The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Defence Marise Payne have officially released the White Paper at the Australian Defence Force Academy this morning.
Some of the announcements include an extra $30 billion being spent over the next ten years with the percentage of GDP expenditure on Defence to increase to 2 per cent by 2020-21 (making a total spend of $195 billion).
The government has committed to a continuous rolling acquisition program for 12 submarines and new previously unforeseen acquisitions and plans such as a review process to replace the last 25 F-35s planned for acquisition with a sixth generation fighter that will be an option in the late 2020s. A land-based cruise antiship missile capability for Army is also featured.
The official release follows:
“The 2016 White Paper is a comprehensive and responsible long-term plan to ensure Australia’s national security. It is the culmination of detailed analysis of our strategic environment, our defence priorities and objectives, and the capabilities required to achieve these outcomes.
For the first time, the White Paper released today 25 Feb by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Marise Payne fully aligns strategy, capability and resources to make the Australian Defence Force (ADF) more capable, agile and potent.
The Turnbull Government is increasing Defence spending by $29.9 billion over the next decade.
The defence strategy and capability plans have been independently costed to ensure they are achievable and affordable.
The Turnbull Government has also set a new benchmark for transparency and funding certainty by releasing an Integrated Investment Program and Defence Industry Policy Statement.
The fully costed, ten-year Integrated Investment Program brings together all capability-related investment including new weapons, platforms, infrastructure and science and technology.
The Defence Industry Policy Statement will transform Defence’s relationship with industry.
The Turnbull Government will invest $1.6 billion over 10 years in programs to build industry skills, drive competitiveness and export potential while harnessing Australian innovation and expertise.
These investments in Australian industry and technologies will generate benefits beyond the Australian defence industrial base which flow into the rest of the economy, delivering jobs and encouraging innovation for regional businesses and communities across Australia.
The implementation of the First Principles Review of Defence and the organisation’s ongoing commitment to cultural reform will be critical to realising the Turnbull Government’s White Paper goals.
The White Paper recognises Australia’s security and prosperity is directly tied to the stability of our region and to the maintenance of a stable, rules-based global order.
In the period to 2035, Australia will have greater opportunities for prosperity and development but it will also face greater uncertainty. We need to be prepared.
The White Paper positions Defence to respond to a broader range of security threats to Australians at home and abroad.
The Government will invest in new capability across the ADF including:
- A continuous naval shipbuilding program commencing with nine future frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels.
- 12 new regionally-superior submarines, with the commitment to maximise Australian industry involvement in acquisition and sustainment, to be finalised through the Competitive Evaluation Process.
- Enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, space, electronic warfare and cyber capabilities.
- Advanced training, modern equipment, health care and logistics systems to support ADF personnel.
- Comprehensive upgrades to Defence infrastructure across Australia to support our larger future force, including key bases, training and testing ranges and fuel and explosive ordnance facilities.
- Modernised information management, operational communications, and command and control systems.
Australians can be confident the Turnbull Government will continue to deliver on its most important task – defending our nation and protecting and promoting our national interests.
The 2016 Defence White Paper, Integrated Investment Program and Defence Industry Policy Statement are available here