Australia is set to increase its defence spending by A$50.3bn ($32.4bn) over the next decade, until 2033-2034, aiming to enhance the critical capabilities of its defence forces.  

The plan was outlined in the Australian Government’s National Defence Strategy and Integrated Investment Programme for 2024. 

Australia’s National Defence Strategy represents an overhaul of the previous year’s Defence Strategic Review while the 2024 Investment Programme is the first version of a ten-year-long procurement plan. 

This defence investment, which is a part of the A$330bn budget over ten years, will take overall spending to 2.4% of GDP by 2034, up from just over 2% currently.  

Central to the investment programme is the development of a more amphibious and mobile army. 

The government said that it is investing between A$7bn-A$10bn in over 26 new landing craft to enhance the Australian Army’s amphibious capabilities. It builds on last year’s restructuring of the army and aims to contribute to regional collective security.  

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Besides, the programme prioritises long-range strike and targeting capabilities, with A$28bn-A$35bn allocated to this area. 

Australia is further establishing a domestic guided weapons and ordnance manufacturing capability with A$16bn-A$21bn investment over the next decade. It also includes an A$37.4m contract with Lockheed Martin Australia to start manufacturing missiles domestically from next year. 

The Australian Army is also set to acquire 42 high mobility artillery rocket systems, equipped with precision strike missiles and guided multiple launch rocket systems, extending the army’s firing range to exceed 500km, centred around the new long-range fires regiment. 

An investment of A$3.6bn-A$3.8bn over the decade will establish the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator, ensuring Australia remains at the forefront of military technology and asymmetric military developments.  

Additionally, A$15bn-A$20bn is earmarked for enhancing cyber capabilities, with the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Signals Directorate leading the charge. 

Australia is boosting its drone and counter-drone capabilities with an additional A$300m over the next four years and A$1.1bn over the decade. 

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles said: “To deliver impactful projection, we are making a historic investment in Defence funding – including an A$330bn Integrated Investment Program over the decade, a significant lift from previous planning.  

“At a time of complex challenges and increasing uncertainty, a stronger, integrated, focused and capable Defence Force is of utmost importance.”