Australia can’t afford defense gap: defense minister


Australia’s Defense Minister said the Commonwealth would take defense after it became clear that the Armed Forces faced a potential significant capability gap as the project’s tranche faced significant schedule delays and budgetary pressures. announced a more hands-on approach to competence projects. variation.

talk ABC radio Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said on October 10 that the new approach would focus on getting projects back on track and ensuring accountability.

“We cannot allow a gap in ability,” he said. “We have a Hunter-class frigate that is four years behind schedule.

and media release On October 10, the defense minister said projects with approved budgets totaling more than $69 billion (US$43.9 billion) were facing delays, with at least 28 projects 97 years behind schedule. Additionally, at least 18 projects were over budget, with the government confirming he had $6.5 billion in fluctuations from the approved budget.

Among these programs is the $44 billion Hunter-class frigate program, four years behind and facing a projected $15 billion increase in costs. You can’t jump into the battlefield.

In addition, the $3.7 billion offshore patrol vessel project and the $356 million Evolved Cape Class patrol vessel are estimated to be operational nearly a year behind schedule. A $970 million Battlefield Command system is three years behind schedule, and several critical defense satellite communications projects worth $906 million face his two- to four-year delivery delays. .

Highlighting the current difficult strategic situation Australia faces in the region and the serious pressures facing the economy, he said the federal government would launch a more hands-on approach to managing the project.

“You can’t just go out on the battlefield and wave a copy of your budget papers in front of your opponent and overwhelm them,” Mareth said. “Given the current strategic situation we face, we need to focus more on the quality of spending within our defense so that we can provide our ADF personnel with the best possible capabilities.”

Defense budget faces increased scrutiny

Driving the new approach, Marles said: Press conference On October 10, the Labor government announced that it would set up an independent project office to oversee defense projects. It also requires monthly updates of projects and specifies the criteria by which projects are placed on the lists of projects of interest and projects of concern.

“There are real challenges ahead for our country. Now we are confident that we can meet these challenges. I don’t want to underestimate the scale of this work, it’s very important that the Australian people understand that,” said Marles.

He also suggested the defense budget faces scrutiny.

“The Albanian government understands that this is a way to get submarines into the waters more quickly and projects such as offshore patrol vessels and frigates into orbit, so there will be careful management of the defense budget.” he said.

“In doing so, we are building a strong and capable defense force that will keep our country safe in the future.”

Victoria Kelly-Clark


Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australia-based reporter focusing on the national politics and geopolitical environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.