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Given Australia’s strategic and budgetary circumstances, the 2013 White Paper seems reasonably well balanced. Or to put it another way, it could have been a lot worse. In foreshadowing a modest increase in spending in the short term and an aspiration target of 2% of GDP, the Government has sought to maintain its credentials in the national security domain.
At a time of Defence budget reductions it is worth considering Australia’s strategic circumstances for a moment. Officially these are being examined as part of the forthcoming 2013 Defence White Paper and also Ken Henry’s forthcoming ‘Australia in the Asian century’ report.
Byline: Geoff Slocombe / Victoria Many small Australian defence companies are run by people who have a good idea, implemented with smart technology, which proves attractive to the Department of Defence.
Budget 2012-13 impacts on sustainment and new capabilities Amongst the headlines of Defence’s contribution of $5,454 million across the Forward Estimates, announced in the Budget, little has been said about the impact on sustainment and approved new capabilities, even less about projects in the latest Defence Capability Plan which have not yet reached First Pass Approval.
In the lead up to the 2012 / 13 budget, Treasurer Wayne Swan insisted that it would be a tough one because of the need to achieve a surplus. Defence has made a major contribution to achieving that goal.
JP 2065 (IBS) and a parallel project, JP2089 Tactical Information Exchange (TIE), are intrinsic components of a Defence global communications architecture that will facilitate the use of the now rapidly evolving “ Everything Over the Internet Protocol” (EOIP) capability for real-time video, voice, digital data – contributing to the effectiveness of Network Centric Warfare (NCW).
What a busy few weeks it has been, from the announcement that Australia will be winding down operations in Afghanistan sooner than anticipated, through to the announcement of an accelerated White Paper process and decisions on a number of acquisition matters.
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced more than $12 million in matched funding is being offered to nine Australian companies to commercialise new defence technologies that will contribute to Australia’s Priority Industry Capabilities in the defence sector. “This is an investment in cutting edge defence technologies developed here in Australia,” Mr Clare said.
Q: How does Elbit view the Australian market. A: Personally, Australia is one of my favorite countries. A first step for Elbit in any business activity is to have a good understanding of our customer’s needs. It is not always the case that in a formal way we receive all the information about what a customer truly requires – so it is essential to have a good background when it comes to technical and operational matters. For us, there are some countries that we have found easier to work with than others – and Australia is one of those positive cases.
Australian policy makers have not caught up with reality yet. Among the unhallowed (and cynics in Defence say unholy) halls of the Office of National Assessments and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the myths of decades of issue-motivated group (IMG) ‘catastrophe-propaganda’ still resonate.
As the Australian Defence Force moves down the path of Network Centric Warfare and with a greater emphasis on amphibious operations the importance of accurate and timely environmental information is of increasing importance. As CDF General David Hurley has recently observed, there are around 25,000 islands and 85,000 kilometres of navigable waterways in the region between the Eastern Indian Ocean and the South West Pacific. This is a huge area across which the ADF must plan to operate and of which it must maintain situational awareness.
In military aircraft it is the pilot’s job to keep safely to mission tracks then on to its planned destination, while the mission commander’s role is to navigate and fight the aircraft. In single seat combat aircraft these two roles are combined. Larger aircraft, including maritime combat helicopters, have a separate mission commander who “takes necessary directive action to achieve assigned mission goals by collecting, correlating, and coordinating data from networked multiple sensor devices and fire control systems; co-operating in the selection and delivery of weapons; conducting communications; and engaging in other tasks as necessary.”test
This non-technical article briefly looks at the history of cryptography through the ages and up to the present explosive growth of communications technology and the battle for cyber security. An overview of JP2069 is included. Origins of Cryptography.
Introduction. As described in the first two parts of this small series, Micronesia is an enormous, remote, thinly populated region containing two independent microstates (Kiribati and Nauru), three states in ‘Free Association’ with the USA (Republic of the Marshall Islands or RMI, Federated States of Micronesia or FSM, and Palau), and two US territories (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or CNMI). Micronesia straddles the equator and is composed of atolls, islands and reefs scattered across the open ocean from the Philippines to Hawaii.
Kym Bergmann reports from Kabul: Even as France starts a slow drawdown of troop numbers prior to a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, combat units have recently completed one of their most intense fighting seasons since 2001. Most of the 4,000 troops are deployed in two provinces – Kabul (especially the district of Surobi) and Kapisa - which have seen some of the heaviest fighting of the war. While the capital city of Kabul is considered relatively secure by the standards of Afghanistan, the same cannot be said of the surrounding countryside. French responsibilities. Kabul itself sits on a piece of flat land surrounded by mountains but the geography of the Surobi district and all of Kapisa is inhospitable – high barren ridges, bleak terrain, steep sided gorges with small green pockets of agriculture found on scattered and isolated river flats. The city sits at 1,800 meters above sea level with nearby peaks rising to 3,000 metres. Kapisa in general and the Tagab valley in particular are considered insurgent strongholds, with a mixture of suicide bomb cells, tribal militias, members of the Haqqani network, fighters belonging to Hezb-i-Islami and so on. The picture is very complex and even sorting out the motives of the various anti-Government groups is not easy, with a senior French officer telling APDR, “the more we find out, the more unclear it becomes.”
The development and applications of military digital battlespace communications systems can be clearly shown to have been adapted from commercial enterprises that fashioned a network-centric style of operation, to optimise the command and control of them, advance their growth and profitability. Such enterprises have sponsored the development of seamless, open architecture, high data rate digital communications that use a plethora of techniques to achieve the objectives of the scheme. These systems are always on and use a range of data security designs.
Only three months into the financial year and already there is some muttering within Defence of another looming hand back of unspent funds – although the problem can always be mitigated by measures such as the purchase of a sixth C-17 announced on September 23 and the decision to lease another support ship nine days earlier. The reasons for such pessimism – shared by industry – are not hard to find. There are around 130 projects listed in the Defence Capability Plan, yet the Department is able to commit to making a decision during 2011 / 12 on seven of them.
(This is the first of two articles based on a speech given on September 19 to a Rockwell Collins “Connected, Aware, Responsive Technology” symposium) One of my favourite books is Barbara Tuchman’s “March of Folly”. In this classic work she examines four instances of folly, which she defines as acts which are clearly contrary to the self-interest of the organization pursuing them; conducted over a period of time, not just in a single burst of irrational behaviour; conducted by a number of individuals, not just one deranged maniac; and, importantly, there have to be people alive at the time who pointed out correctly why the act in question was folly. The acts of folly she chose were the Trojan Wars, the loss of the American colonies by Britain, the Renaissance Popes failures resulting in the Reformation, and the conflict in Vietnam.
It was at the poetically beautiful Boyd Education centre overlooking the Shoalhaven river 16 kiolmetres from Nowra that local companies had to swallow the bitter pill that there will be almost no work for them flowing from the decision to purchase 24 MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopters – at least not in the short term. During the tender evaluate phase ‘Team Romeo’ made considerable efforts to match the Australian Industry Content package of rival bidder Eurocopter and have signed up to obligations amounting to $1.5 billion, which sounds impressive. However, it is already becoming difficult to see how this substantial target will be met.
t is highly unlikely that scholars in the Middle Ages actually debated how many angels could stand simultaneously on the head of a pin – though Thomas Aquinas did postulate that more than one angel could occupy a place at the same time. However the aphorism is a useful metaphor for an inordinately pointless intellectual debate, which brings us to parts of the recently released Black Review, titled “Improving personal and institutional accountability in Defence.”
Major Leigh Perkins, commander of Charlie Company, conducted his morning briefing that outlined the scheme of operations for an upcoming attack. A three-dimensional terrain map had been created on the ground, and his platoon leaders were gathered around to hear how the impending assault was to proceed that afternoon and on through the night. Their dust-caked faces were daubed in camouflage cream, and although they had been sleep-deprived for several days because of ongoing operations against the enemy, they listened with careful attention.
This afternoon Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced the Government's response to the Black Review into Departmental lines of accountability. These are largely in line with expectations and the main features are: * the establishment of two Associate Secretary positions to strengthen Defence’s capacity to implement the Black Review; * the strengthening of capability development and acquisition; * increasing rigour and contestability within capability development, including the establishment of a new process for the inclusion of projects into the Defence Capability Plan;
With Australia’s most comprehensive industrial base, NSW industry is integrated into local and international defence supply chains. The diverse capabilities offered by the State’s small-medium enterprises (SME) are essential to Australian defence requirements.
The Northern Territory’s strategic importance to Defence is well documented. Industrial growth in the Territory is booming: major offshore and onshore gas and oil projects are leading the way with an anticipated investment of around $25 billion over the next few years.
• More than 900 aviation and aerospace companies are located in Queensland • Over 16,500 aviation and aerospace jobs in Queensland Queensland - an aviation and aerospace hub After almost a decade of unprecedented industry growth, the Government's vision for Queensland as an aviation and aerospace hub for the Asian Pacific region is fast becoming a reality.
South Australian SMEs in Global Supply Chains – What the South Australian Government is doing to support defence export, including entry into global supply chains. South Australia is a state focused on its defence future – and that future includes innovative, sustainable defence companies working from Australia’s Defence State to equip the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and other defence customers around the world.
When it comes to Australia’s defence industry, Victoria has a long and proud history of providing innovative solutions for the Australian Defence Force. Speak to many Victorian SME defence companies today and they will tell you that the best blueprint for international success is consistently delivering high quality products and services, nurturing highly skilled people and a willingness to expand beyond national borders. According to Ric Smith, Chair of the Defence Council Victoria “Victorian SMEs, with their record of innovation and their global reach, are ideally placed in the changing world of defence industry”.
Established in 1958 as a family owned South Australian business, Static Engineering provide exciting design solutions for challenging projects for their commercial and Defence clients. In 2007, Static Engineering became part of the Broens Group, led by Broens Industries together with Calbic Precision Engineers based in South Australia. Broens Industries, based in Sydney, have offices in Adelaide, Melbourne, as well as international offices in Europe, Asia and the US. The Broens Group is a one-stop-engineering-shop, providing concept design, product development, specification, manufacture and after sales service.
It was almost as if people from two different planets were intermingling at the Adelaide Defence & Industry conference, held in the last week of June. Listening to a series of Departmental presentations all appeared to be well with the world of defence procurement, with statistics apparently proving repeatedly that the outlook was healthy with billions of dollars to be spent. However, most of the talk from industry representatives was about the tangible slow down in the number of First and Second Pass approvals being granted and the negative impact this is having on a number of companies.
AIDN National President Article for the APDR July / August Edition Global Supply Chain feature. I thank Mr Kym Bergmann the editor of APDR for the opportunity to contribute to the magazine’s feature on Australia’s defence industry small medium enterprises (SMEs) experience in marketing and selling their equipment and services in the global supply chains of Australian based Prime and overseas defence industry companies. AIDN represents over 800 Australian defence industry SMEs and while our organisation works with Government to promote our members’ interest in the development of defence industry policy, skills development and capacity building, our main aim is to maximise the business opportunities for members, both in the domestic market and those overseas. Our members’ participation in global supply chain of large international Prime defence industry companies and their major suppliers is one strand in achieving this aim.
Micronesia is an enormous, remote, thinly populated region containing two independent microstates (Kiribati and Nauru), three states in ‘Free Association’ with the USA (Republic of the Marshall Islands or RMI, Federated States of Micronesia or FSM, and Palau), and two US territories (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or CNMI). Micronesia straddles the equator and is laid out in a light dusting of atolls, islands and reefs scattered across a truly enormous expanse of open ocean from the Philippines to Hawaii. The total population is about 500,000 people on about 2,000 square kilometers of land dispersed across millions of square kilometres of sea. Of this population, about 400,000 are US citizens or residents, or have unfettered access to the USA due to Compacts of Free Association with that country.
Bucking the trend of recent years, the Defence budget has actually been pruned with money being returned to consolidated revenue – but is still healthy at a fraction more than $29 billion. The majority of the “savings” have resulted from the Department not spending as much on equipment for which funds had been allocated in the previous budget, totaling $1.3 billion. For this, Defence Minister Stephen Smith blames industry for not meeting payment milestones. This seems to over simply the situation and it is worth noting that last financial year the Government only managed to give Second Pass approval to eight out of a scheduled 14 projects and only two out of more than 20 of those scheduled for First Pass. Clearly, the Government’s own processes are far from perfect. Delaying First and Second Pass approvals is denying the ADF equipment it needs, is hurting industry and will have the inevitable consequence of leading to a funding blow out in future years.
On 7 June 2010 the New Zealand Minister of Defence the Hon Wayne Mapp, addressed the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore on the topic of “Humanitarian and Disaster Relief in the Asia-Pacific”. The Minister’s main observations were that we live in a region which regularly experiences a wide range of natural disasters, and that skills in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief are of vital importance throughout our region. Furthermore the Minister noted that disaster relief is increasingly a core task for defence forces and that the necessary capabilities should be available specifically for humanitarian tasks and not just be seen as an add on or ‘nice to have’. He went on to say that such capabilities should form “part of core military business, not be simply a secondary task”. Observing that defence forces are often amongst the few national organizations that hold large fleets of deployable assets and have large numbers of disciplined personnel, the Minister noted that when a disaster occurs the public expect all available resources to be made available and that the defence forces must play a major role in disaster relief. “The public expect in response to a disaster nothing less than the full mobilization of the NZDF to the extent necessary to save lives and property. This expectation is shared by both local and national leaders.”
As an emerging economic superpower, India’s spending on defence is on a rapid upward trajectory. The main driver appears to be emerging rivalry with China – especially as Beijing seeks to increase its presence in the Indian Ocean. However, traditional rivalry with Pakistan as well as increasing internal security issues are also factors.
Given the recent very public problems with the Navy’s existing amphibious ships, there are high hopes that the 2 Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) currently under construction will be more than adequate replacements. And at a mid-way point in the programme, work seems to be progressing extremely well. Despite still having some way to go – especially with a few complex electronic systems integration issues coming up – all of the contractors spoken to by APDR expressed quiet satisfaction about how successful the programme has been to date.
The death of Osama Bin Laden is now being analysed, with new information emerging almost by the hour. He had been on the run for almost a decade and was able to frustrate US and allied intelligence agencies in their attempts to track him down, which added to his mythical status. In an extraordinary comment three minutes into his address to the nation, President Barak Obama revealed: “Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the Director of the CIA to make the killing or capture of Bin Laden the top priority in our war against Al-Qaeda.”
Every year the National People’s Congress (NPC) meets in the Chinese capital Beijing to lay out policy for the coming year. Among the first items on the annual agenda is the defence budget. On 4 March, on the opening day of the Fourth Session of the 11th NPC, the party leadership announced military spending would increase by 12.7%. This figure marks a return to double-digit growth after last year’s budget expanded by 7.5% as China weathered the global economic crisis.
he past month has seen a continuation of instability in the Middle East affecting a number of countries, none more so than Libya. The situation is changing daily, with the rebels on the offensive one day and then in headlong retreat the next. The forces loyal to Colonel Gadaffi have proven to be surprisingly determined in the face of Western air strikes launched under the poetically titled operation Odyssey Dawn, which sounds like the name of a cruise ship rather than a military operation.
The dozens of aircraft shot down in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade continue to underline the importance of self protection systems for aircraft, especially helicopters operating within easy range of man portable air defence systems. At the same time, advanced aircraft like the Chinese J-20 and Russian / Indian PAK FA are adding to the number of threats modern military aircraft face. The rapidly growing multi-billion dollar aircraft self protection market is testimony to the fact that such systems are an essential component of modern warfare and are something that no military aircraft can afford to fly without.
The topic of the commercial survival of an air show – even a large one such as Avalon – might at first seem a trivial topic. However, the issues affecting the future of the event say a lot about the relationships between Defence, industry and the media.
On February 14 the company announced that assembly of the Mk32 Mod 9 torpedo launchers for the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers is now underway at Babcock’s Techport Australia premises, marking an important milestone in the contract. Babcock Pty Ltd, part of Babcock International Group, was awarded the contract in December 2008 by Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd, on behalf of the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance.
NATO has confirmed the role of Thales as operator of highly-secured Communication and Information Systems to the benefit of the nations of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) for two additional years.
The ADF has had another demanding year operationally with a continuing focus on Afghanistan where there has been further loss of life, accompanied by deployments in other theatres such as Timor Leste and the Solomons. The Navy and Air Force have been operating at a brisk tempo in support of these activities. There has been continuing discussion about whether our deployment in Oruzgan is sufficient or whether further efforts should be made, particularly during the period before the Parliamentary debate about Australia’s involvement.
The New Zealand government released the long-awaited Defence White Paper on 2 November 2010. This document was well overdue, with the previous paper issued 13 years ago. With an annual budget of just NZD 3 billion (US$ 2.2 billion, or 1% of GDP in 2009), NZ is militarily a small fish in a big sea. Indeed, tellingly, its defence spending amounts to just 7.2% of Australia’s, and the NZ Defence Force (NZDF) has a mere 9,673 regular personnel. Nevertheless, NZ does have a security role to play, especially in its South Pacific backyard.
Selected in 2001 under the auspices of Project AIR 87 the Franco - German Eurocopter Tiger EC665 is giving the Army an impressive level of combat capability. Australia required a versatile platform to replace two existing types of rotary aircraft; the Vietnam era Bell 206B-1 Kiowa and UH-1-H Iroquois ‘Bushranger’ gunship helicopters.
Lockheed Martin has announced that on August 15 it successfully identified and tracked four live targets during a test of its Multi-Mission Signal Processor (MMSP) being fielded as part of the Aegis next-generation Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability.
Canada’s CAE announced on 5 May that towards the end of its fiscal 2010 it was awarded several new military contracts in Europe and Canada to support the German Army and Royal Netherlands Air Force as well as Canada's Department of National Defence. The value of the contracts combined is approximately C$50 million.
There are good and bad things in this US DoD’s Fiscal 2010 budget proposals. President Obama and the US DoD recognise – unlike Prime Minister Rudd – that there are limits to the size of the country’s coffers for military expenditure, despite the fact that the war in Afghanistan is rapidly replacing the one in Iraq and is escalating very rapidly.