Australia’s biennial Defense and Aerospace Expo—held at Geelong’s Avalon Airport, Victoria—will conclude today. Attracting over 660 defense companies, 56 military
Australia’s biennial Defense and Aerospace Expo—held at Geelong’s Avalon Airport, Victoria—will conclude today.
Attracting over 660 defense companies, 56 military delegations and 200,000 people, this year’s event comes ahead of Canberra’s pivotal Defense Strategic Review scheduled for later this month. This major policy announcement sets out Australian military priorities for defense acquisitions in the next decade.
The Review is expected to confirm the purchase of military drones in the medium to long term. In anticipation of the Review, Avalon played host to the defense industry showcasing their drones—including Australia’s first domestically-produced drone. Indeed, Australia’s Air Force Chief was effectively lobbying for significant numbers of low-cost military drones last week. The Ukrainian war has influenced such emphasis on drones at this year’s Expo given the ability of Ukraine’s outmatched Air Force to keep Russia’s massive air superiority at bay with the innovative use of drones. This fact is not lost on Australia’s similarly small Air Force given the significant superiority of combat aircraft of its main adversary in the Indo-Pacific region—China.
While China may not be specifically singled out in the Review, military drones like those displayed at Avalon are likely to feature in Australian plans to curtail China’s military threats in the region.