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Parliamentary Secretary Kelly briefs personnel at RAAF Base Amberley on the Defence White Paper.

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THE HON. DR MIKE KELLY MP Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support

A Defence Force for the 21st Century

Wednesday, 6 May 2009 022/2009


Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, accompanied by the Member for Oxley, Mr Bernie Ripoll MP, today visited RAAF Base Amberley to brief personnel on the new Defence White Paper, which will deliver an air force for the future.

“Maintaining Australia’s regional air superiority is critical to Australia’s defence. The acquisition of around 100 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, along with the bridging air combat capability provided by the Super Hornets will ensure the RAAF maintains a technological edge in the region,” Dr Kelly said.

“I’m very pleased to be able to brief personnel here at Amberley about the Government’s commitment to Air Force. The Government has invested heavily in the infrastructure at Amberley to support its growth, and I know the Ipswich community is very supportive of the base.”

The 2009 Defence White Paper outlines the following key capability priorities for the Air Force:

• Around 100 fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and associated weapons systems; • Half of Australia’s F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet fleet will be configured on the production line to enable them to be converted to the EA-18G

‘Growler’ electronic attack variant should later strategic circumstances dictate; • Delivery of five KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport for air-to-air refuelling, that will increase the range and endurance of combat and

surveillance aircraft; • Six new Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft to provide surveillance, command and control functions to other

networked Australian Defence Force platforms; • Eight new Maritime Patrol Aircraft, which will provide advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities as well as

sophisticated maritime search capabilities; • Approximately seven new high-altitude, long-endurance Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), to compliment the new Maritime Patrol Aircraft

A Defence Force for the 21st Century

and replace the current AP3C Orion fleet with a more comprehensive and advanced maritime surveillance capability; • Enhanced air transport capability options through the acquisition of a further two additional C-130J Hercules to bring the total fleet number to

14 aircraft; • Up to 10 new tactical battlefield airlifters with a significantly greater range, speed, payload and protection measures that the retiring

Caribou; • New and upgraded systems to collect and fuse air surveillance information from multiple sources, in order to create a Recognised Air Picture of the Australian Defence Forces’s primary operational

environment; • Improved military air traffic control, navigation and communications systems that will permit closer alignment of the national systems for

both military and civilian air traffic management; • The use of modern technology to deliver improved training outcomes through the application of high fidelity simulation and mission rehearsal systems.

The 2009 Defence White Paper represents the most comprehensive statement on Defence ever produced. It affirms the Government’s commitment to the defence of Australia, the protection of our sovereign interests and the security and stability of our region.

Media contacts: Mark Sjolander (Dr Mike Kelly): 02 6277 4840 or 0407 102 220 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664