There are hopes that the new Federal Government will commit to the Future Submarine project, a plan to assemble 12 new submarines in Adelaide.
Adelaide Now reports that the Submarine Institute of Australia’s vice-president communications, Frank Owen said that, following a period of prevarication during the term of the previous government, there is optimism that the Abbott government will decide to commit to the project.
According to Owen, who was previously the operational requirements manager for the Collins project, Australia has world-class submarine building capabilities.
"We produced submarines that are the envy of those who know what submarines are," said Owen, as he prepared for the Submarine Institute of Australia’s conference which opened in Adelaide yesterday.
Commenting on the Future Submarine project, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said, "The Future Submarine Project will be an enduring national project with significant, long-term impacts on our nation's economy and our industry capability, as well as on national security."
Weatherill encouraged the Federal Government to recommit to the project and said, "We've reinforced the critical need for a clearly defined path forward and timely decision making, so that industry and state governments can invest and prepare for the project."
News.com.a reports that, according to new analysis of the nation's military capability by the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Australia needs to increase defence spending if it wants to avoid becoming a second rate military power.
The study claims that if defence spending remains at less than 2 per cent of GDP, the military would have to make major cuts, such as:
- Building only eight submarines instead of 12 submarines (a $9 billion saving).
- Cutting the army's planned armoured vehicle fleet by 25 per cent(a $3 billion saving).
- Reducing fighter aircraft numbers and flying hours (a $4 billion saving).
- Shrinking the Defence Materiel Organisation by 50 per cent (a $4 billion saving).