The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that the federal government will procure $3 billion of gear for Australia’s Special Forces.
The purchase order, dubbed Project GREYFIN, will cover body armour, weapons, diving, parachuting, roping and climbing systems, medical search and rescue, communications, and human performance training and support.
In a statement released by the Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds, local manufacturers including small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) will be called on to provide these advanced defence systems, in addition to prime defence contractors.
In the announcement, made on August 12, the first $500 million of the 20 year project was approved.
“This first stage of funding enables our Special Forces to engage with intelligence, science and technology, and innovation organisations to ensure future threats and opportunities are assessed, to make sure we are delivering them the capability they need in the future,” said Reynolds.
The tranche of funding is part of the government’s pursuit of special operations capability that was outlined in Defence White Paper 2016. With more unconventional deployment arising for Australian Special Forces, the systems that support the individuals will be required to be more flexible than previously.
“Our Special Forces, now more than ever, need to be ready and able to deploy on operations anywhere in the world, at short notice, and in very uncertain conditions,” said Reynolds.
In a statement, the Prime Minister noted that with an uncertain future, defence will be looking for suppliers that are ahead of the curve.
“Australian special forces undertake complex, highly demanding operations in high-threat environments.
“Global threats will continue to evolve in ways which threaten Australia’s interests. This funding will ensure our special forces have cutting-edge capabilities to stay ahead of those who might threaten Australia’s interests,” said Morrison.