White paper includes 12 subs, $30 billion boost by 2020/21

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has stuck to the government’s pre-election pledge to lift defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP.

As was anticipated, the white paper – announced this morning – set out a lift in spending in capability and equipment. This would reach a total of $195 billion by 2020-2021.

Included are 12 new submarines to be built, costing $50 billion plus maintenance.

A quarter of the new spending is for the Navy, including "nine new anti-submarine warfare frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels", according to the ABC. 

The Australian Financial Review today reports that the announcement is pitched heavily towards voters in Victoria and South Australia, and is “not good news” for the Japanese bid to build the next fleet of submarines.

"This historic commitment is about jobs, innovation and regional Australia," Turnbull said yesterday.

The extra spent in the defence budget would be $29.9 billion up to 2020/21, reports the ABC.

Yesterday the news was described as something that would have "champagne corks popping" among the local defence industry, according to Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s analyst Dr Mark Thomson.

“The figure we've heard bandied around in ship building alone was $89 billion over the last three projects that are on the table,” he told The World Today.

“That's going to be a very profitable source of business for industry.”

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