BLUFThis article argues that Australia is spending vast sums on a Defence Force that is not ‘fit for purpose’ and could leave Australia dangerously exposed.
The ASPI's Hans Ohff and Jon Stanford argue that :
- Australia faces a strategic situation similar to 1939.
- Despite the Defence budget reaching 2% of GDP, we are unprepared for a high-intensity conflict.
- The Australian Force Structure Plan doesn't match the requirements of the 2020 defence strategic update.
- Weapons aren't being acquired in a quick, efficient and cost-effective manner.
- The 'like for like' mentality and "balanced force concept' denies Australia the opportunity to utilise new, more effective technology.
Ohff and Stanford note that it is hard for Australia to justify the following:
- The diesel-electric Attack-class submarines.
- The Hunter-class frigate.
- Armoured fighting vehicles.
They then go on to say that what Australia really needs is the following:
- A credible offensive force-projection capability, i.e. the B21 Bomber, that could fill a similar role to that previously filled by the F111.
- More IP-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
- Loyal Wingman.
- Anti-Submarine Warfare capability, including satellites, sub-sea arrays, sea mines and land-based aircraft.
- Nuclear attack submarines.
- Hypersonic glide and long-range missiles.
- Autonomous systems, space capabilities, artificial intelligence and cyber capabilities.
- A comprehensive review of ADF force structure.
Jul 2020 the Interpreter Hidden gems in the 2020 Force Structure Plan
Jun 2021 ASPI Australia must adapt to reduced warning time ahead of conflict