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Australia expands sovereign capability requirements

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has expanded a list of industrial competencies deemed critical for the future capability of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The DoD said on 26 August that four additional themes will be added to its ‘Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities'.

The new themes comprise:

The new priorities are added to a list of 10 sovereign capabilities announced in the DoD's 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan.This original list comprised the sustainment of Collins-class submarines, naval shipbuilding, military vehicles, active phased-array radars, combat clothing, signal processing, surveillance and intelligence, testing systems, munitions, and aerospace sustainment.

Australia's Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the priority capabilities are “essential to maintaining the Australian Defence Force's combat edge”.

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

The newly announced priorities will be supported through “implementation plans” that the DoD will develop with local industry.

These plans will outline existing domestic competencies in each priority, areas for improvement, and measures to achieve industrial development. State funding and grants will be available to support the measures.

To date, the DoD has launched implementation plans for eight of the original priority capabilities. Plans to support Collins-class submarine sustainment and naval shipbuilding have not yet been issued.

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