The Australian government last week launched a new defence industry policy, designed to achieve the cost-effective delivery of equipment and support to the Australian Defence Force (ADF), help the local defence industry prosper through facilitating exports, and develop local defence skills.

The policy is based on nine strategies - a strategic approach to equipping and sustaining the ADF maintaining priority for local industry capabilities securing value for money through best-practice procurement creating opportunities for Australian firms encouraging small and medium enterprises supporting the development of skills in the defence industry facilitating defence exports driving innovation in defence technology and defence and industry working together.

The policy will deliver "a more capable, responsive and sustainable local defence industry", says defence minister Brendan Nelson. It will also result in new initiatives designed to bring the Department of Defence and industry closer together through increased government support for research and development, increased efforts to expand defence industry exports and an expansion of the government's Skilling Australia's Defence Industry programme to address a skills shortage in the industry.

Source: Flight International