consideration of the Future Submarine capability. The Government has approved $214 million to go towards further detailed studies and analysis, which builds on work already undertaken, to inform the Government’s decision on the design of Australia’s next submarine.
The White Paper 2009 was released in conjunction with the 2009 Defence Capability Plan that included some 180 projects. The 2009 White Paper also recognised that we would need to periodically and rigorously review the mix and scale of our capabilities to make sure they are appropriate to changing strategic circumstances.
This review has been undertaken and the Budget supports the core force structure principles outlined in the 2009 White Paper.
Continuing to approve new projects to enhance the ADF’s capability will be an important focus for Government in 2012.
The particular focus of the Budget’s capability activities in 2012-13 will be on improving airlift, land mobility, submarines, afloat support, communications and interoperability, electronic and cyber warfare.
The total value of projects planned to be considered by Government for approval in the 2012-13 amounts to approximately $9 billion.
In 2011, the Government approved 49 Defence Capability Plan projects or capability initiatives, a record number of projects, underlining our commitment to maintaining and improving a modern and more capable Defence Force.
Since the 2009 White Paper, the Government has approved over $13.4 billion for key capability projects, including the first 14 Joint Strike Fighters, 24 new naval combat helicopters, over 900 additional G-Wagon trucks, seven CH-47F new Chinook helicopters and two more D model Chinooks and new 155mm towed artillery systems.
We have also allocated funding for essential new capabilities not envisaged in the 2009 Defence White Paper, including the new amphibious heavy lift ship, HMAS Choules and the Interim Humanitarian and Disaster relief ship MSV Skandi Bergen, two additional C-17 heavy lift aircraft, for a fleet of six, and 101 more Bushmasters, with further orders likely.
The total value of the projects approved in 2011 was more than $6 billion.
Substantial progress was also made in implementing the recommendations of the Force Protection Review, which is providing higher levels of force protection to our troops deployed in Afghanistan.
The implementation of these recommendations continues.
For more information and access to the Portfolio Budget Statement go to http://www.defence.gov.au/budget/12-13/index.htm
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999