Special Ops forces to receive $1bn kit upgrade
By: Charbel Kadib
Australia’s Special Operations Command is set to receive new equipment and facilities as part of a major investment from the Commonwealth.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced $1 billion would be invested in a major revamp of the Special Operations Command’s capability as part of the second phase of Project Greyfin.
The project, first announced in 2019, aims to bolster specialist equipment and enhance communications, surveillance and counter-terrorism capabilities.
This second stage involves updating Special Operations Command and control with a focus on “agility and strategic posture”.
The new $1 billion package includes the delivery of:
- “highly specialised” communications and intelligence equipment;
- new water and land vehicles;
- tactical equipment and weapons; and
- new facilities.
“Our special forces and commandos are the best in the world at what they do, and we’re committed to ensuring they’ve got the right kit to do their jobs,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“Our special forces and commandos defend Australia and our interests 24 hours a day and Project Greyfin will keep them at the cutting edge.
“Not only do these upgrades help keep Australians safe, they mean more investment in the jobs and skills right here at home that make this equipment.
“Australia’s booming defence industry is playing a growing role in delivering the specialist capability our Special Operations Command needs and we will keep making the investments to grow local jobs and skills.”
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said Project Greyfin would strengthen Australia’s response to both domestic and foreign threats.
“Keeping Australians safe, protecting our interests and preserving our way of life is the top priority for the government,” Minister Dutton said.
“Project Greyfin is ensuring our Australian special forces have access to the best and latest weapons and equipment.
“Given the rapidly evolving strategic and threat environment facing Australia, special forces troops need the best gear. And it’s equally important that Defence is agile enough to get this equipment to the troops, when they need it.”
Australia’s Special Operations Command is made up of the Special Air Service Regiment, 1st and 2nd Commando Regiments, Special Operations Engineer Regiment and the Special Operations Logistic Squadron.
This latest investment comes just a day after the government announced over $2 billion would be invested in the acquisition of Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM Block 2) capability for the Royal Australian Navy.
The ESSM Block 2 advanced surface-to-air missile – to be supplied by BAE Systems Australia, L3 Harris, and G H Varley – is designed to counter anti-ship missile threats.
The weapons leverage an advanced active radar missile seeker, capable of hitting targets at a range in excess of 50 kilometres.
The first tranche of the missiles has already arrived in Australia for initial integration and testing.
The ESSM Block 2 is expected to be deployed from the RAN’s Surface Combatant Force, which includes the Anzac Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers.