Australian Government accelerates Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise
The Morrison Government accelerates the creation of a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, securing Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.
The Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise is a part of the government’s 10-year $270 billion investment into the country’s defence industry. The Weapons Enterprise will support missile and guided weapons manufacturing for use across the Australian Defence Force.
“Creating our own sovereign capability on Australian soil is essential to keep Australians safe, while also providing thousands of local jobs in businesses right across the defence supply chain,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the government that self-reliance is vital to meeting the requirements of the country. Thus, the creation of a sovereign guided weapons capability is an important part of the Force Structure Plan.
“The Government will use a Smart Buyer process to select an experienced strategic industry partner to build a sovereign capability to manufacture a suite of precision weapons that will meet Australia’s growing needs and provide export opportunities as a second source of supply,” The Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said.
The manufacturing and supply of weapons in Australia will not only benefit and enhance the ADF operational capacity, but it will also give the country has an adequate supply of weapon stock holdings if global supply chains are disrupted.
Minister Dutton also said they will work on the enterprise with the United States to ensure that both Australia’s needs and the growing needs of the country’s military partner are being supported.
Aside from supporting the Force Structure Plan, the Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise would also support the government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy. Since manufacturing is critical to a modern Australia economy, creating a sovereign capacity to manufacture sovereign guided weapons will drive innovation, skills and resilient supply chains.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter opened the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy for projects in the defence sector. With it, the Weapons Enterprise will help grow a high-tech manufacturing ecosystem in Australia.
In fact, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute estimated over $100 billion will be spent on missile and guided weapons purchases in the next 20 years.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the investment in the nation’s defence industry could create well over 2,000 jobs. It is even estimated that the Enterprise could be worth $40 billion in local production and export over the next 20 years.