Building new warships and submarines will soak up to $4 billion in taxpayer funding a year, jeopardising the Defence Department's ability to acquire new equipment and its capability to the other services and confront emerging threats, a think-tank has warned.
In its annual review of the Defence Department's budget, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says the Turnbull government's demands for a new ship and submarine to be delivered every two years is "potentially unsustainable" and predicts it will cost taxpayers up to $20 billion before the first of the new frigates and submarines enter service in 10 and 15 years’ time.
"That's a lot of money to have tied up before we have anything to show for it," the report said.
ASPI also flags that sustainment costs for the new warships, submarines and fighter jets are set to soar as equipment physically gets bigger and more technologically advanced and the size of fleets rises, putting further strain on the budget. (end of excerpt)
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