AUKUS to establish new defence space capability in Australia

Image credit: Richard Marles MP

The Australian government has signed a collaboration with the United States and the United Kingdom to develop the Deep-space Advanced Radar Capability and boost Australia’s defence space capabilities. 

The agreement was signed during the second AUKUS Defence Ministers’ Meeting in California, where ministers spoke about accelerating capabilities that provide all three partners with timely and renewable information in contested environments. 

The capability will equip Australia with a 24-hour continuous global and weather coverage to track and identify objects in deep space and advance its sovereign ability to detect and deter space-based threats. 

“Australia faces the most challenging set of strategic circumstances since the end of the Second World War. Our region is seeing growing competition across multiple levels,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles

“Australia’s interests in space are not bound by geography. Strengthening Australia’s defence capabilities in the space domain and working with our partners is a prudent response to our changing strategic environment.”

The new AUKUS project will install the Australian Deep-space Advanced Capability site near Exmouth in Western Australia. 

Expected to go live in 2026, the Australian site will integrate with other sites in the United States and the United Kingdom, providing a space domain awareness capability across the AUKUS partnership. 

The site’s construction phase is expected to create up to 100 jobs, with further opportunities for Australian industry through the operation and sustainment of the site. 

“The installation of a Deep-space Advanced Radar Capability site demonstrates the Albanese Government’s commitment to lifting our capacity and rapidly translating disruptive new technologies into Australian Defence Force capability, deepening our strong AUKUS partnership,” Marles said. 

“This investment harnesses technological advances to maintain a leading edge in Australia’s capability and contribute to strategic deterrence in the region. We will continue to work with our partners to build a region that is stable, peaceful and prosperous, and where sovereignty, including space sovereignty, is respected.”