Funding injection to boost Navy capability

Department of Defence

Conventionally armed, nuclear‑powered submarines and infrastructure will receive $53 billion to $63 billion over the next decade as part of Australia’s investment in developing a Navy with enhanced maritime, air and land strike capability.

This is one of the commitments in the newly released 2024 Integrated Investment Program, which sets out spending priorities that will be central to the National Defence approach outlined in the National Defence Strategy.

Investment in infrastructure in Western Australia out to the mid-2030s will support the transition to a sovereign Australian nuclear-powered submarine operating base.

The Government will also allow $4 billion to $5 billion for upgrading and sustaining the current fleet of six Collins-class submarines, which underpin the transition to the new submarines.

To complement crewed undersea warfare capabilities and the Navy’s surface combatant fleet, $5.2 billion to $7.2 billion will be dedicated to subsea warfare capabilities and new autonomous and uncrewed maritime vehicles, including through AUKUS Pillar II Advanced Capabilities.

Planned investments include the development and acquisition of large and extra‑large uncrewed and autonomous underwater vehicles to undertake stealthy missions in high‑risk environments, alongside the continued acquisition of Bluebottle uncrewed surface vessels for persistent maritime surveillance.

About $51 billion to $69 billion will fund maritime capabilities for sea denial, and localised sea control operations will expand the Navy’s surface combatant fleet.

An expanded fleet of 36 MH‑60R Romeo helicopters, costing $2.4 billion to $2.7 billion, will support the additional major vessels in the fleet.

The Navy’s long-range strike capabilities will be enhanced through the acquisition of the Tomahawk weapon system from the United States.

The next-generation Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block II and SM-2 and SM-6 missiles will also be acquired for the Hobart-class destroyers, Hunter-class frigates and general-purpose frigates.

Additional funding for maritime capabilities includes about $12 billion to $15 billion for sea-based strike, $2 billion to $3 billion for elements of the electronic warfare capabilities and $810 million to $910 million for maritime command systems. These investments will allow the Navy to hold targets at risk for longer ranges, providing greater capacity to target adversary aircraft and missiles.

The National Defence Strategy and Integrated Investment Program are available on the National Defence Strategy website.

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