The Government is committed to building a Defence Force that meets the nation’s Defence needs, acquires the capabilities outlined in the 2013 Defence White Paper (the White Paper) and invests in Australia’s technology base and industrial future.
The White Paper outlines the capabilities that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will need in the coming years to address strategic challenges.
It will ensure that we have one of the most capable military forces in our region to protect Australia’s strategic interests, support regional security and to undertake the four principal tasks required of it by Government:
- Principal Task One: deter and defeat armed attacks on Australia;
- Principal Task Two: contribute to stability and security in the South Pacific and Timor-Leste;
- Principal Task Three: contribute to military contingencies in the Indo-Pacific region, with priority given to Southeast Asia; and
- Principal Task Four: contribute to military contingencies in support of global security.
Since January 2008, the Government has approved more than 150 proposals for new or enhanced defence capabilities with a total value of over $20 billion.
Defence has taken delivery of a number of major systems over this period, including C-17 heavy lift aircraft, F/A?18F Super Hornet combat aircraft, Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles and two large amphibious/sea lift vessels. By the end of this decade, the ADF will also take delivery of three Air Warfare Destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships and new combat helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
The total value of the projects approved in 2012-13 is more than $3.7 billion to date.
Continuing to approve new projects to enhance the ADF’s capability will be an important focus for Government in 2013-14.
The Budget’s capability activities in 2013-14 will include further consideration of Australia’s Air Combat Capability, P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, land mobility, future armoured vehicles, afloat support vessels, communications and interoperability capabilities, intelligence and surveillance systems, electronic warfare, space and cyber.
The total value of projects proposed to be considered by Government in 2013-14 for progressing amounts to up to $20 billion.
Defence will also continue to progress a number of projects in 2013-14, including:
- Acquisition of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack capability;
- Acquisition of 2700 medium and heavy trucks for Army as well as continuing delivery of 2150 G-Wagon vehicles;
- Continuing upgrades of the ANZAC Frigates with advanced radars;
- Continuing upgrades to Collins Class submarines and reforms to improve their availability and reliability;
- Preparing for the delivery of MH-60R Seahawk maritime combat helicopters;
- Continuing with the acceptance into service of Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters and MRH-90 battlefield helicopter;
- Progressing the acquisition of C-27J battlefield airlifters;
- Continuing construction of the Air Warfare Destroyers; and
- Commencing acceptance into service of the first Landing Helicopter Dock, HMAS Canberra.
As well, the Government will continue to develop the Future Submarine capability.
The White Paper highlights the strategic value and importance of Australia’s submarine capability and confirms the Government’s commitment to replacing the existing Collins Class fleet with an expanded fleet of 12 conventional submarines to be assembled in South Australia.
The Government has approved over $214 million for 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 Government has taken the important decision to suspend further investigation of the two Future Submarine options based on military-off-the-shelf designs in favour of focusing resources on progressing an ‘evolved Collins’ and new design options that are likely to best meet Australia’s future strategic and capability requirements.
The Government has also directed further work on a new Submarine Propulsion Energy Support and Integration Facility in Adelaide. This land-based facility will substantially reduce risk in the Future Submarine Program by providing the capability to research, integrate, assemble and test the propulsion, energy and drive train systems in all stages of the Future Submarine’s design, build and through-life sustainment.
For more information and access to the Portfolio Budget Statement go to http://www.defence.gov.au/budget/13-14/index.htm
Minister Smith's office: Andrew Porter 0419 474 392 and Sacha Fenton 0467 784 528
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999