Navy submarines will be decked out with new technology as part of a revamp in defence spending.
The federal government has announced a new Maritime Underwater Tracking Range to be built in Western Australia.
The technology uses sensors to relay information on the location and movement of targets.
It comes as part of the Morrison government’s $270b investment in defence capabilities over the next decade.
Defence will implement a tender process for prospective construction partners.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds says the project will safeguard Australia’s maritime capabilities while providing a jobs boost to Western Australia.
“Investing in technology will strengthen our understanding of the best and most effective way to use our weapons, decoys and platforms. We are enabling our submarines and other maritime warfighting capabilities to operate with superiority while protecting Australia’s interests,” Ms Reynolds said.
“The range will allow our navy, our allies and partners to fine tune our anti-submarine warfare tactics to deliver the technology edge needed in the future.”
The minister was forced to defend the government earlier this week against claims it covered up a cost blowout in its Future Frigates Program.
The project, which will see 12 submarines built in Adelaide, was originally expected to cost $50b. But defence officials told a Senate estimates hearing last month that figure had risen to $80b.
Ms Reynolds argues the estimated cost of the program remains at $50b in 2016 dollars, and claims of a blowout did not account for inflation.
Shadow defence minister Richard Marles accused the government of misleading the public, and has requested the auditor-general investigate the matter.
“The minister’s assertion that the public know to adjust the government’s figure to factor in four decades of inflation is patently absurd,” he said.
“Being upfront and honest with the Australian public about how their money is being spent is not optional. Hiding massive cost increases from taxpayers is unacceptable.
“This is precisely the kind of behaviour that destroys public trust and eats away at the public’s confidence in those elected to represent them.”