Sovereign Defence Industrial Priorities

The Defence Industry Development Strategy establishes the framework and principles for defence industry policy for an important decade in Australia’s national security. 

Defence has identified 7 Sovereign Defence Industrial Priorities (SDIPs), which represent the industrial capabilities Defence requires in Australia. Successful industrial prioritisation means Defence can access the industrial capabilities it needs to deploy a defence capability if, when and how the Government directs.

Defence has developed detailed SDIPs (Annex B to the Defence Industry Development Strategy). The SDIPs provide greater granularity for each SDIP and also highlight new opportunities, in advance of tendering processes, and be refined as projects/programs progress and the industrial base develops.

The detailed SDIPs will be refined, including through consultation with industry, to ensure continued alignment with the biennial National Defence Strategy and to consistently and continuously guide and grow the sovereign defence industrial base.

Priorities include:

  • Maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade of Australian Defence Force aircraft: A sovereign industrial aircraft Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul, and Upgrade (MRO&U) capability is critical to optimising aircraft availability and ensuring it is not compromised, especially during times of conflict. It is essential to grow and guide Australia’s nascent MRO&U capability in order to increase supply chain security and resilience to provide the increase in capacity needed to support Australia and our trusted partners during times of conflict.
  • Continuous naval shipbuilding and sustainment: Australia must have the industrial capability and capacity to maintain, sustain and upgrade our naval vessels and capabilities, including nuclear-powered submarines. Creating and sustaining this industrial capability, including the underpinning workforce, is a critical component of self-reliance in National Defence.
  • Sustainment and enhancement of the combined-arms land system: A fully enabled, integrated amphibious-capable combined-arms land system is critical to Australian military strategy and enabling the integrated force to achieve its mission. A focussed defence industry is crucial to the design, generation, and sustainment of the vehicles, equipment and training systems essential to the continued function of the combined-arms land system.
  • Domestic manufacture of guided weapons, explosive ordnance and munitions: The Australian Defence Force uses hundreds of different guided weapons and explosive ordnance (GWEO) types, and each type can contain hundreds or even thousands of components. Individual GWEO types are often tightly coupled with specific launch platforms, combat and fire control systems and targeting systems, making substitution to a different GWEO type difficult. Defence is adopting a phased approach to build Australia’s domestic manufacturing capability for GWEO.
  • Development and integration of autonomous systems: Autonomous systems offer Defence the opportunity to generate affordable mass, increase range and lethality and increase force protection. Highly capable autonomous systems are a force multiplier across all domains in both the physical and cyber-physical sense. Ongoing innovation, science and technology will help identify and focus Defence’s efforts. Defence will continue to invest in the development of autonomous systems across all domains.
  • Integration and enhancement of battlespace awareness and management systems: Battlespace awareness is required at the strategic, operational and tactical levels of command and control across air, maritime, land, space and cyber domains, and the electromagnetic spectrum, from seabed to space. Defence must invest in the targeting systems and processes required for advanced and long-range weapons, undersea warfare, and integrated air and missile defence.
  • Test and evaluation, certification and systems assurance: Test and evaluation plays a critical role across all elements of the capability life cycle. Its role is to assure that capabilities are safe and operationally viable through the provision of objective evidence to quantify the risk of new technologies, concepts or capabilities on warfighting operations.