South Australia's Strategic Plan is comprised of 100 targets. These targets are specific and measurable and enable us to measure our progress towards achieving the Plan's visions and goals.

Each target is reported on through this section of the website. Data has been updated as at December 2017.


43. Defence industry:

Increase defence and defence industry annual contribution to our economy to $2.5 billion and employment to 37 000 people by 2020

(Milestones of $2 billion and 28 000 people by 2013)

Key Measure



Explanatory Comments


Total (direct and indirect) employment in the defence sector was 24,719 people in 2016-17 (latest available data).  This is a decrease of 3,947 from 2012.

In 2016-17, 11,145 people were directly employed in the defence sector and 13,574 people were indirectly employed.

Direct employment numbers are sourced directly from specialist defence companies through a standardised Defence SA-managed survey. Indirect employment numbers are extrapolated from the direct employment numbers using industry multipliers. 

Contribution to economy

Since the publication of the 2012 Progress Report updated data for the economic contribution of the defence industry is not available. The last published figure, as at 2008, was the result of a consultancy and any estimate made would not be comparable with the original methodology.  

Lead Agency

Defence SA