Canberra’s Evolving Security Policy

The publication on February 25 of the 2016 Defense White Paper by the Australian government highlights Canberra’s response to evolving trends in the Asia-Pacific region. The white paper, released by the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after a long gestation, outlines an ambitious modernization program for the Australian Defense Force. It includes the acquisition of 12 diesel attack submarines; nine new anti-submarine warfare frigates; 12 new offshore patrol vessels; seven additional P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft; MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles; modernized mine countermeasures capabilities; a new deployable land-based anti-ship missile capability; 72 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters; 12 E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft and a new electronic warfare support aircraft; upgrades to the Australian Army’s mechanized and amphibious capabilities; as well as investments in space and cyber capabilities. To pay for these capabilities, Australia will increase its defense spending to two percent of GDP by the end of the decade…

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