Budget outlines continued investment in key defence projects

A $90 billion naval shipbuilding program outlined in the Australian Budget 2019-20 is a continued focus for the federal government.

Defence is set see one of the largest regeneration of the Australian navy with the program including the build of 54 naval ships and 21 submarines using Australian steel.

Along with ongoing support for the shipbuilding program, Australia’s defence expenditure looks set to increase to $38.7 billion in 2019-20.

The budget outlines continued investment in key projects identified as part of the government’s 2016 Defence White Paper.

Investments include an announcement of BAE Systems Australia as the tender for the $35b SEA 5000 Hunter Class guided missile frigate program.

Construction commencement and milestones at the $535m SEA 5000 Shipyard facility at Osborne, South Australia was also a highlight.

The redevelopment of Osborne South Shipyard will be completed by 2020 to allow the manufacture of nine hunter class frigates.

The construction of two Arafura class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) is underway at Osborne South and twelve more will be built as part of a $3.6b investment to replace the existing patrol fleet. Ten OPVs will also be constructed in Western Australia.

Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne said all of these investments and initiatives continue to ensure the government remains on track to implement the plans as set out in the 2016 Defence White Paper.

“[These are] to keep Australia safe and secure, while maximising the involvement of Australian industry in our unprecedented capability investment,” said Pyne.