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Australian spending on U.S. military equipment tops 8 bln USD in four years: report

Xinhua,December 28, 2017 Adjust font size:

CANBERRA, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has spent more than 8 billion U.S. dollars on weapons and military equipment from the United States in the past four years, a report has found.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) analysis, released on Thursday, found that from 2012-13 through 2016-17, 10.3 billion Australian dollars (8.01 billion U.S.) were spent by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS).

The sales were administered by the U.S. Department of Defence which has responsibility over the transfer of American equipment and weapons.

More than half of the money was spent on Information Technology (IT), telecommunication, broadcasting, engineering and research contracts.

Andrew Davies, a defence expert from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), said the figure was not surprising considering recent technological advancements within the ADF.

"We've been buying a lot of systems, from America in particular, because we're in the middle of recapitalising the Air Force and also buying weapons that help support the operations in Iraq and Syria," Davies told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The government has announced its intention to create a sovereign defence industry to maximize Australian Industry Content in ADF contracts but Davies said that the defence force would continue to rely on the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

"There'll always be a component of 'off-the-shelf' purchasing in Australia's Defence budget, even for things like ships we build here we'll be buying weapons systems, combat systems, sensors, those sorts of things from overseas anyway," Davies said. Enditem