Today I have released an updat­ed and enhanced Pub­lic Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan (the DCP).
The DCP update (Update 2) pro­vides key infor­ma­tion for the Par­lia­ment, Defence indus­try and the Aus­tralian pub­lic on Defence’s Cap­i­tal Acqui­si­tion Plans.

The enhance­ments to the DCP fol­low a review of the DCP com­mis­sioned by the Gov­ern­ment from the inde­pen­dent Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute on ways to make the DCP a more use­ful and more trans­par­ent doc­u­ment.

The return to a ten-year plan­ning hori­zon pro­vides a longer term view of Defence’s capa­bil­i­ty require­ments.

The updat­ed DCP con­tains 140 capa­bil­i­ty projects or phas­es, with a total bud­get of over $150 bil­lion in 2010 prices.

It includes a num­ber of new fea­tures:

  • infor­ma­tion on ini­tial oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty, final oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty, ini­tial materiel release and life of type where that infor­ma­tion is avail­able;
  • more details on the oppor­tu­ni­ties that may be avail­able to the Aus­tralian defen­cein­dus­try;
  • indica­tive tim­ing for major sched­uled project activ­i­ties;
  • detail on any project relat­ed infra­struc­ture or facil­i­ties; and
  • improved cost esti­mate infor­ma­tion.

The increased infor­ma­tion will give the Par­lia­ment, indus­try and the pub­lic a bet­ter under­stand­ing of Defence’s capa­bil­i­ty and acqui­si­tion plans. It will also help indus­try bet­ter pre­pare for its engage­ments with Defence and bet­ter plan its future invest­ment and skilling deci­sions. This will help Defence to best achieve the crit­i­cal task of equip­ping, sup­port­ing and sus­tain­ing our sailors, sol­diers, air­men and air women.

It is impor­tant to note that the DCP changes over time as Defence pri­or­i­ties and strate­gic cir­cum­stances change and new projects enter the DCP, or projects are approved and as a con­se­quence removed from the DCP.

It is there­fore the case that changes will occur in com­ing years. Projects may be accel­er­at­ed, deferred, or dimin­ished as cir­cum­stances change. While the DCP pro­vides the best infor­ma­tion avail­able at the time of pub­lish­ing, some of the infor­ma­tion in the DCP, includ­ing in rela­tion to approval sched­ules is indica­tive.

This DCP is no excep­tion, and since the Feb­ru­ary 2010 elec­tron­ic update:

  • four projects or phas­es have been approved by Gov­ern­ment and there­fore removed from the DCP;
  • two projects have been can­celled; and
  • sev­en projects have been brought for­ward, 19 projects have had their indica­tive sched­ules deferred and nine projects pro­vide more pre­cise infor­ma­tion on their sched­ule.

In addi­tion to the four projects or phas­es approved and removed from the DCP, the Gov­ern­ment has approved an addi­tion­al 16 projects (includ­ing first or sec­ond pass) since Feb­ru­ary 2010.

The total val­ue of projects approved since Feb­ru­ary 2010 is near­ly $2 bil­lion.

There is also an ele­ment of over-pro­gram­ming built into the DCP. Over-pro­gram­ming is designed to pro­vide flex­i­bil­i­ty and to ensure that best use is made of avail­able fund­ing in the devel­op­ment of indi­vid­ual projects. Over-pro­gram­ming means that project tim­ing may change.

The con­tri­bu­tion of Australia’s local defence indus­try is cru­cial to our defence and nation­al secu­ri­ty. The Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel and I pro­pose in ear­ly 2011 to meet with key Defence indus­try groups, includ­ing the Aus­tralian Indus­try and Defence Net­work (AIDN), the Defence Coun­cil of the Aus­tralian Indus­try Group and the Aus­tralian Busi­ness Defence Indus­try Unit.

2011 promis­es to be a demand­ing year for project approvals and I look for­ward to Defence and Indus­try work­ing togeth­er to progress the plans out­lined in the DCP.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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