This week the Australian government has announced the largest expansion of the ADF in decades, in response to perceived growing threats from China and Russia. The plans would include the hiring of almost 20,000 new uniformed ADF personnel at a cost of close to $40billon.
At this stage the plans would see the ADFs uniformed force increase from 60,000 personnel to nearly 80,000 over an 18-year period. The new personnel will work in a range of fields including the newly appointed nuclear submarine program, hunter class frigates, Arafura class patrol boats, space security, cyber security, and defensive missile systems.
The plans would mean that by 2040 the number of permanent ADF employees will grow to 101,000. Defence minister Peter Dutton has said that “the growth in workforce and expertise will enable us to deliver our nuclear submarines, ships, aircraft and advanced weapons”.
Prime minister Scott Morrison has said that the beef-up was necessary as Australia faced a more uncertain world, with China’s increased militarisation of the east and South China Sea as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has also pledged that if he were to win Mays election, he would guarantee at least 2% of Australia’s GDP would be invested on the ADF.