The Australian Government has unveiled plans to invest A$1.4bn ($1bn) over 20 years to bolster the cyber resilience of deployed Australian Defence Force (ADF) networks and combat platforms.

The federal government announced the move while providing the details of the Joint Project 9131 Defensive Cyberspace Operations as part of the 2020 Force Structure Plan.

Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “Cyber threats to defence networks and missions systems have the potential to undermine the Australian Defence Force’s ability to operate.

“This project ensures defence can actively defend its deployed networks and combat platforms against the rapidly evolving cyber threats.

“This investment builds on the government commitment that was made in the 2016 Defence White Paper to strengthen Defence’s cyber capability.”

The programme will initially see an investment of A$575m ($412.3m), which will be used to develop the necessary infrastructure and training tools to support ADF’s defensive cyber operations.

A Joint Information Warfare Facility will also be developed in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The centre will be used to provide critical defence cyber training and simulation systems.

Reynolds added: “Through the measures outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, which was announced by the Prime Minister and I on 1 July, the Morrison Government is reinforcing its significant commitment to growing our sovereign capabilities.

“This project, along with other government initiatives, will offer significant opportunities for the Australian domestic cyber security sector and the local construction industry – delivering on this Government’s commitment to growing Australian industry and secure Australian jobs.”

The latest investment comes days after the government allocated $1.67bn to boost the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure.