Sydney, MINA – Australia will become one of the world’s top 10 global defence exporters within the next decade according to an ambitious plan unveiled by the country’s government on Monday.
“We are underdone in terms of our defence industry historically,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in Sydney.
The new defence export strategy aims to put Australia on par with major arms-exporting countries like Britain, France and Germany, according to DPA.
The centrepiece is a 3.8 billion dollars (3 billion US dollars) facility that the government says will create thousands of jobs for local manufacturers to sell equipment overseas.
Australia’s current defence products exports per year are worth 1.5 to 2.5 billion dollars. These include high-tech defence equipment such as electronics, surveillance systems and military software.
The country is ranked 20th in global defence industry exports. The United States is by far the largest defence exporter, accounting for about a third of the world’s sales, followed by Russia, France and Germany.
The government strategy has identified a number of “priority markets,” including the Middle East, the Indo-Pacific region, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom.
Turnbull pointed to the local achievement of Thales Australia’s Bushmaster armoured vehicles. The vehicles are made in Bendigo, a rural city in Victoria, and exported to Japan and the Netherlands.
Nick McKim, a senator with the Greens Party, criticized the government plan as “disgusting.”
“They want Australia to become a mass exporter of violence, a mass exporter of death, a mass exporter of human misery,” McKim said. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)