Australia Must Increase Its De Essay Research

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Australia Must Increase Its De Essay, Research Paper Australia Must Increase Its Defence As we enter the 21st century we can see that countries all over the world spend large amounts of money on their defence. The United States of America alone spends around $450 billion annually on defence (pg 49, Defence Review 2000). This essay examines the three Australian armed forces, namely the navy, the air force and the military to see what improvements they require, in order to protect themselves in the new century. It also discusses countries that could be potential threats to it in the future and steps required to be taken by the Australian government to overcome these threats. The Australian maritime forces include submarines, aircraft, surface ships and their helicopters. In all

there are nine major warships, out of which seven ships are usually available for operations and two of them are generally in maintenance on a circulation basis (Pg 40, Defence Review 2000). These ships have very limited defences against the new anti-ship missiles that have been acquired in neighbouring countries such as China and Japan, the defensive capabilities on these ships were designed in the late 80 s and are no longer very effective against modern technologies (Pg 40,Defence Review 2000). Australian ships currently do not have the ability to shoot down attacking aircraft at long distances (Pg 40, Defence Review 2000). To prevent vulnerability from enemy aircraft this ability is a necessity for an island nation such as Australia. However this capability is expensive and

the current defence budget cannot afford it. Another important concern is the older guided missile frigates, which reach the end of their lives around 2013 (Pg 40, Defence Review 2000). An integral component of the navy is its submarine fleet, its capabilities are now depleted due to problems in the new Collins class boats, only one of the old Oberon submarines is still in service (Pg 40, Defence Review 2000). The Collins class submarines were especially designed and built for Australia s unique strategic requirements such as long open-ocean transits and difficult operating areas in shallow (Pg 42, Defence Review 2000). However last year it was found that the submarines did not perform at the levels required because of a range of contract shortfalls, design deficiencies,

excessive noise signature and an inadequate data processing system (The Independent Prescott report, June 1999). This leaves the Australian continent with a single submarine that is old and has outdated technology; it certainly cannot do much to protect the nation at sea in the case of a war. The above problems in the Australian navy need to be addressed as soon as possible. The Australian air force is primarily made up of two integral parts, namely air combat and the strike force (Pg 36 Defence Review 2000). The air combat is based on a fleet of 71 F/A-18 aircraft with radars, missiles and other weapons systems, supported by a number of air bases across northern Australia (Pg 36 Defence Review 2000). In any air combat the key strengths are the skills of the pilots and other

personnel who operate and support the aircraft, however the aircrew is limited. This is a matter of concern-without proper aircrew combat aircrafts serve no purpose (Pg 36, Defence Review 2000). The F/A-18 aircraft were bought in the 1980s, at which point of time they could defeat any hostile air force operating in Australia s nearer region, but in the 1990 s more capable aircraft and air-to-air missiles have entered service in other Southeast Asian countries (Pg 36, Defence Review 2000). Enemy missiles can detect Australian aircraft before they can detect the enemy aircraft, and the enemy can fire their missiles first, within a few years the Australian air force will not be able to operate against such units in front-line air-combat roles at an acceptable level of risk to its