CANBERRA, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a multi-billion-dollar investment in new equipment for the nation's special forces.
Morrison on Monday announced that 3 billion Australian dollars (2.03 billion U.S. dollars) will be invested in the special forces over 20 years in order to better respond to threats, including that of terrorism.
Under the first stage of the plan, which has been green lit by the government, 500 million AUD (339.4 million USD) will be invested in special operations capabilities.
"I've always said keeping Australians safe is my government's number one priority. That's why we're ensuring the men and women in our special forces have the equipment and training they need to succeed in their operations," Morrison said in a statement.
"Australian special forces undertake complex, highly demanding operations in high threat environments."
"Global threats will continue to evolve in ways which threaten Australia's interests. This funding will ensure our special forces have cutting edge capabilities to stay ahead of those who might threaten Australia's interests."
The investment in the special forces is part of a planned 200 billion AUD (135.7 billion USD) investment in Australia's military capabilities over the next decade, the largest peacetime investment in defense in Australian history.
"This commitment continues to pursue the special operations capability enhancements outlined in the Defence White Paper 2016." said the official statement on Monday.
"By 2020-21, we will have restored investment in defence to 2 percent of GDP," said the statement.
Linda Reynolds, Australia's Minister for Defence, said that the funding would be spent on equipment for the special forces.
The equipment would include the best body armour, weapons, diving, parachuting, roping and climbing systems, and so on.
It will be supplemented by 16 new special operations helicopters already announced by the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which will be delivered in 2022, according to The Australian report.
She said that it would also be spent on medical search and rescue, communications and "human performance training and support."
"Our special forces, now more than ever, need to be ready and able to deploy on operations anywhere in the world, at short notice, and in very uncertain conditions," Reynolds said in a statement.
"This first stage of funding enables our special forces to engage with intelligence, science and technology, and innovation organisations to ensure future threats and opportunities are assessed, to make sure we are delivering them the capability they need in the future."