Very little excites the aerospace industry and the media that covers it more than the announcement of a new jet fighter program. So when the curtain went up in a Boeing tent at Avalon — The Australian Air Show revealing a full-size model of a new robotic jet fighter, the camera flashes popped off as if it were a star on a Hollywood red carpet. It was also an auspicious day because the unmanned system would be the first indigenously developed aircraft Australia produced since the CAC Boomerang fighter during World War II. The program makes a statement to the world that Australia is no longer content to be merely a buyer of military equipment, but has ambitions to be a developer and exporter as well, said Pyne. “This is all testament to the fact that we are undergoing our largest buildup of our military capability in our peacetime history — $200 billion over the next 10 years.” While Australia is still buying pricey F-35s from the United States, attack-class submarines from France and armored fighting vehicles from a European consortium, it wants a significant portion of that $200 billion to stay in the country and help it create aerospace and defense sector jobs, officials said. The nation last year released the 2018 Defense Industrial Capability Plan spelling out how it would build a “broader and deeper defense industrial base” over the next decade. “The government’s goal by 2028 is to achieve an Australian defense industry that has the capability, posture and resilience to help meet Australia’s defense needs,” the plan stated. One of its main goals is to turn the nation into an exporter of military goods rather than just an importer.
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