Collins class submarines (photo : naval technology)
THE key elements of the Gillard government's defence white paper, released today.
Main technology decisions:
Australia remains committed to buying the advanced Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
Australia to buy an additional 12 Boeing Super Hornets, configured in the electronic warfare Growler version, giving the RAAF a total of 36.
Government committed to buying 12 new submarines, based on an evolved version of the Collins class. Rules out buying an existing model from a European manufacturer.
Navy supply ships HMAS Sirius and HMAS Success will be replaced.
Government to ramp up plans to replace the navy's Armidale-class patrol boats.
No plans for a fourth air warfare destroyer.
Overall thrust of the White paper:
More conciliatory to China than the 2009 White Paper.
Welcomes China's rise and the modernisation of its military as a legitimate outcome of its growth.
Unlike the 2009 White Paper, new document makes no commitment to a particular level of defence funding.
Government committed to fiscal discipline and wants a defence budget that meets operational requirements.