Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday that Australia would likely increase its military strength by 30% through 2040, saying it was the biggest military build-up in 40 years since the Vietnam War.
Read more: Prime Minister Morrison declares floods a national emergency and pledges more support
The Australian government has proposed adding around 80,000 uniformed personnel to its military strength, given the increased risks posed by China and Russia. The estimated cost of the entire military build-up strategy is A$38 billion or US$27 billion.
Morrison told a news conference it would be “the biggest peacetime increase in the size of the Defense Force in Australian history”. He also said the Australian government’s military build-up strategy had been followed by the “threats” the country faces as a liberal democracy in the Indo-Pacific.
Morrison also added that some of the newly recruited troops would support a future fleet of nuclear submarines, as Australia has committed to the new Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) defense alliance.
Read more: Where is Australia’s nuclear submarine and AU$10 billion spending going?
Apart from this, Australia was also planning to reinforce the submarines with conventional arms and weapons. However, the government has not yet determined the details of the program, such as whether to choose a fleet based on US or British nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Peter Dutton, Australia’s defense minister, said the country was focused on recruiting uniformed troops to credibly deter expansionist military threats. Apart from submarines, the newly recruited professionals will also be deployed in the Navy, Cybersecurity Division, Autonomous Space, Land and Maritime Vehicles.
Image source © 2022 Kalkine Media ®
Of all the military services, the Australian government believed the navy would need the greatest increase in manpower in the coming years to expand into surface ships and future nuclear-powered submarines, the number of submariners to increase by at least 2,300 from the current number of 900. .
However, it appears that the government has no intention of establishing a dedicated disaster relief service within Defense or increasing the number of ADF reserves as part of the expansion strategy of defense.