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Australia's 2022–23 defence budget climbs by 7.4%

Janes Defence Budgets forecasts solid growth in Australia's military expenditure over the coming decade. (Janes/Jon Grevatt )

Australia's defence expenditure for the 2022–23 financial year will rise by 7.4% to AUD48.6 billion (USD36 billion), the government announced in its annual budget statement on 29 March.

This amount includes AUD1.6 billion for the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), which from 2023 to 2024 is to receive an additional AUD9.9 billion during the decade and double its 1,900 personnel.

Project REDSPICE – Resilience, Effects, Defence, Space, Intelligence, Cyber, and Enablers – will substantially increase ASD's offensive cyber capabilities, its ability to detect and respond to cyber attacks, and introduce new intelligence capabilities, Defence Minister Peter Dutton stated.

According to portfolio budget statements, defence expenditure as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) will reach 2.11%, a slight increase on the 1.98% prediction for 2021–22 because of the stronger-than-anticipated recovery of GDP from Covid-19 pandemic issues.

Funding over the forward estimates – the three years beyond the new budget – will grow to AUD51.6 billion and AUD53.5 bIllion, with the figure for the 2025–26 period set at AUD55.5 billion.

The budget statements anticipate capability acquisition for 2022–23 to reach AUD16.2 billion against the 2021–22 figure of AUD14.9 billion. Forward estimates show this spending rising to AUD19.4 billion in 2025–26.

Sustainment costs increase from AUD13.6 billion in 2021–22 to AUD14.9 billion in 2022–23, and then rise to AUD17.0 billion in 2025–26.

Funding for the Defence Cooperation Programme assisting regional countries was marginally lower at AUD227 million.

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