Space, robotics among new Defence priorities

Peter Roberts

The federal government has added new sovereign defence priority areas in recognition of the changing nature of technology for the battlefield.

The government’s new priorities are:

  • Robotics, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence
  • Precision guided munitions, hypersonic weapons, and integrated air and missile defence systems
  • Space; and
  • Information warfare and cyber capabilities.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the four new sovereign industrial capability priorities announced on Thursday would help to build a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry in Australia.

Priority areas are beneficiaries of grants from the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Next Generation Technologies Fund, and the Defence Innovation Hub to support R&D.

Sovereign defence capabilities are guided by the 2018 Defence Industry Capability Plan.

The original group of capabilities were for those needed in the next three to five years, or those in need of more dedicated monitoring, management, and support due to their industrial complexity, government priority, or requirements.

They were:

  • Collins class submarine maintenance and technology upgrade
  • Continuous shipbuilding program
  • Land combat vehicle and technology upgrade
  • And enhanced active and passive phased array radar capability.

Defence Minister Price said the priorities were essential to maintaining the Australian Defence Force’s combat edge.

“The new additions are also focused on providing secure, long-term employment to Australians in 21st century industries and technologies,” Ms Price said.

“These priorities build on our existing work of providing guidance and support to industry to develop the critical industrial capabilities which are essential for the ADF.

“A strong partnership with industry is fundamental to developing Defence capabilities.”

This story was originally published by @AuManufacturing. You can subscribe to the @AuManufacturing newsletter here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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