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Australia spending $1 billion on sea mines to deter China

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Australia will spend $1 billion on advanced sea mines to protect its waters from naval incursions by China and other potential adversaries.

The major defence spend on the underwater weapons was confirmed by the federal government today after a report by Nine Newspapers.

Sea mines are self contained explosive device placed in water to destroy or cripple an enemy surface ship or submarine.

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As part of its military build-up, China has a stockpile of 100,000 sea mines. 

The weapons been deployed in previous conflicts to guard strategic waterways and harbours against enemy naval vessels.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defence told 9News.com.au it was accelerating the purchase of sea mines.

"Defence is accelerating the acquisition of smart sea mines, which will help to secure sea lines of communication and protect Australia's maritime approaches. A modern sea mining capability is a significant deterrent to potential aggressors.

"The Australian Government continues to work to deliver the advanced capabilities Australia needs quickly and effectively."

The spokesperson said modern sea mines are able to distinguish military maritime targets from other ships.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was quizzed about the sea mine purchase by the ABC today.

He flagged there would be shift to new military spending in the soon-to-be-released armed forces review by former defence minister Stephen Smith and former ADF chief Angus Houston.

"What that's aimed at doing is making sure that every single dollar that's spent in defence is spent in the best possible way to support our national security," Albanese said.

"So, for example, a shift from where we were perhaps focused on land conflict in areas that we might or we mightn't need, perhaps, so many tanks or so many defence security issues like that.

"What we need is to make sure we have the best possible defences. So we have looked at missile defence, we're looking at cyber security, we're looking at all of these issues."

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