Australia to Double Its Naval Fleet in Buildup Aimed at China

Australian officials say the country will have its largest fleet since WWII

On Monday, Australia announced a plan to increase its military spending by $7 billion and more than double its fleet of warships over the next 10 years as part of a buildup aimed at China, Australia’s largest trading partner.

According to AFP, the plan will see Australia increase its number of surface vessels to 26, up from 11 today. Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said it will be Australia’s largest fleet since World War II.

“What is critically important to understand is that as we look forward, with an uncertain world in terms of great power contest, we’ll have a dramatically different capability in the mid-2030s to what we have now,” Marles said.

Australia is also working with the US and the UK on the AUKUS military pact that will arm Canberra with nuclear-powered submarines, with the eventual goal of Australia being able to produce its own. Australia is expected to spend up to $245 billion on AUKUS by 2055.

On top of its own military buildup, Canberra is allowing the US to beef up its presence in Australia. Another aspect of AUKUS includes more deployments of US troops, aircraft, and naval assets to Australia.

A report from Reuters recently revealed that last year, during the US and Australia’s Talisman Sabre exercises, the US left behind a new weapons stockpile in Australia. The US is looking to establish similar stockpiles in the Philippines, Japan, and possibly Taiwan.

Source: AntiWar.

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