Australian Government: Department of Defence
Defence Capability Plan 2009 - Public Version


John Faulkner

The projects outlined in this public version of the Defence Capability Plan (DCP) reflect the strategic requirements outlined in the 2009 Defence White Paper, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 (the White Paper) and the emphasis of this Government on the development of Force 2030. In publishing this DCP, the Government provides advice to the Australian public, industry and defence commentators on the scope and scale of the future defence equipment capital program.

This DCP contains over $60 billion of projects and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to funding and building Force 2030 as outlined in the 2009 Defence White Paper.

The Government recognises the vital role that defence industry plays in support of ADF capability – from the provision and maintenance of military equipment to the delivery of a wide range of support services. Growing the capacity of local defence industry is an objective of the Government and will require ongoing investment in skills development, workforce growth and improved productivity. The Government will remain closely engaged with defence industry to ensure maximum support possible to the ADF in partnership to maintain control of cost, schedule and quality.

In the White Paper, the Government has highlighted the challenges facing both the Defence Materiel Organisation and industry in delivering essential capability to the ADF.

While Defence will seek to maximise the spending in local defence industry, such expenditure must be managed within the acceptable cost, schedule and risk constraints of the strategic guidance in the White Paper. Projects must aim to provide capability which reflects operational requirements, but they need to be tempered by an understanding of cost, schedule and risk. Defence must also take into account what the market can deliver ‘off-the-shelf’. The Government needs to make informed decisions about the appropriate mix of cost, risk and capability. Consequently, as highlighted in the White Paper, the Government has decided that Military-off-the-Shelf (MOTS) and Commercial-off-the–Shelf (COTS) solutions to Defence’s capability requirements will be the benchmark. Decisions to modify MOTS or COTS solutions will need to be based on a conscious acknowledgement of the costs and benefits to the military outcomes, and the risks involved.

Having a conscious approach to considering MOTS and COTS solutions requires an acknowledgment of the risks this brings to sustainment, particularly overseas manufactured MOTS or COTS systems. The support and sustainment of this equipment may expose Defence to long supply chains and dispersed global manufacturing. This Government will respond to these issues by encouraging Prime companies to increase local capability by investing in Australia.

We also recognise that small and medium enterprises form a large part of Australian industry and play an important and innovative role in supporting the ADF.

The Government is committed to ensuring as much of this DCP is procured in Australia as is practical, conscious of its requirement for value for money. To that end there are several substantial new programs planned as part of the White Paper for which local acquisition or construction is likely to be the preferred option. These programs will provide opportunities for Prime companies to collaborate with Australian small and medium enterprises in the development of new capability for the ADF and enhanced Defence infrastructure.

The information contained within this DCP is designed to allow the Australian public to see how their taxes are spent on the defence of Australia; industry to undertake strategic planning; and defence commentators to understand the future shape of the ADF. We will continue to engage with industry to ensure the ongoing relevance of the DCP process to the needs of the partnership between Defence and defence industry.

In response to an understanding that such a document should remain contemporary, Defence will maintain an electronic version of the DCP that will be updated every six months to reflect Government decisions. This document will be available on the DMO and CDG websites and updates will be advised through the D+I ePortal.

Defence industry and the capability it provides to the ADF is integral to Australia’s defence capacity. While both the national security and commercial implications in Defence’s relationship with industry can, at times, limit the information that can properly be put in the public arena, the Government is committed to ensuring defence industry has as much certainty and security as is possible. The Defence Capability Plan, now and in the future, aims to deliver that.

John Faulkner Signature

Senator the Hon. John Faulkner

Minister for Defence

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version