Australia to boost capacity in Pacific

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Defence planners said the spending would boost what help Australia could offer Pacific neighbours with two new fleets of amphibious craft with the staying power to offer a sustained Australian military presence in the thick of any crisis in the region.

After three years of exploratory work, the government has given the go-ahead for defence to spend $800 million on the project that links key national objectives in disaster resilience, regional security, sovereign defence capability, and jobs opportunities.

The project involves replacing the Vietnam-era vessels LCM-8 and the LARC-V, which made recent headlines for beach rescues during last year’s bushfires, with new independent landing craft that operate as a mothership and amphibious vehicles capable of making the entire journey on their own.

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