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Beyond 2017: The Australian Defence Force and amphibious warfare

By Ken Gleiman and Peter J Dean

The delivery of Australia’s new amphibious warships, HMAS Canberra and Adelaide, is an important milestone in the ADF’s quest to develop a strategically relevant amphibious warfare capability. Australia’s position in the world makes the effort a strategic imperative, but the ADF still has a long way to go and many critical decisions ahead if it’s to develop an amphibious warfare capability that’s ready for future challenges. The resources committed to the effort and the associated opportunity costs have been and will be substantial, and the overall need for the capability must be weighed against other priorities, but if Australia’s going to do it, we should do it properly.

The aim of the paper was to identify some of the key decisions to be made by ADF leaders over the next two years to ensure that Australia has an amphibious warfare capability that’s effective and relevant to future challenges and provide specific recommendations on them.