July 1 (Reuters) - Australia will spend A$270 billion ($186.71 billion) over the next decade to acquire longer-range strike capabilities across air, sea and land, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.
The country will boost its defence spending by 40% over the next 10 years, Morrison said, buying military assets that will be focused on the Indo-Pacific region.
The government said it will spend A$75 billion on the navy, A$65 billion on the air force, A$55 billion on the army, A$15 billion for cyber security and A$7 billion for space. The rest will be spent on other costs like buildings, training, research and logistics.
Below are some key focus areas:
- develop remotely piloted or autonomous systems such as air and land drones that can be used for a wide range of missions, like air combat, air-to-air refuelling, surveillance, undersea warfare and land operations
- invest in more highly integrated and automated sensors and weapons, including potential development of hypersonic missiles that can travel at least at five times the speed of sound
- develop sovereign satellite systems, enhance capabilities to counter emerging space threats and increase space tracking
- induct directed energy weapons such as lasers for the close-range defence of naval ships and for the land forces to destroy tanks
- undertake the biggest modernisation of navy since World War Two by upgrading or adding Hunter-class frigates and attack-class submarines to the fleet
- buy 200 long range anti-ship cruise missiles from the United States
- increase weapons inventories, include options for expanded domestic munitions manufacturing and additional fuel storage
- bolster cyber security capabilities, improve intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance
Source: Australian Government Department of Defence https://www.defence.gov.au/StrategicUpdate-2020/ ($1 = 1.4461 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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