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Australia releases Defence Industry Development Strategy (DIDS)

The Defence Industry Development Strategy (above) was launched at the Canberra HQ of CEA Technologies. Shown are an ADF Bushmaster PMV-H and a CEATAC radar. Images: Defence

The Australian Department of Defence has released a Defence Industry Development Strategy (DIDS) that defines the strategic rationale for a sovereign defence industrial base and sets out pathways for maximising support for Australian industry and its critical contribution to national security.

The DIDS articulates for the first time the defence industrial base needed by Australian in the face of the changing strategic circumstances outlined in the Defence Strategic Review. It details the actions the Government will take to grow that industrial base, which employs more than 100,000 Australians full and part-time, and strengthen the partnership between Defence and industry.

“Ten months ago, when we released the Defence Strategic Review, I said we need a sovereign defence industrial base in this country if we are to be independent and sovereign and have supply chain resilience,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy. “The Defence Industry Development Strategy that I’m releasing today is our blueprint for an industry that is focused on the most important priorities, supported by a defence enterprise that is a better customer, a better communicator and better at backing Aussie innovation.

“Crucially, this strategy … also represents a major shift in industry policy in Australia, articulating for the first time the defence industrial base the nation needs in the face of the strategic circumstances outlined in the Defence Strategic Review,” he added.

With the release of the DIDS, industry will have clarity on Defence’s priorities through the Sovereign Defence Industrial Priorities (SDIPs). The SDIPs provide detail, certainty and timelines that Australian industry needs to invest and deliver on development, production and sustainment of Defence capabilities.

The seven SDIPs are:

  • Maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade of Australian Defence Force aircraft
  • Continuous naval shipbuilding and sustainment
  • Sustainment and enhancement of the combined arms land system
  • Domestic manufacture of guided weapons, explosive ordnance and munitions
  • Development and integration of autonomous systems
  • Integration and enhancement of battlespace awareness and management systems
  • Test and evaluation, certification and systems assurance

In addition to critical procurement reforms, Defence also announced increased funding for defence industry grants programs, taking the total investment to $183.8 million, in alignment with the DIDS.

The Government said in its response to the Defence Strategic Review that Australia requires strong defence capabilities of its own and a fully integrated Australian Defence Force (ADF) to contribute to the strategic balance of power that keeps the peace in the region. Defence industry is critical to delivering on this key objective, says Defence. Together, Defence and industry create, maintain and sustain vital capabilities that offer Australia a competitive advantage and contribute to regional stability.

NB: EX2 will publish its own analysis of the Defence Industry Development Strategy shortly.


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