After last year’s dramatic pruning of Defence’s budget by $5.454 billion over the Forward Estimates, there was not scope for further cuts and still maintain the Government’s defence capability intentions.
18th Jun 2013
2013-14 Defence Budget
Headline: Government recommits to big projects – but future funding remains a challenge
Geoff Slocombe / / Canberra
After last year’s dramatic pruning of Defence’s budget by $5.454 billion over the Forward Estimates, there was not scope for further cuts and still maintain the Government’s defence capability intentions. This was probably helped when a ‘slash and burn’ through all Government portfolio budgets to achieve a surplus was abandoned in the face of falling total tax revenues and two major new spending initiatives in education and disability care.
A caution on the affordability and predictability of future annual funding was contained in Defence Minister Stephen Smith’s budget overview “The Government has decided that the Defence funding model will be based on the four-year Forward Estimates Budget cycle, determined on an annual basis taking into account contemporary strategic economic and fiscal circumstances and a subsequent six-year general guidance for Defence planning purposes.”
The budget paper’s estimate of $25.434 billion in ‘Total Defence Funding’ for 2013-14 is a modest real increase on the previous year, after taking anticipated inflation into account. The Federal election in September and/or revised strategic or national economic circumstances could bring major changes to 2013-14 Actual Expenditure and the 2014-15 Budget’s Annual and Forward Estimates.
In line with this four-year Forward Estimates Budget cycle policy, the Government has provided Defence with $113.1 billion over the Forward Estimates years 2013-14 to 2016-17. This compares to the 2012-13 Budget, where funding of $103.2 billion was provided for the 2012-13 to 2015-16 Forward Estimate years.
The Government has preserved funding to reach targeted personnel numbers, increased cooperation with US forces, and remaining overseas operations after draw downs in Afghanistan, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.
The key capital investment and sustainment programs total $11,752m (million) for the coming year. This is made up a Defence Capability Plan (Unapproved) $343m; Approved Major Capital Investment Program $3,269m; Major Capital Facilities Program $1,150m; ICT Integrated Plan of Work $291m; Minors Program $197m; Other Investment $453m; Sustainment Program $5,868m; and Net Personnel and Operating Costs $182m.
The budget can be sliced and diced in a number of ways. Among the headline items are operations $918.5m down from $1,530.3m in 2012-13; capital investment on equipment and facilities $5,701m ($28,451m over the Forward Estimates); sustainment $6,050m including $182.2m future costs ($27,172m in total over the Forward Estimates); intelligence $507m; ICT(CIO) $974m; DSTO $441m; Vice Chief Defence Force $1,163m; joint operations command $46m; capability development $230m; and net superannuation benefits for current personnel $1.92b.
The annual cost of maintaining single service capabilities in 2013-14 is estimated as Navy $4,185m; Army $5,042m; and Air Force $4,113m.
TOP 30 SUSTAINMENT PRODUCTS
Of the $3.672 billion allocated, the most important sustainment products expenditures are for Airborne Early Warning and Control $163m; F/A-18A Hornet Weapons System $158m; F/A-18F Super Hornet Weapons System $110m; MRH90 helicopter $121m; Tiger ARH helicopter $104m; tri-service explosive ordnance $370m and fuel/lubricants $507m; ANZAC Class Frigate $224m; and Collins Class Submarines $574m.
TOP 30 MAJOR PROJECTS
The Top 30 major equipment acquisition projects have an approved expenditure in gross of $40.024 billion, with $19.483 billion already spent, and budget for an estimated $3.158 billion during 2013-14.
In reading the description for each of these projects, presented in project number and phase order, the figures in brackets represent, in $ million, the headline figures. For example, AIR 5077 Phase 3 has an approved expenditure of $3841 million, of which $3462 million is expected to be spent by 30 June 2013, and the budget estimate for 2013-14 is $87 million.
Because of space constraints the following three financially smallest Top 30 projects do not have a description in this article, but they are on the budget website (see later) - JP 2008 Phase 3H - Military Satellite Capability – Wideband Terrestrial Terminal (42/8/29); LAND 17 Phase 1C.1 - Additional Lightweight Towed Howitzers (69/6/47); and SEA 4000 Phase 3.2 - Standard Missile-2 Conversion and Upgrade (94/20/37).
AIR 5077 Phase 3 - Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (3841/3462/87)
Prime Contractor: Boeing (United States).
This project has delivered six E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, and the associated ground and support systems.
During 2013-14, this project will deliver the final logistics support requirements and the final element of the radar performance remediation program. This project will also progress the remediation of software deficiencies in the electronic support measures, communications and mission computing subsystem.
The remaining key risk is the timely integration of required software updates to the operational aircraft to support the Final Operational Capability declaration.
AIR 5349 Phase 2 - Bridging Air Combat Capability (274/137/24)
Prime Contractor: United States Government through Foreign Military Sales cases.
This project will introduce into service a number of new weapons and countermeasures under the Australian Super Hornet program. These weapons will significantly enhance the Air Force’s ability to conduct air, land and maritime strike operations. This project is running concurrently with AIR 5349 Phase 1 to deliver the Bridging Air Combat Capability.
During 2013-14, the United States Navy (USN) will conduct further integration testing of the Joint Stand Off Weapon (JSOW) on Super Hornets. JSOW deliveries are planned for 2013-14. The United States Air Force (USAF) has re-scheduled the delivery of Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile for future years. This project continues to work with the USAF to manage the new schedule.
The key risk for this project is schedule. Both the USAF and USN are under budgetary pressure and have identified early indications of schedule slip in their domestic programs and production contracts.
AIR 5349 Phase 3 - Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability (2721/37/90 NB: a further 219 is pre-allocated for 2014-15)
Prime Contractor: Boeing, through a Foreign Military Sales case with the United States Navy.
The Government announced in 2012 its commitment to a future fleet of 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft for Australia. As part of the 2013 White Paper announcement, the Government has decided to acquire 12 new-build Growler aircraft which will ensure that the original bridging capability of 24 Super Hornets remains intact while allowing for timely introduction of Growler. This phase will be subsumed into the acquisition project.
AIR 5402 - Air to Air Refuelling Capability (1800/1583/61)
Prime Contractor: EADS CASA (Trading as Airbus Military–Spain).
This project is delivering five new generation Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft (known as the KC-30A in RAAF service) and the associated through-life support infrastructure for the fleet.
During 2013-14, this project will complete the review of test reports and documentation for the military avionics and Aerial Refuelling Boom systems; complete refurbishment and re-delivery of the first (prototype) aircraft following completion of testing in Spain; and deliver upgrades to the simulation training devices in line with modifications to the aircraft fleet.
The key risk for this project remains the schedule for completion of testing and documentation for acceptance and introduction into service of the boom refuelling system.
This project continues to be managed as a Project of Concern.
AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B - Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft (2561/240/231)
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin is contracted to the United States Government for the development and production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Australia is procuring the aircraft through a government-to-government agreement.
This project will deliver 14 Conventional Take Off and Landing F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft and associated support systems.
During 2013-14, the production of Australia’s first two F-35 JSF Aircraft will progress significantly down the production line.
The key risk for this project is the effective establishment of a reprogramming capability sufficient to support initial operations.
AIR 8000 Phase 2 - Battlefield Airlift - Caribou Replacement (1168/276/162)
Prime Contractor: L-3 Communications through the United States Foreign Military Sales process with the United States Air Force.
This project is acquiring a fleet of 10 United States-military configuration C-27J aircraft as a military off the shelf procurement through the United States Foreign Military Sales process, with only minor changes required to meet Australian airspace regulations.
During 2013-14, this project plans to procure aircraft spares and support equipment, establish an interim United States based training system and undertake airworthiness certification activities in preparation for first aircraft acceptance and the commencement of flight training by mid 2014.
The key risk for this acquisition project is completion of Australian airworthiness certification requirements prior to first aircraft acceptance and commencement of flight training in the United States from mid 2014.
AIR 9000 Phase 2/4/6 - Multi Role Helicopter (3625/2203/204)
Prime Contractor: Australian Aerospace.
This project is acquiring 46 MRH90 helicopters for Army and Navy. Phase 2 represents 12 Army MRH90 (additional Squadron to support air mobile lift capability) to which has been added Phase 4, the replacement of the Army’s Black Hawks, and Phase 6, the replacement of the Navy’s Sea Kings, for a total of 46 helicopters.
During 2013-14, this project plans to accept a further seven aircraft in the mature configuration, progress the retro-fit program for the early configuration aircraft, accept the second full-flight mission simulator and support the achievement of the Initial Operational Capability milestone for Navy (the first embarked aircraft at sea).
The key risks for this project over 2013-14 will be the timely resolution of the outstanding technical and supportability issues and the generation of the necessary flying rates to meet Navy and Army requirements.
This project is being managed as a Project of Concern, although early May the Defence Ministers announced “the DMO has formally signed a Deed of undertaking with Australian Aerospace and their industry partners that will help put the MRH90 helicopter program back on a positive footing.”
AIR 9000 Phase 8 - Future Naval Aviation Combat System Helicopter (2933/459/412)
Prime Contractor: Foreign Military Sales case with the United States Navy.
The 24 MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ helicopters to be acquired by AIR 9000 Phase 8 will replace the capability of the current 16 S-70B-2 Seahawk ‘Classic’ helicopters.
The acquisition of the Romeos will enable Navy to provide eight helicopters concurrently embarked in Anzac class Frigates and the new Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers. The remainder will be based at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales, conducting training and maintenance.
During 2013-14, the first four aircraft will be accepted in the United States and the initial introduction into service training for aircrew and maintainers will be completed, Australian certification activities will be completed, and construction of the dedicated Seahawk Romeo facilities at HMAS Albatross and HMAS Stirling will commence.
The key risk for this project remains coordinating the facilities construction schedule with the delivery of key support elements, such as the flight simulator, ahead of the first seven aircraft and trained personnel returning from the United States at the end of 2014.
JP 2008 Phase 4 - Next Generation Satellite Communications System (863/557/38)
Prime Contractor: United States Government through a Memorandum of Understanding.
This project will deliver the next generation ADF wideband satellite communication system. The project has delivered the Wideband Global SATCOM System (WGS) Initial Operational Capability through the utilisation of the Interim Anchoring capability located at HMAS Harman (Australian Capital Territory) and Geraldton (Western Australia).The fourth of six satellites was launched in January 2012 and became operational in August 2012.
During 2013-14, WGS5 is expected to become operational by August 2013 following launch in May 2013. WGS6 which Australia is funding is 100% complete and in storage, and is expected to be launched in July 2013, and become operational by November 2013. This project expects to achieve Final Materiel Release in late 2013.
The key risk is achieving the tightly compressed timeframe between WGS5 and WGS6 launches.
JP 2030 Phase 8 - Joint Command Support Environment (256/148/24)
Prime Contractor: System Integrator Contractor: CSC Australia; Development & Support Contractor: Lockheed Martin Australia.
During 2013-14, this project will deliver two additional capability releases of software infrastructure and application solutions for Head Quarters Joint Operations including enhancements to Situational Awareness Common Operating Picture capability, improvements to Joint Planning capability, and enhancements to the Defence Preparedness capability. This project will also deliver the Special Operations Combat Net Radio Interface capability into operational service.
The key risks for this project are supporting complex, multi-organisation, situation specific business processes and practices with bespoke information technology solutions and ensuring the delivered solution provides an efficient and effective user interface.
This project will be subject to a special Gate Review this year.
JP 2048 Phase 3 - Amphibious Watercraft Replacement (224/50/37)
Prime Contractor: Navantia.
This project will acquire 12 new watercraft to operate with the two Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships. The watercraft (LHD Landing Craft) will provide an organic ship to shore connection in support of Defence’s amphibious capability. The LHD Landing Craft will interface and operate with the LHD ships and enable transport of personnel and equipment between the LHD ships and the shore, including where there are no fixed port facilities or prepared landing facilities.
During 2013-14, this project will receive and accept the first batch of four LHD Landing Craft from Navantia and once in Australia will install the communication, navigation and weapon systems.
The key risk to this project is integration of communications systems.
Amphibious Deployment and Sustainment—JP 2048 Phase 4A/B (3071/2394/203)
Prime Contractor: BAE Systems Australia Defence.
This project is scheduled to deliver two Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) vessels and associated LHD support system comprising configuration information training, spares, documentation, and test equipment.
During 2013-14, this project is expected to deliver ALHD01 (HMAS Canberra) to the Royal Australian Navy in early 2014 and the hull of ALHD02 is planned to arrive in Australia in early 2014.
The key risks for this project are associated with the complex system integration and the availability of appropriately qualified staff.
JP 2070 Phase 2 - Lightweight Torpedo Replacement (334/276/26)
Prime Contractor: EuroTorp, Thales.
This project will deliver MU90 Anti-Submarine Lightweight Torpedoes, integrated with the Anzac and Adelaide class frigates. JP 2070 Phase 2 was removed from the Project of Concern list in December 2012 along with JP 2070 Phase 3.
During 2013-14, this project will complete transition activities sufficiently to close this project.
The key risk for this project is retaining sufficient staff to successfully complete transition activities and close this project.
JP 2072 Phase 2A - Battlespace Communications System (LAND) (439/158/152)
Prime Contractor: Harris Corporation.
This project will deliver combat net radios to replace many of the current land based, dismounted radios in use by the ADF. The current dismounted radio fleets are approaching end-of-life and these legacy analogue radios will be replaced by modern digital radios, maximising commonality with the radio fleet procured under the previous JP 2072 Phase 1.
During 2013-14, this project will continue with delivery of the radios as well as other introduction into service activities. This project will also commence management of support contracts for the radios and ancillaries.
The key risk for this project is managing the smooth transition into service and support of the new capability.
JP 2086 Phase 1 - Mulwala Redevelopment Project (369/331/24)
Prime Contractor: Lend Lease.
This project will deliver a modernised propellant manufacturing facility at Mulwala, to replace the existing but now obsolete plant that dates back to the 1940s. The modernised facility will meet more stringent and contemporary environmental work, health and safety standards. The existing Commonwealth owned Mulwala Facility, which manufactures propellants for incorporation into ADF munitions, is operated by Thales Australia Limited.
During 2013-14, the design and construction contractor will continue the task of commissioning the modernised facility using trained operators from the Thales workforce. This commissioning process will include the manufacture and qualification of military grade propellants. Following acceptance by the Commonwealth in 2014, the modernised facility will be transitioned for operation.
The key risk for this project is the successful transition of propellant production from the existing facility to the modernised facility. This risk is being mitigated by this project obtaining appropriate technical expertise and engaging closely with key internal and external project stakeholders.
This project is being managed as a Project of Concern.
LAND 17 Phase 1A - Artillery Replacement 155MM Howitzer (323/136/28)
Prime Contractor: Through several United States Government Foreign Military Sales cases.
This project will deliver approximately 35 M777A2 lightweight towed howitzers, a command and control battle management system based on the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System software, and course correcting fuzes. This project has introduced into service the towed howitzers, and the final version of the battle management system.
During 2013-14, this project will progress integration activities and is on track to achieve Final Materiel Release. The acquisition of the course correcting fuze is dependant upon the capability achieving United States Government Materiel Release, which is anticipated to occur in late 2012-13.
The key risk for this project is achieving complete integration and interoperability within the ADF Joint Fires Digital Command and Control environment.
LAND 17 Phase 1B - Digital Terminal Control System (115/41/41)
Prime Contractor: Rockwell Collins Australia.
This project will deliver approximately 150 digital terminal control systems. This capability allows artillery forward observers and joint terminal attack controllers to identify targets with greater accuracy through the use of precision targeting software. It also provides the means to digitally request fire support from land, sea or airborne weapon systems.
During 2013-14, this project will deliver the next tranche of digital terminal control systems which includes updated hardware, software and associated operator training. Systems engineering activities remain on-going to ensure compliance with the technical regulatory framework and achievement of platform integration requirements.
The key risk for this project is in delivering a digital terminal control system that meets the integration and interfacing requirements of the joint environment. This risk is being treated through the application of systems engineering methodologies and internal/external stakeholder engagement.
LAND 75 Phase 3.4 - Battle Management System (307/183/30)
Prime Contractor: Elbit Systems Limited.
This project will deliver Mounted Battle Management Systems including command post systems to the ADF in cooperation with Land 125 Phase 3A (dismounted systems) and JP 2072 Phase 1 (Combat Radio System).
During 2013-14, this project will deliver to Army sufficient quantities of equipment to support consideration of the Final Operational Capability decision, which will consist of at least two motorised infantry Battle Groups. To support this decision, the Battle Management System will be employed by an Army Battle Group at Exercise Talisman Sabre 2013. All interoperability development and testing will be completed in 2013-14.
The key risk for this project is completion of the significant design acceptance and introduction into service processes prior to Final Acceptance in 2014.
LAND 116 Phase 3 - Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles (1254/859/62)
Prime Contractor: Thales Australia.
This project, referred to as Project Bushranger, will deliver approximately 1050 vehicles across its five Production Periods, in seven variants (troop, command, mortar, assault pioneer, direct fire weapon, ambulance and air defence). The vehicles will provide protected land mobility to Army combat units and Air Force Airfield Defence Guards. Delivery of 293 Production Period 3 (Project LAND 121) vehicles was completed in February 2012. Production of the Production Period 4 (101 attrition vehicles) will be completed in mid 2013.
During 2013-14, this project will continue to deliver up to 214 Production Period 5 vehicles, which commenced in April 2013 and to conclude in mid 2016.
LAND 121 Phase 3A/5A - Field Vehicles and Trailers - Overlander Program (984/384/235)
Prime Contractor: Light/Lightweight Vehicle: Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific, Light/Lightweight Trailer: Haulmark Trailers Australia.
This project will deliver approximately 2150 G-Wagons, 540 modules and 1800 trailers to provide tactical mobility for ADF training.
During 2013-14, this project will continue to deliver vehicles and trailers to units, and further refine the through-life support system. Training for vehicle operators and maintainers will also continue. Materiel Release of the Surveillance and Reconnaissance variant will be achieved and Airworthiness Certification granted.
The key risk for this project is the possibility of limited schedule delay in one or two variants as capability and functionality acceptance are finalised.
LAND 121 Phase 3B - Overlander – Medium/Heavy Capability, Field Vehicles, Modules and Trailers (2564/8/45)
Prime Contractors: Medium/Heavy Vehicle Capability: Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia, Medium/Heavy Trailer Capability: Haulmark Trailers Australia, Additional Bushmaster vehicles: Thales Australia.
This project will deliver approximately 2700 vehicles, 3500 modules (including flatracks) and
During 2013-14, this project will seek Second Pass approval. Subject to Government approval, this project will award contracts for the production, delivery and through-life support of the medium/heavy capability of vehicles, modules and trailers. Both sub-projects (vehicles/modules and trailers) will begin the design review process leading to production.
SEA 1000 Phase 1A - Future Submarine – Acquisition (214/35/58)
This project will deliver Australia’s Future Submarine Capability.
During 2013-14, this project will prepare for Government consideration in 2014-15, the Future Submarine Top Level Requirement statement, selection of submarine builder and systems integrator, and selection of a reduced number of design concepts for further development and basing considerations.
The key risk for this project is the mobilisation of resources across Government, Industry and academia to undertake Australia’s largest ever Defence program.
SEA 1390 Phase 4B - SM-1 Missile Replacement (400/335/24)
Prime Contractor: Through a United States Government Foreign Military Sales case and various commercial contracts - Lockheed Martin-United States, AAI Corporation, BAE Systems-United States and Thales Australia.
This project upgrades four Adelaide class frigates with the SM-2 Surface-to-Air Mid Course Guidance mode missile capability. It will also acquire the weapons, and provide missile technician training.
During 2013-14, this project will seek consideration for the granting of Operational Release from the Chief of Navy, finalise the Foreign Military Sales case and prepare for formal project closure.
The key risk for this project is not achieving Operational Release. This is considered low risk as Naval Operational Test and Evaluation has been completed.
SEA 1448 Phase 2A - Anzac Ship Anti-Ship Missile Defence (386/288/23)
Prime Contractor: The contract management is under the formal Alliance Agreement: Anzac Ship Alliance (Commonwealth of Australia with Tenix and Saab). The current Alliance Agreement is being replaced by a new Anzac Ship Integrated Materiel Support Program Alliance. Defence is contracted with CEA Technologies for radar equipment design, development and production.
As part of the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) Program, this project will provide the Anzac class frigates with an upgraded Combat Management System and introduce an Infrared Search and Track System to the platform.
During 2013-14, this project will continue with the ASMD Follow-On Ships upgrade work on HMAS Arunta and HMAS Anzac.
The key risk for this project, in conjunction with Phase 2B, is the overall substantiation of the weapon system’s design capabilities and the achievement of sea acceptance.
SEA 1448 Phase 2B - Anzac Ship Anti-Ship Missile Defence (676/407/73)
Prime Contractor: CEA Technologies Proprietary Limited and the Anzac Ship Integrated Material, Support Program Alliance (comprising the DMO, Saab Technologies Australia and BAE Systems).
This project will deliver a phased array radar system to the Anzac class frigate for target indication/tracking, mid-course guidance and target illumination for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, and a new dual navigation radar system to replace the existing navigation radar suite.
During 2013-14, this project will deliver the final stage 2 component of the ASMD program, consisting of a software upgrade to both the phased array radar and combat management system. This will deliver unequalled capability, making the ANZAC class frigate the most capable ship in its class. During 2013-14, both HMAS Perth and HMAS Arunta will be upgraded and delivered to Navy with the full ASMD capability.
The key risk for this project is that the final suite of weapon firings does not prove the weapon system’s design capabilities and/or achieve sea acceptance.
SEA 1448 Phase 4A - Anzac Electronic Support System Improvements (260/6/25)
Prime Contractor: Exelis Inc.
This project will provide the Anzac class Frigates with an improved tactical Electronic Support (ES) mission system for improved passive situational awareness and early threat warning. The project includes the provision of an ES mission system and emulators for training and a ground based support segment for ES mission system programming.
During 2013-14, this project will complete System Preliminary Design Review and System Critical Design Review.
The key risk for this project is the integration of the ES mission system into the complex electromagnetic environment of the Anzac class Frigates.
SEA 4000 Phase 3 - Air Warfare Destroyer Build (7859/4458/625)
Prime Contractor: The AWD Alliance.
The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program is being delivered under an alliance-based contracting arrangement between ASC AWD Shipbuilder Pty Ltd, Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd and the Government, represented by the DMO.
This project will deliver three Hobart class AWDs and their support system to the Navy, providing a significant increase in defence capabilities, from area air-defence and escort duties, right through to peacetime national tasking and diplomatic missions.
During 2013-14, this project will achieve a number of key milestones, including the completion of block consolidation and integration for Ship 01, Hobart, and the keel-laying for Ship 02, Brisbane. The AWD Alliance will continue to receive deliveries of combat system equipment for the future destroyers and blocks will continue to arrive in Adelaide for Ship 02 and Ship 03.
The key challenge for this project is to maintain an efficient, sustainable workforce that is successful in progressing the consolidation and integration of the AWDs, leading into through-life support activities for the destroyers and future initiatives to protect the naval shipbuilding industry capability ahead of the future submarine program.
Acquisition projects previously in Top 30 lists, but now almost complete, include 24 Super Hornet fighter/bombers; F/A-18A Classic Hornet upgrades; C-17 Globemaster III heavy transport aircraft; the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter; M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier upgrade; and Guided Missile Frigate Upgrade Implementation.
There are a small number of minor projects for the Navy, Army and Air Force which total $197m.
By its very nature Defence does not lend itself to rapid changes in non-operational expenditure, other than by deferring planned acquisition expenditures through withholding approvals or readjusting delivery schedules e.g. AWD vessels and F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
However, urgent large scale deployments can create a spike in unavoidable operating costs.
In the present national and international economic and political climate, funding pressures will continue to be exerted on Defence budgets. However, with broadly bipartisan political support for the ADF, there should be no sudden shocks impacting personnel, their platforms, and the equipment and stores that they use.
This Budget continues the capability intentions of recent years and although there will undoubtedly be some fine tuning of budgets on an annual basis. The ADF should be able to continue meet the outcomes expected of it.
For all 230 pages of detail, go to http://www.defence.gov.au/budget/13-14/index.htm.