Defence and Security
Industry Capability Reports
Delivering cutting-edge capability solutions
Australia’s defence industry has a proud history of delivering cutting-edge capability solutions, on time and within budget. Australia’s defence industry is diversified, with expertise in research and development, production of platforms and components, and sustainment of existing capabilities – across the air, land, sea, space and cyber domains.
Australian defence firms have supplied Australia’s and allied defence forces with sophisticated capability solutions for deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands, South-East Asia and East Timor.
Australia’s defence industry has also achieved significant export success internationally, supplying capabilities from platforms such as Thales Australia’s Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle, to components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The Australian Government will invest over $200 billion over the next decade to build its capability in the Australian Defence Force. Investment will power expertise and innovation. In turn, this places Australia’s defence industry in a strong position to export cutting-edge products, technologies and services.
To find out more about Australian defence and security industry capabilities, please contact the Austrade Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space Team.
Australia’s leading-edge aerospace industry is already a competitive supplier to the world’s markets. This includes being awarded over A$1 billion in F-35 Joint Strike Fighter contracts for activities such as vertical tail manufacture, sensors and cable/wiring production.
Australia is a world leader in aircraft maintenance and life extensions, successfully supporting a range of Royal Australian Air Force aircraft and aircraft to countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Australia’s aerospace industry also has strong capabilities in system and software design, engineering, component design, manufacturing and servicing, air systems integration, airport equipment and services, air traffic management and aircrew training for both civil and defence applications.
Australian defence companies design, manufacture and support specialist military vehicles such as Thales Australia’s Bushmaster Protected Vehicle, which is in service with seven countries. Australian-designed vehicles are capable of withstanding harsh environments while conducting demanding missions.
Australia’s defence industry has experience in developing a range of land vehicle components such as fibreglass components, blast protection and rugged suspension. This experience and capability will grow further in the years ahead as Australia’s defence industry delivers new combat reconnaissance vehicle, infantry fighting vehicles and manoeuvre support vehicles.
Australian defence companies have also designed and manufactured a range of specialist military equipment such as night vision goggles, combat protection products, munitions and small arms.
Australia’s naval shipbuilding sector is internationally competitive and has a proven track record for construction, integration, modification and support of naval vessels and on-board systems.
Australia’s world-class naval capabilities include: design, ship construction, modular fabrication, systems integration, platform integration, sub-system design and maintenance. Local shipyards are recognised as specialists in the design and construction of patrol boats and high-speed naval vessels. Australia built and operates the world’s most advanced conventional submarines, the Collins Class, as well as ANZAC Class frigates, Armidale Class patrol boats and the Hobart Class air warfare destroyers.
The experience established through the delivery of Australia’s current naval fleet are now being utilised to renew the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy with 12 Attack Class submarines, 9 Hunter Class frigates and 12 Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels being constructed, alongside 21 Guardian Class pacific patrol boats.
Australia’s space industry is rapidly growing. The Australian government has committed approximately A$13 billion in space-related spending up to 2036. With the new Australian Space Agency helping to coordinate Australian industry and open Australia to global space programs, there will be ever greater opportunities for international space companies to invest in – and work with – Australia’s space sector.
The Australian Space Agency’s sector priorities are designed to transform and grow Australia’s space industry. These sectors include: communications technologies; services and ground; space situational awareness; positioning, navigation and timing; earth observation (EO) services; robotics and automation; research and development, and leapfrog technologies; and access to space.
Australia is a fast-growing participant in the global defence cyber market, supported by the Australian Government’s A$230 million Cyber Security Strategy and significant investments from the Department of Defence. Australian cyber companies have strong capabilities across multiple sectors, from training and professional services, to active defence and incident response.
Competitive cyber expertise has led to Australian companies partnering with global defence primes and supporting international defence forces. Australia’s cyber industry has a reputation for creating world-class products that are swiftly incorporated into existing systems and platforms. Australian expertise includes: secure mobility solutions; quantum encryption; AI-driven deception; IoT security; cloud security.
To highlight Australian industry capabilities, Austrade has created Australia’s first Defence Cyber Industry Capability report. This showcases Australia’s best-in-class cyber organisations that support the global defence market.
Intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) and electronic warfare (EW)
Australian firms also deliver cutting-edge radars and surveillance equipment, including unmanned aerial vehicles, phased array radars, electro-optic systems and underwater sensors. Australian industry has developed world leading capabilities such as the ANZAC combat management system and CEAFAR phased array radar.
Secure software packages and tactical command centres are also available for the analysis of surveillance and reconnaissance data for intelligence purposes.
Research and development
Australia’s defence industry sector has a global reputation for innovation. Achievements include the Jindalee Operational Radar Network, REDWING force protection systems and CEAFAR phased array radar.
This track record will continue with the Australian Government establishing the A$730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund to invest in emerging and future technologies and the A$640 million Defence Innovation Hub to mature technologies.
Australia is also home to several major research and development institutions that support the defence industry. These include Australian universities, and the innovation and collaboration centres of global defence primes, as well as the Australian Government’s world-leading Defence Science and Technology Group.
Supporting products and services
The success of the defence industry is dependent on the use of high technology equipment that creates an advantage for Australian troops in military action.
Australian defence companies have extensive experience working with defence forces to provide logistic support and develop complex command and control systems.
Global partners look to Australia for its highly-skilled workforce and the specialist training available. This includes training in navigation and seamanship, systems engineering and integration, officer and pilot training, and aero-maintenance.
Showcasing Australian defence and security technology
In 2018, the Australian Government released the Defence Export Strategy. This includes additional initiatives and assistance to Australian industry to grow the export of defence products and services.
Austrade provides export advisory and facilitation services, such as connecting Australian businesses to overseas partners and conducting trade missions.
The Australian Defence Export Office has been established to coordinate Australian Government activities and support export success. Austrade works closely with the Office to support Australian businesses.
Team Defence Australia, managed by the Australian Defence Export Office, provides the Australian defence industry with international exposure through trade shows and targeted trade missions.
The Centre for Defence Industry Capability supports businesses entering or working in the defence industry by providing advisory and facilitation services and grants. The Centre can also provide businesses advice about becoming export ready.
Defence Export Controls
Australia has a strong export control framework that supports the responsible export of defence and dual-use goods, consistent with Australia's national interests and international obligations.
The Department of Defence’s Defence Export Controls can be reached on 1800 661 066 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. All relevant forms and guidelines are listed at www.defence.gov.au/exportcontrols.