Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has cautioned Australian defence firms they will need to do the hard yards to achieve export success.
Speaking on the Defence Connect Podcast, Minister Pyne said for the winners the rewards would be great and they were worth fighting for, but anyone who expected a quick decision and a quick win would not get anywhere.
“If you think you're going to get into defence industry make a quick buck, try something else,” he said.
Under the government’s new defence exports policy, it aims to lift Australia from the current 19th global ranking to 10th place by 2028. That will require a very substantial increase in sales of Australian defence and related equipment.
Minister Pyne said the government was putting up $80 million over the next four years for a range of initiatives.
Companies are already responding well, he said.
The government released the latest Australian Military Sales Catalogue in March, which now runs to 94 pages compared with 14 last year.
“Every state and territory is now working as part of that. We've expanded its remit dramatically. The companies have responded really well,” Minister Pyne said.
“And there were 20 companies that didn't make it into the catalogue that wanted to be in it. We didn't feel that they were ready. Next year, it'll be bigger again.”
He said the goal of reaching the top 10 wasn’t supposed to be achieved next month.
“I believe that we will increase our exports quite quickly. We now have a defence industry minister who is focused on exports, who travels to the countries where we have prospects. Last year, I was in Riyadh and Warsaw and Paris and London, and after Malaysia, this month in Singapore. I'm going back to those places again and again … to chase prospective export opportunities,” Minister Pyne said.
“We've never done that before. We couldn't do worse than we've done before, and I think we'll move quite quickly along the road.”