Australia just announced a new integral Defense Industrial Capability Plan this month, April 2018, which will soon replace the initial framework for expansion in 2009. The Plan has dedicated up to $17 million annually to help create new channels for defense industry contractors. This will support the rising desire for Australia to become a competitive market base for worldwide investors. The implementation of these plans will begin mid-2019. The new framework for defense industry sovereignty is set to, “provide a stronger definition of Australia defense industry…that are providing or have the capacity to provide defense specific or dual-use goods or services in a supply chain that leads to the Australian Department of Defense."
The overarching goal of the new plan is to prepare a larger, more capable defense industry by 2028 by means of enhancements in, “skills, expertise, technology, intellectual property, and infrastructure." This is planned to be achievable from increased defense funding, estimated to grow to be 2 percent of Australian’s GDP by 2021, which will bring in more than $200 billion of new investment over the next decade.
In March 2018, a $77.2 million was awarded to Rheinmetall for artillery ammunition. As a part of Australia’s land phase of the new plan, the first shipment will be this year, along with war reserve stocks. Another deal announced this year was an estimated $150 million to Elbit Systems for Battle Management System Command and Control, codenamed Blue Force Tracker, which will provide friendly units tracking software support. The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities, also laid out extensively in the plan are those involved in the operationally critical support, monitoring, maintenance, and management aimed at amping up Australia’s defense strength. Such priorities outlined include: maintenance and upgrading of the Collins class submarines, shipbuilding continuation, land combat vehicle upgrades, and enhanced radar software. The overall upgrading of all military infrastructure and assets will be implemented by sovereign working groups and backed by a grants program.