Bolstering Australia’s naval capabilities, including investment in Australia’s shipbuilding sector, will help ensure safety in the Indo-Pacific region, Malcolm Turnbull claimed during a recent visit to India.
Speaking at the National Defence College in New Delhi, the prime minister addressed the importance of maintaining “free and secure trade routes” in the combat against “terrorism and transnational crime”.
“Australia is already a significant Indo-Pacific naval power in its own right,” Turnbull was quoted by Defence Connect.
“We have one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the region, with nearly 50 commissioned vessels and more than 14,000 personnel.
“And we have just embarked on Australia’s largest peacetime investment in national security.
“Our modernisation of the Australian Defence Force, in particular our nation-building shipbuilding plan, will create thousands of new jobs and a sustainable, internationally-competitive sovereign defence industry.
“Our defence industry investment is a truly historic national enterprise. It is the most significant modernisation, investment and construction in defence capability since the Second World War.
“In particular, it focuses on the importance of our own capabilities right across defence and shipbuilding. Over the next generation, we have committed to the construction of 12 future submarines, nine future frigates, 12 offshore patrol vessels.”
Turnbull also said the investment in defence capabilities will benefit India and other allies as well as Australia, it was reported.
“Our forces are closely integrated with our allies and our partners. We have much to gain, Australia and India from our navies working together, as we already do,” he added.