July 20, 2024

Australia to double the size of its Navy fleet to counter rising threat from China

New spend will total $54billion

The navy’s surface fleet will more than double in size, with Australia buying more smaller warships and boosting the strike ability of larger ones under a $54billion spend.

An additional $11.1 billion will be pumped into Australia’s combat fleet over the next decade, which covers the acquisition of 11 new general-purpose frigates.

There will also be six ‘optionally crewed’ ships.

The troubled Hunter-class frigate program will be scaled back from nine ships to six to make way for general-purpose vessels.

The first Hunter will arrive in 2032 as scheduled but the general-purpose boats will be expedited to arrive this decade.

The first three general-purpose frigates will be built overseas so they’re in the water faster before the rest are built in Perth.

The ANZAC-class frigates and Hobart-class destroyers will also get a facelift with new anti-ship and long range missiles as the Australian Defence Force looks to project itself deeper into the Pacific.

This includes replacing harpoon anti-ship missiles with naval strike missiles and installing tomahawks for long range.

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