The 2020 Defence Strategic Update identified the need for Defence to act with greater independence in an increasingly contested strategic environment. In March 2021, the Government announced the acceleration of a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (the Enterprise) to boost skilled jobs and help secure Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.
The Department of Defence has issued a Request for Information seeking input from industry and academia regarding capacity and interest in participating in the Enterprise. Feedback is also being sought on the potential roles that organisations could play to assist the Commonwealth and Department of Defence in the delivery of all or parts of the Enterprise.
The Enterprise provides significant opportunities in advanced manufacturing for Australian small to medium businesses. To achieve this, the Government will partner with Australian industry and deliver on the Government‘s commitment to growing Australian industry and securing jobs. Building the Enterprise is a complex undertaking and Defence will work closely with Australian industry, including small and medium business, and academia in its design and development to deliver the required sovereign guided weapons capability.
The Enterprise will provide the enabling ecosystem to support Defence’s inventory of guided weapons and explosive ordnance, and comprises multiple capability elements including manufacturing, research and development, education and training, test and evaluation, maintenance and repair, storage and distribution, and disposal. Balanced investment in each of the Enterprise capability elements is essential to create a sustainable and enduring enterprise.
Defence is in the planning phase of establishing the Enterprise, including defining key requirements, and is seeking industry input through this Request for Information (published on AusTender). Defence will continue to engage and collaborate with industry to deliver a genuine sovereign guided weapons capability and will soon provide details of a forthcoming Information Session to interested parties. Register interest for the information session at GWEO.firstname.lastname@example.org.