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Defence

Australia is building a robust, resilient and globally competitive defence industry to support an agile and capable Australian Defence Force. 

Under the 2020 Force Structure Plan, we’re investing A$270 billion in Defence capability over the next 10 years. This significant investment in defence capabilities will flow to Australian industry, creating jobs and enhancing skills. 

The Defence National Manufacturing Priority road map seeks to grow scale and competitiveness in the defence manufacturing sector by:

  • increasing commercialisation opportunities
  • supporting businesses to diversify into new sectors or markets 
  • aggregating their capacities and expertise.

Defence is also a national manufacturing priority under Australia’s A$1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy. The Defence National Manufacturing Priority road map sets the direction for future growth and expansion and proposes ways government and industry can work together to scale-up manufacturing activities, access global supply chains and grow jobs.

 

Defence force using VR
Supplied by the Australian Department of Defence.

Priority investment areas

  • A$168–183 billion in naval shipbuilding
  • A$75 billion in maritime
  • A$65 billion in air
  • A$55 billion in land
  • A$15 billion in information and cyber
  • A$7 billion in space.

 

Investing in emerging technologies

Australia is empowering the development of cutting edge innovations that will enhance our defence capability, by investing A$1.2 billion through the Next Generation Technologies Fund and A$800 million through the Defence Innovation Hub

These initiatives create opportunities for partnerships between industry, academia and government to deliver future-focused defence technologies including: 

  • sensors and analytics
  • advanced materials
  • robotics and automation
  • additive manufacturing
  • augmented and virtual reality 

We want more of these prosperous collaborations. Our national science agency, CSIRO, cooperative research centres (CRCs) and other academic institutions are always looking for partners. 
 

  • Over 4,000 defence industry businesses employ 30,000 staff
  • 45% of Australian manufactured defence and aerospace goods and services are exported
  • Top defence export markets: US, UK, EU, New Zealand, Canada.

A world-leading defence exporter

Australia has a mission to become a top 10 global defence exporter over the next decade. We’re looking to grow our existing defence exports, currently worth up to an estimated A$2.5 billion a year. To do this, we’re welcoming strategic partners to help us build a stronger, more sustainable and more globally competitive industry and pursue defence export opportunities.

By bringing your business, ideas, knowledge and skills here, you’ll play a vital role in making this happen and share in the rewards. You’ll find advocacy and support through the Australian Defence Export Office, which coordinates whole-of-government efforts to support the export success of Australian defence industry.

Some of our defence exports

  • More than 50 companies share more than A$1.7 billion in contracts as part of the global Joint Strike Fighter Program investment. 
  • Joint A$40 million contract for Air Power Teaming System Technology (ATSI).
  • Thales Australia Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, designed and built in Australia are used by a number of countries, including Fiji, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
  • Austal has secured a contract worth over US$70 million with the government of Trinidad and Tobago to purchase two Austal Cape Class Patrol Boats, supported by a loan from the Defence Export Facility. 
  • Australia is working with the US Department of Defense to create sensors and decoys for naval fleets.
     
Defence Australia - Bushmaster
Supplied by the Australian Department of Defence.

Incentives, grants and support

The Defence National Manufacturing Priority road map identifies opportunities for defence manufacturers in:

  • military vehicle manufacturing
  • aircraft manufacturing
  • naval shipbuilding
  • marine hardware production
  • 3D printing
  • explosives and propellants.

The Centre for Defence Industry Capability supports businesses that want to connect with the defence industry and improve their capabilities.

The Australian Tax Office’s New Investment Engagement Service gives tailored guidance on tax issues to businesses planning significant new investments in Australia.

Case studies

The Defence Innovation Hub, part of the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, helped KORD Defence develop programmable push-button controllers for soldiers.

Norseld worked closely with the Centre for Defence Industry Capability to develop laser technology for F-35s.

Factsheet

Australia’s defence ecosystems

Recent arrivals

Image of Pierre Chateau