Australia’s northern surveillance


Australia’s Department of Home Affairs recently started a once-in-50-years shake-up of its civil maritime surveillance capabilities: currently valued at over $AUD 100 million a year. The ‘future maritime surveillance capability’ project is to ‘provide the next generation maritime surveillance capability to counter current and emerging civil maritime threats to Australia … [and]provide surveillance capabilities that enable timely and effective deterrence, prevention and response operations to protect Australia’s borders and exercise sovereign rights’.

Australia’s maritime jurisdiction covers about 14 million square kilometres, including an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of over 10 million square kilometres. At the best of times maintaining an awareness of this maritime territory is no easy task. Protecting the sovereignty of our maritime borders has never been more difficult than it is today.

Australia’s current maritime surveillance arrangements are a product of slow evolution over five decades. Australia’s maritime surveillance began in the late 1960s, using Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy aircraft to patrol its newly declared 12-nautical-mile territorial sea…Click here to read full article.