The Australian Government has announced that it is accelerating the process of establishing long-range guided weapons and munitions manufacturing industry in Australia.
The government has made two major modifications based on the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review.
Under the first effort, the government has committed to provide $1.70bn (A$2.5bn) to replenish the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) stocks, as the review suggested that it will help in expanding the weapon systems availability.
It mainly includes land-based maritime strike and long-range missile launcher systems.
This investment, according to the government, is a boost of over $1.02bn (A$1.5bn). The total estimated contribution is $2.78bn (A$4.1bn) over the forward estimates for procuring additional long-range strike systems and longer-range munitions in Australia.
The review further recommended to set-up sovereign missile and munition manufacturing facilities in the country.
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The funds can also be utilised for manufacturing guided weapons and its critical components to strengthen Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) self-reliance and broader export capacity.
The second move, based on Defence Strategic Review’s recommendation, involves appointment of a new head to manage the GWEO Enterprise.
It will be headed by air vice-marshal Leon Phillips as the GWEO Group inaugural chief. Phillips has already taken up the new role from 8 May.
The review suggested that a senior officer, responsible for focusing only on the GWEO Enterprise, is required to be appointed for providing relevant updates directly to the Australian Department of Defence’s secretary and ADF’s chief.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said: “Congratulations to air vice-marshal Phillips on his appointment to this important role, which will oversee the delivery of the ADF’s GWEO requirements.
“Air Vice-Marshal Phillips has over 36 years of experience in the Royal Australian Air Force predominantly delivering highly complex aerospace projects and managing their in-service support.”