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Australia’s defense planning includes $7 billion for Space

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The Morrison Government will invest $270 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade the capability and potency of the Australian Defense Force, while protecting the country’s interests in a changing global environment. In its recently-released 2020 Defense Strategic Update, the Morrison Government will signal a key change in Australia’s defense posture, as it prioritizes the Indo-Pacific region.

The update provides a new plan to tackle Australia’s defense challenges while increasing investment and personnel across the entire ADF. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Strategic Update would also mean more job opportunities as Australia’s defense industry grows.

“This will ensure we are able to shape our environment, deter actions against our interests and, if required, respond with military force. More broadly, we are ensuring Defense has more durable supply chains, while further strengthening Australia’s sovereign defense industry to create more high-tech Australian jobs and enhance the ADF’s self-reliance.”

These new policy settings will be a long-term undertaking for Defence with implementation underway. Minister for Defense, Senator the Honorable Linda Reynolds CSC said the recent bushfire season and the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a further dimension to what national defense entails, now and into the future. “Defense thinking, strategy and planning have shifted gears to respond to our constantly changing and deteriorating strategic and defense environment,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Australia’s security environment is changing quickly, with militarization, disruptive technological change and new grey zone threats making our region less safe. We will also invest in capabilities to give Australia better awareness of our region and to support regional engagement, while substantially increasing our air and sea lift capability to ensure we can rapidly respond to events across our region.”

Australia’s defense industry is growing with over 4,000 businesses employing approximately 30,000 staff. An additional 11,000 Australian companies directly benefit from Defense investment and, when further downstream suppliers are included, the benefits flow to approximately 70,000 workers. Defense planning will prioritize Australia’s immediate region – ranging from the north-eastern Indian Ocean, through maritime and mainland South East Asia to Papua New Guinea and the South West Pacific.

As a result, the new strategic policy will require force structure and capability adjustments, which are focused on the region, responding to grey-zone challenges that threaten our national interests, the possibility of high-intensity conflict and domestic crises. The long term implications for Defense capability and force structure are outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, which has also been released.

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