Australia to be a major defence exporter?

As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 29th January 2018, Australia is set to become on of the world’s top 10 defence exported under an ambitious $3.8 billion government plan.

“The new defence export strategy to be released by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday aims to put Australia on par with major arms-exporting countries like Britain, France and Germany, within 10 years.

The government believes the strategy will create new jobs and bolster Australia’s troubled defence manufacturing industry, which struggles to sustain itself based on Australian Defence Force needs alone.  A bit boost in exports will insulate local manufacturers from the peaks and troughs – sometimes called the “valley of death” – of domestic demand.

Australia exports about $2 billion worth of mostly high-tech defence equipment – including electronics, surveillance and tracking systems, and military software – each year.  Countries such as the UK export more than $10 billion worth.

The centrepiece of the strategy will be a new financing facility that will make up to $3.8 billion available to Australian defence companies looking to sell overseas.

Exports will need to be carefully managed to make sure ADF’s capability is not compromised.  The government will also ensure Australia’s international obligations – including around arms controls  – are upheld”.  (ITAR/EAR)

“A new Australia Defence Export Office will be established to implement the strategy, and an Australian Defence Export Advocate will be appoint to coordinate with the industry, and state and territory governments”.