Australia will invest A$1.1bn to protect its troops operating in Afghanistan between 2009-10 and 2012-13, according to the Federal Minister of Defence Senator John Faulkner.

The new defence package brings the total investment to A$1.4bn for force protection capabilities.

Under the new package, ADF will acquire a counter-rocket, artillery and mortar sense and warn capability, which will protect Australian troops from indirect fire attacks by providing them with longer advance warning.

Faulkner said Australian forces in Afghanistan currently faced very high risk from insurgent operations, improvised explosive devices and indirect fire.

Other force protection capabilities included in the package are improved route clearance capabilities, enhanced firepower for protected mobility vehicles, new night fighting equipment, new biometrics capabilities and advanced body armour.

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