ASD Inks Agreement with Amazon Web Services for Top Secret Cloud


The Australian Government will spend at least AUD2 billion over the next ten years to bolster the country’s cyber capabilities after the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) reached an agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for it to deliver a top-secret cloud to the government.

Under the terms of the agreement, AWS will establish a sovereign cloud in Australia to deliver information, communication and technology services to the government. It will be purpose-built for Australia’s defence and national intelligence agencies and securely host the country’s most sensitive information. It will improve Australia’s ability to securely share and analyse our nation’s most classified data at speed and scale and provide opportunities to harness leading technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Additionally, the cloud will bolster the resilience of defence’s communications networks and is a critical enabling capability in supporting the Australian Defence Force’s military operations. It will also support greater interoperability and deeper collaboration with the United States. The government says it is an important step in implementing the 2024 National Defence Strategy.

“The top secret cloud with Amazon Web Services in Australia will provide a state-of-the-art collaborative space for our intelligence and defence community to store and access top secret data,” said the ASD Director-General, Rachel Noble. “This will transform how we work together as agencies and partners.”

“As program sponsor on behalf of the national intelligence community, the Office of National Intelligence considers the top secret cloud will help lay the foundation for a connected, modern and resilient intelligence community,” said National Intelligence Director General Andrew Shearer, “It will drive even closer integration, sharing and collaboration between agencies, greater resilience, and greater interoperability with our most important international intelligence partners.”

AWS is the world’s most widely used cloud computing service, with a longstanding presence in Australia and specialist expertise in delivering classified cloud services.
The investment is part of the AUD15‑20 billion promised through 2033-34 to enhance defence’s cyber capabilities and the AUD8.5-11 billion to 2033-34 to bolster defence’s enterprise data and ICT announced in the 2024 Integrated Investment Program.

The joint initiative offers significant opportunities for Australian industry. It will see AWS engage Australian businesses to design and build the cloud platform, driving innovation and job creation in cybersecurity, data analytics and cloud computing. Australia’s defence industry will benefit from new opportunities to deliver and integrate new capabilities using these cloud services.

The cloud builds on AWS’ planned AUD13.2 billion investment in Australian infrastructure to 2027 – the largest tech investment in Australia’s history. This spend is in addition to the $9.1 billion AWS has invested in Australian infrastructure since its launch in 2011.

“Amazon Web Services is excited to embark on this strategic partnership with the Australian Government, to provide our most innovative, efficient, and effective cloud services to help Australia enhance its national defence capabilities and protect its citizens,” said Amazon’s Davy Levy. “This partnership will enable the Australian Government and its defence and intelligence agencies to securely share information, speed up innovation, and achieve their missions faster.”