Security Challenges
Volume 12, No.1 (2016)

The Future of Maritime Forces in an Integrated Australian Defence Force

The 2016 Defence White Paper presents a detailed plan for regenerating Australia’s maritime forces. Maintaining the status quo in a rules-based global order requires a maritime approach although a maritime strategy is not specifically advocated. The naval acquisition plan includes submarines, surface combatants, and logistics ships. Enabling capabilities are emphasised, including a naval shipbuilding industry based upon a protracted, continuous-build program. A small, balanced, joint force will provide government with options in an increasingly uncertain regional strategic risk context. Whether such a modest investment will prove adequate to defending Australia and its interests is a key issue for the future.

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