SHAH ALAM: Oz prepares for post Covid world. Australia is preparing to spend AUS$270 billion (RM798 billion) in the next decade to “prepare for a post-COVID world that is poorer, more dangerous and more disorderly. Australian PM Scott Morrison when announcing the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan, announced that the new funding commitment was on top of the 2016 funding plan of AUS$175 billion.
The Strategic Update sets out the challenges in Australia’s strategic environment and their implications for Defence planning. It provides a new strategic policy framework to ensure Australia is able – and is understood as willing – to deploy military power to shape our environment, deter actions against our interests and, when required, respond with military force.
While the drivers of change identified in the 2016 Defence White Paper persist, they have accelerated faster than anticipated. Australia now faces an environment of increasing strategic competition; the introduction of more capable military systems enabled by technological change; and the increasingly aggressive use of diverse grey-zone tactics to coerce states under the threshold for a conventional military response.
According to the Australian:
The update includes a $75bn expansion to maritime forces to “provide greater capability for anti-submarine warfare, sealift, border security, maritime patrol, aerial warfare, area denial and undersea warfare”.Between $168bn and $183bn will be spent on upgrades to Navy and Army fleets and $5bn-$7bn on undersea surveillance systems including hi-tech sensors. Between $6.2bn and $9.3bn will also be spent on developing “high speed long range strike” and hypersonic missile technology as well as an estimated $400m-$500m in long-range maritime strike missiles, including the joint strike missile capable of low level flight up to 500km.
A further $10bn-$17bn investment will be made in fighter aircraft, signalling the possible expansion of the JSF acquisition program, and $5bn for an expanded long range air launched strike capability. A $1bn investment will be made in Operational Radar Network expansion, while $70bn will be spent on increased combat power for army and land based forces, drone vehicles and long range rocket artillery.
The specific platforms have yet to be decided and would need to go through a thorough defence procurement process.
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