Australia presents multi-billion dollar naval reform.

Australia announced a multi-million-dollar review of its navy this Tuesday, which, according to senior officials, responds to “growing geostrategic uncertainty.”

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles told reporters the review would give the navy its largest surface fleet since World War II.

The plan’s total cost for the next 10 years is estimated at $35.25 billion.

The renewal of the Australian naval fleet aims to double the number of warships more than. Analysts say the reforms will help prepare the military for potential armed conflict in the Indo-Pacific region and growing unrest in Canberra over China’s military and territorial ambitions.

Under the Australian plan, there will be up to 11 new utility frigates, six new surface ships, and a fleet of drone-type vessels that can be operated remotely without sailors on board.

Last year’s review concluded that Australia’s defense forces were no longer “fit for purpose” and that the navy needed a more strategic mix of smaller and larger warships.

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, head of the Australian navy, told reporters in Sydney that the new plan would eventually create the “most lethal surface combatant force” the country had seen in generations.

“In a context of growing geostrategic uncertainty, this is an important investment for national security,” he declared.

The Canberra government aims to increase Australia’s warship fleet from 11 to 26 vessels by the late 2040s.

Marcus Hellyer, research director at Strategic Analysis Australia, a defense and security consultancy, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the new plan should reverse years of neglect by the navy.

«It’s really important because – I don’t want to get too dramatic – but we run the risk of not having a navy. The chickens have come home to lay their eggs on more than a decade of terribly misguided decisions between the previous government and senior defense leadership. “Between the two of us, they have put us in a terrible situation.”

Australia also plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS agreement with the United States and Britain.

Analysts say China’s growing aggressiveness is a key motivation behind the trilateral AUKUS deal, but China has accused the three countries of a “Cold War mentality,” saying the alliance was embarking on a “path of error and danger.”.»

Phil Mercer