Shoal Group welcomes the release of the Defence Strategic Review

Defence Strategic Review

Shoal Group welcomes the release of the Defence Strategic Review. While the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines has been previously announced, the focus on the manufacture of longer-range guided weapons in Australia, and the improvement of the ADF’s ability to operate from bases in northern Australia are both sensible initiatives in the current geo-political circumstances.

Shoal particularly welcomes the Government’s aim to lift the capacity of the Australian defence industry to rapidly translate disruptive technologies into ADF capability. This focus area is expected to become increasingly important in the coming years to provide the ADF with domestically developed operational advantage, supported by an increasingly capable Australian defence industry. Of note is the Government’s commitment to establish an Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA), and the recommendation that ASCA ‘be an unencumbered entity outside of Defence’ (DSR p.73). These comments are consistent with Shoal’s earlier proposals for the establishment of a strategic technology development agency, focused on asymmetric and dual-use capabilities. See here and here and here.

Shoal also supports the Review recommendation that ASCA priorities be aligned with AUKUS Pillar II Advanced Capabilities. Australian industry has significant extant and developing advanced technology capabilities in AUKUS Pillar II; for example with quantum, space and cyber.

The strategic environment is becoming more complex, and the challenges facing Australia in the near term continue to grow. National resilience, and increased self-reliance, are key aspects of the security posture that is needed. As a systems thinking and systems engineering company, with over 20 years’ experience in complex defence projects, Shoal Group can contribute to bringing the goals of the Defence Strategic Review into reality.

References in this article include:
National Defence: Defence Strategic Review 2023, 24 April 2023, Department of Defence
Joint Leaders Statement AUKUS14 Mar 2023, Prime Minister, President of the United States of America, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister of Australia
An Australia DARPA would need to do development as well as research, 29 Jul 2021, and ASPI The Strategist
Designing an Australian DARPA, 30 Sep 2021,  and ASPI The Strategist
What would an Australian DARPA actually do?, 10 Dec 2021, and ASPI The Strategist