So far our new submarines have cost the Australian taxpayer $127 million, with an estimated $319 million to be spent in 2017-18.
The government has so far approved spending of $935 million of the estimated $50 billion to construct 12 new submarines in Adelaide.
French firm DCNS was chosen as the designer last year, signing an initial design mobilisation contract with the Commonwealth.
Defence said the mobilisation activities will involve establishment of a resident project team in France to oversee design work undertaken by DCNS and combat system integrator Lockheed Martin.
Activities will also involve start of work on submarine construction infrastructure in Adelaide.
DEFENCE COOPERATION PROGRAM
Australia is substantially increasing defence spending to support the armed forces of small regional neighbours.
Spending on the Defence Cooperation program was just under $109 million in 2016-17 but that will rise to $131.7 million next financial year.
A central element is the new Pacific Patrol Boat Program to replace the 22 vessels donated to 12 nations. West Australian shipbuilder Austal has started work on the new steel-hulled vessels with the first to be handed over next year.
PNG remains the largest recipient of aid through the DCP with support to reach an estimated $41.8 million in 2017-18.
The Australian Federal Police appears to be one of the big budget winners with the Government investing an extra $321.4 million over four years to enhance AFP capability to fight terrorism and crime.
The Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) will also receive additional funding.
Just how much extra we don’t know because the actual figures aren’t included in the budget papers for national security reasons.
With the Commonwealth Games to be staged on the Gold Coast next year, the federal and Queensland governments will launch a major security operation to prevent terrorist attacks.
The federal government will put up an extra $34.2 million for security support for the games and Queen’s Baton Relay.
The security operation will also involve a large number of other agencies including state and federal police and security services.
The Navy is set to retire the rest of its long serving Adelaide class frigates, the FFGs, which entered service in the 1980s.
HMAS Darwin will go in September 2017, HMAS Newcastle in June 2019 and HMAS Melbourne in September 2019. As they depart, the three new Hobart-class air warfare destroyers will be increasingly available.
Also to go is supply ship HMAS Success in 2018-19 and tanker HMAS Sirius in 2019-20. Their replacements, two new Spanish-built Cantabria class replenishment vessels, will enter service in 2019-20.
Both new Canberra class amphibious assault ships have experienced problems with their propulsion systems and remain tied up in Sydney. Defence said emergent repair work could see a decrease in their availability.
We don’t actually have any F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft based in Australia yet and won’t until the end of next year.
But already our two aircraft in the US, part of the international training unit, are accruing substantial flying hours, 500 in 2016-17 and 752 scheduled for 2017-18.
As more F-35s enter service, flying hours ramp up to more than 8,000 in 2020-21. As F-35 hours rise, F/A-18 Hornet hours reduce, from 16,700 in 2016-17 to under 5,000 in 2020-21.
Also soaring are flying hours for the new PC-21 basic trainer which enters service next year. These aircraft will fly an estimated 23,652 hours in 2020-21, reflecting the RAAF’s increased flying training commitments.
Australian involvement in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is set to cost more than $1.3 billion by the time it’s all over some time in the next three years.
That mission, called Operation Okra, started in 2014 as IS seized much of northern Iraq and Australia joined the US-led international coalition conducting air operations over Iraq and later Syria.
Australia also deployed a training team to assist the Iraqi military and a team of special forces to mentor the elite Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service.
Budget papers indicate a cost of $446 million in 2015-16 and $453 million in 2016-17. With IS facing defeat, costs reduce to an estimated $64 million in 2018-19 and $29.8 million in 2019-20.
Typically Defence is subsidised from consolidated revenue for the cost of operations.