Being a critical element of Australia’s national security, submarines will see a future development within the framework of the 2012-2013 budget, since the Federal Government decided to allocate $214m for the next stage of the future submarine project.
The Government announced that a number of projects will be progressed in order to improve the availability and capability of the current Collins Class submarines. The funding will be directed to detailed studies and analysis, which builds on work already undertaken, to inform the Government’s decision on the design of Australia’s next submarine.
In concrete, this will include analysis of the Government’s decision on the design of Australian Navy’s acquisition of 12 new submarines over the next three decades followed by design, scientific and technological studies and a future submarine industry skills plan.
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.
Namely, driven by a commitment to build a defence force which will be capable of catering for the country’s defence needs, the Government decided to finance 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; acquisition of medium and heavy trucks and upgrades to Orion maritime patrol aircraft, C-130J aircraft and ANZAC class ships.
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.
The Government has 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.
Naval Today Staff , May 09, 2012; Image: Royal Navy