The Prime Minister unveiled the Twenty-13 Defence White Paper this morning.
The Australian Defence Force will be receiving new jets, submarines and patrol boats, and will place more emphasis on it’s relationship with China.
Molley Glassey reports.
Keeping peace in the Indo-Pacific region will be a new priority of the Australian Defence Force.
The announcement comes as part of the 2013 Defence White Paper.
Stephen Smith, Defence Minister: “This white paper sets out a frame work to continue to protect and defend the national security interest of the Commonwealth and to have an effective and capable Australian Defence Force.”
Australia will be investing in twelve of the first 14 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters – the first country outside of the U-S with access to the Growler planes.
The first three of the J-S-F jets is expected to arrive in Australia in 2020.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “Over time the government will endeavour to increase defence spending to about two per cent of the GDP.”
The Government is committed to buying twelve new submarines, based on a specially designed version of the Collins class… currently used by the navy.
Stephen Smith, Defence Minister: “An ‘off the shelf’ submarine is not capable of giving us the operational requirements and capacity we used for maritime country and maritime continent.”
Gillard revealed too that Australia would have a more conciliatory approach with China, with particular strategic management of the U-S China relationship.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “We welcome China’s rise. We seek to have comprehensive and constructive engagement with China.”
Unlike the 2009 White Paper, the document makes no commitment to any particular level of defence funding.
Molly Glassey, QUT News.