Australia Defense Market Developments
Australia is spending $200+ Billion on defense acquisition thru to 2030 and is delivering major opportunities for US industry, with Australia arguably the US’ 2nd largest defense customer over the past five years. As a close defense ally for over a century, this bilateral relationship has resulted in a unique defense trade and investment relationship. The US is by far the leading supplier of defense equipment to Australia and Australia is also both an exporter to the US and a leading investor in the defense sector with facilities in over thirty US states. Leading examples of those defense investors include Austal and EOS.
New sectoral opportunities have moved progressively from air and sea towards land-based systems, helicopters, cyber and space. There is a strong policy focus on building Australian industry capabilities so every effort should be made to involve local industry and/or optimize in-country activity in project bids.
Those US companies with existing Australian operations have a distinct advantage and the larger ones are prominent prime contractors – Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, Jet Aviation Group, Bell, KBR and Huntingdon Ingalls and many others. The largest success in 2021 has been the Australian Government selection of the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian as its new armed reconnaissance helicopter in a project with an estimated value of USD 3.5 – 4 Billion. There are also many smaller export successes, including direct sales from the US, but generally it is wise to seek out a distributor.
A series of major defense trade shows is scheduled from May 2022 thru February 2023 focusing on naval (Indo Pacific Maritime), Land Forces incl rotorcraft, military IT and comms systems (MilCIS) and aviation and space (Avalon 2023). US pavilions feature at three of these and all will have strong US exhibitor participation. These events have increasingly taken on wider Indo Pacific regional profiles.