The Australian Government came to grips with the reality confronting the country’s defence capability a couple of years ago. This was that the warning time for a future military opponent’s attack on Australian territory had shrunk from a presumed ten years to a seriously shorter interval, possibly within 24 months. At the same time, potential adversaries – one in particular – were rearming with a range of sea, land and air platforms which could fire longer range and more powerful explosive ordnance.
The Government’s response to this new military challenge was to realise that the current methods of procuring new defence capabilities would not deliver results within the required timescale. A new approach was needed.
When APDR asked about the Government’s defence priorities their spokesperson responded formally, but with little new information, as has become the new normal:
“In its response to the Defence Strategic Review, the Government has confirmed that the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise is one of its highest Defence priorities.” he said. “The Australian Defence Force must have the capacity to deter through denial any adversary’s attempt to project power against Australia. The realisation of the GWEO Enterprise is central to achieving this objective.
“Participation in the GWEO Enterprise is open to all Australian industry. Defence’s Strategic Partners are already beginning to engage with potential local suppliers of components and services” the spokesperson concluded.
On 31st March 2021, the GWEO Enterprise was borne, requiring widespread participation from Defence Industry as well as from the Defence organisation and the ADF.