Turnbull to Boost Military by 5,000 Personnel, Australian Says

  • Government to increase submarine fleet to 12 from 6: report
  • Defense white paper to affirm commitment to increase spending

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government will recruit an additional 5,000 military personnel and double the size of Australia’s submarine fleet, under a defense strategy paper to be released imminently, the Australian newspaper reported.

Turnbull will keep his predecessor Tony Abbott’s pledge to increase defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product within 10 years of the coalition winning office in 2013, according to the report.

The increase in personnel will be spread across the army, navy and air force, the Australian said, without citing sources, taking the approved number of servicemen and women to about 63,000. A decision on whether the new submarines will be designed by French, Japanese or German firms is not expected until the middle of the year, according to the report.