Defence recognises industry as a Fundamental Input to Capability. This means Defence recognises that an internationally competitive and innovative Australian defence industry is essential to delivering and supporting the future Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Capability requirements


The Government is investing $200 billion to modernise Australia’s defence capability. Some of the high profile and important new capabilities that the ADF is acquiring and sustaining include:

  • a continuous naval shipbuilding program beginning with 9 frigates, 12 submarines and 12 offshore patrol vessels, all built in Australia
  • the next generation of armoured fighting vehicles and protected mobility vehicles
  • a more potent air combat and air strike capability to support the future air combat fleet, including the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter
  • enhanced capabilities in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, space, electronic warfare and cyber
  • advanced training, modern equipment, and health care and logistics systems to support Australian Defence Force personnel

These projects envisage an industrial and technological leap forward. Industry must develop its own capabilities through upskilling, innovation and diversification to seize the opportunities in this $200 billion investment.

Defence is making its requirements clearer so that Australian business, academic and research organisations can understand what Defence needs and invest in their own capabilities.

Two key documents will help you plan your business’s development:

  • The Integrated Investment Program - outlines the areas of Defence capability investment. This is a good reference tool to understand the future Defence program and identify long-term opportunities for your business.
  • The Defence Industrial Capability Plan - brings together the entry points and programs available to Australian defence businesses. The plan also identifies the Sovereign Priorities that are critical to Defence and should be maintained and supported in Australia.

In addition, Defence provides information about:

Industry strategies and programs


The Naval Shipbuilding Plan, released in May 2017, outlines the Government’s vision for the Australian naval shipbuilding enterprise and the significant investment required in coming decades.

The Defence Export Strategy, released in January 2018, builds on the Government’s defence industry policy by setting out a comprehensive system to plan, guide and measure defence export outcomes over the coming decade.

The Defence industry skilling and STEM strategy outlines how the Government will help Australian defence industry meet its workforce requirements in the coming decades. It provides $32 million in funding for new and existing initiatives, including $4 million to establish a new skilling grant.

The 2019 Defence Policy for Industry Participation is designed to make it easier for Australian companies to compete for Defence work. It requires tenderers to address Australian industry involvement for all Defence materiel and non-materiel procurements above $4 million, and for the procurement of construction services above $7.5 million. It builds on the Australian Industry Capability Program and Local Industry Capability Plan.

Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities are industrial capabilities considered critical to Defence and for which Australia must have access to, or control over, the skills, technology, intellectual property, financial resources and infrastructure that underpin those capabilities. Defence and the CDIC will progressively map and gather detailed information for each Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority, with the aim of releasing an implementation plan for each Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority from mid-2019.

The Australian Industry Capability (AIC) Program encourages involvement of Australian industry in supply chains. Under the program, prime contractors wishing to compete for Defence tenders over $20 million are required to identify Australian suppliers to meet the needs of Defence contracts.

Policy framework


For a deeper understanding of Defence’s strategic direction:

  • The 2016 Defence White Paper sets out a comprehensive, long-term plan for Australia’s defence. Australian industry will play a major role in delivering the plans in the Defence White Paper.
  • The Defence Industry Policy Statement provides the foundation to take the partnerships between Defence and industry to new levels of cooperation, with a focus on stronger, more strategic partnerships and closer alignment between industry investment and Defence capability needs.