“In terms of defense and national security, the former government has been big on rhetoric. It was awful in action. And it let the nation drift. As a result, a number of major purchases are lagging behind, ”he said.
Although he declined to specify a specific date, Marles said the initial 18-month deadline for deciding on the submarine – until March 2023 – “is an order that is a reasonable time.”
“Right now, we are undergoing a process of evaluating options for what will be the solution for AUKUS submarines, which will supply next-generation submarines, a nuclear submarine for the country,” he said.
“In doing so, we are also considering how quickly it can be delivered, and it will really answer the question of the emerging gap in opportunities. And from there we will consider a number of options in terms of tackling this gap in opportunities. And there are many options. “
Options considered to address the lack of capacity include the so-called diesel-electric submarine “son of Collins”. to which some experts have calledor a Virginia-class boat delivered to the United States.
Former Secretary of Defense Peter Datton said it was a great decision to extend the powers of ADF executives, but dismissed the view that the previous government had left a significant gap in potential.
“It goes against logic. When the works were [last] in government, they have reduced defense spending to the lowest level since 1938, ”he said, adding that the former government had spent more money on troops, training and equipment.
“I think it’s an absurd comment for him and frankly below him on a day when we should celebrate the extension of General Campbell and others [chiefs]».
The decision to extend the terms of appointment of General Campbell, Vice Admiral Johnston and General Bilton is unusual but not unprecedented. The last defense chief to extend his term was Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who was appointed by former Prime Minister John Howard in 2005 and extended by Kevin Rad until 2011.
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