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Avalon Airshow, Australia: Today’s announcement of an agreement between Australia and Norway for the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) has been welcomed by BAE Systems as a positive step for international collaboration.
New Joint Strike Fighter maintenance facilities open at Williamtown The Hunter is poised to capitalise on Joint Strike Fighter maintenance opportunities after new facilities were officially opened at Williamtown this week.
Victoria has ramped up pressure on the Abbott government to save more than 1000 jobs connected to a Williamstown shipbuilding yard after the Prime Minister lifted a ban on Australian companies bidding for future submarine contracts.
A shift to an open tender process to decide who will build the nation's next fleet of submarines falls short of the Federal Government's promise to build them in Adelaide, the state's Defence Minister says.
The outrage generated by the Prime Minister’s extraordinarily inept decision to award an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip shows what happens when politicians make decisions based on personal whim rather than as a consequence of thought, analysis and consultation.
Last week Australian negotiators reacted positively to a Japanese proposal for joint production of submarines to upgrade Australia’s fleet. No final agreement was reached, and while much of the process is deliberately not made public, they said a deal is possible by the end of the year.
At the time of the 1993 federal election I was shirt-fronted by an ardent South Australian conservationist appalled at bipartisan political support for defence spending when there was, apparently, an enormous feral cat problem attriting the wildlife in the Adelaide hills.
WHAT price freedom? It is a question that each generation has asked itself as it has been forced to confront challenges – sometimes internal, often from outside – to the values, beliefs and way of life it holds dear.
The Pentagon has chosen Australia and Japan as F-35 heavy maintenance hubs for the Asia-Pacific region. Both countries will conduct work on the airframe, while Australia will host the initial engine depot.
The Board of Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX:QHL) (Quickstep), a manufacturer of high-grade carbon-fibre components for the aerospace and automotive industries, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr David Marino as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Thales Australia has successfully delivered a significant upgrade to the Collins submarine Platform Training Simulator (PTS), which now has the highest levels of reliability and availability since entering service in 1993.
The Australian Government has agreed to spend $63 million to deliver facilities to support the installation of a Space Surveillance Telescope at the Harold E Holt Naval Communications Station at Exmouth, Western Australia.
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC, and the Secretary of Defence, Mr Dennis Richardson, have visited the Peoples’ Republic of China to conduct the 17th Annual Australia-China Defence Strategic Dialogue.
TREASURER Joe Hockey has ruled out an open tender for the next-generation submarine fleet, as Defence declared it was not “realistic” to build new submarines in Australia before the Collins-class faces retirement in 2026.
When discussing the performance of ASC in constructing Air Warfare Destroyers and maintaining Collins Class submarines, the Minister gave way yesterday to the frustration that many people feel and departed for 5 seconds from normal, staid, uncontroversial language.
Sale, Victoria: BAE Systems’ Navigation Trainer Project (NTP)’s Airborne Navigation Trainers have completed 6,000 successful training missions for the Australian Defence Force’s School of Air Warfare (SAW).
Australia’s Department of Defence has signed a three year $16.5 million agreement with geospatial giant Esri Australia that will provide more than 65,000 military and civilian personnel with access to state-of-the-art Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.
Accompanied by Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston, President Hollande viewed the company’s world-leading underwater systems and sonar capabilities, now firmly established in Australia after 30 years of Thales and French Government transfer of technology, expertise and investment.
Defence Minister David Johnston today said a five-year plan by the Abbott Government to maintain Mulwala and Benalla munitions plants will underpin about 550 jobs in rural Victoria and New South Wales.
Thales Australia has signed a contract with the Department of Defence to provide ongoing dock operations and services, as well as ship repair and maintenance services, at Sydney’s Garden Island for the next five years.
On 10 July, Stephen Wells, Aurecon’s Chief Business Development Officer and Rosemary Peavey, Company Secretary, attended a formal ceremony hosted by the Department of Defence where they signed Aurecon’s largest defence contract to date.
THE JULY/AUGUST 2014 EDITION OF APDR WILL MARK 40 YEARS OF HIGH QUALITY DEFENCE ANALYSIS, DEBATE, INFORMATION AND COMMENT – MAKING US BY FAR THE LONGEST RUNNING AND MOST FREQUENTLY QUOTED PUBLICATION IN AUSTRALIA AND THE REGION.
The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has extended the developmental testing and evaluation of the six Thales Hawkei prototype vehicles and trailer that were acquired under the Australian Defence Forces' (ADF) project LAND 121 phase 4 programme.
Everyone seemed to miss it—a statement in public (at ASPI’s Submarine Choice conference) from the chairman of the Western world’s largest and most successful builder of conventional submarines: a fleet of 12 large state-of-the-art boats would cost around $20 billion.
Kym Bergmann (Asia Pacific Defence Reporter): …to Dr Atzpodien, we read in the European media that there’s a high level of unhappiness between TKMS and your Swedish subsidiary Kockums. Could you please comment on this for us?
Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation Warren King congratulated the winning teams and said the DMO was proud to be the national sponsor of the event, run in Australia by the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation.
The Australian government has called in China's ambassador to express concerns at China's declaration of an air defence zone over much of the East China Sea, including islands that Japan claims as its own territory.
The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) today announced the successful delivery and commissioning of a Cargo Compartment Trainer (CCT) for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft at RAAF Base Amberley.
For the first time, a new bilateral component codenamed Exercise Trident has been introduced at Exercise Wallaby, currently ongoing at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in Queensland, Australia.
An important step in the introduction of the Royal Australian Air Force’s electronic warfare capability has commenced, with the first pilot instructor commencing flying on the EA-18G Growler in the United States.
The In-Service Submarines Team, which is part of the MoD Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) agency, is responsible for all Royal Navy in-service submarines (Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute Classes) and for supporting the introduction of new submarines into service.
Raytheon announced on October 10 that it has been awarded a $385,742,176 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the engineering and modelling development phase design, development, integration, test and delivery of Air and Missile Defense S-Band Radar (AMDR-S) and Radar Suite Controller (RSC)
BAE Systems announced on October 22 that their Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS™) laser-guided rocket completed another major milestone when it was fired for the first time from an AH-64D Apache helicopter during flight testing.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai ,received the Australian Defence Minister Senator David Johnston and his accompanying delegation on Sunday at Al Marmum Resort in Dubai.
Minister for Defence David Johnston has announced the award of more than $10.5 million in grants to more than 120 companies under the most recent round of the Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) program.
The ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise commenced on Sept 30, 2013 around Jervis Bay and the East Australian Exercise Area. The exercise jumpstarted the RAN International Fleet Review happening from Oct 3 to 10, commemorating the arrival of Navy's first fleet into Sydney.
Dedication Ceremony and unveiling of the restored mast of HMAS Sydney (I) – one of Australia’s most important monuments to ships and crews lost in war. This event will include a Colour Ceremony, HMAS Darwin saluting the Sydney (I) mast from seaward of Bradley’s Head, and a Seahawk helicopter flypast.
Since its inception in 2000, the biennial Pacific International Maritime Exposition has continued to expand. The number of commercial maritime and naval defence industry participants from around the world has grown substantially.
Rohde & Schwarz has been selected after a 12 month competition process run by BAE Systems to be the preferred partner for the design phase of the integrated communications system for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat ship.
BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc. is being awarded a $13.56 million modification to a previously awarded contract for the operation and maintenance of Navy communication, electronic and computer systems.
The head of Boeing Co.'s defense business is calling for more testing on the U.S. ground-based missile defense system, even as he says this summer's failed trials did provide valuable information for the program's development.
Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX:QHL), the manufacturer of high-grade carbon-fibre composite components, today announced that it has received additional purchase orders worth US$2.6 million for non-recurring work related to existing aerospace agreements.
During the 1950s and 60s Australia was a world leader in the design and development of uninhabited aerial systems for military use, with products such as the Jindivik jet powered target aircraft, the Ikara rocket-delivered anti-submarine torpedo and the Nulka hovering decoy rocket.
Boeing Defence Australia (BDA), a local subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], has taken over prime responsibility for supporting the Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) fleet from Boeing in the U.S.
Through a five-year, AUS$66.7 million (US$60.45 million) contract with the Australian Department of Defence, Boeing announced on July 11 that they will provide enhanced support services for Vigilare, the air defence command and control system that is giving the Australian Defence Force unparalleled ground and airborne situational awareness.
After last year’s dramatic pruning of Defence’s budget by $5.454 billion over the Forward Estimates, there was not scope for further cuts and still maintain the Government’s defence capability intentions.
The undoubted highlight of a media tour to Airbus Military in Seville in late May was the opportunity to fly in an A400M, with the author being part of a small group of journalists selected for the first mission of the day. Demonstrating complete confidence in his aircraft
The Defence Ministers announced in a press release coinciding with the release of the Defence White Paper 2013 “Army’s existing armoured units will undergo significant changes and be designated as Armoured Cavalry Regiments.
As the Future Submarine Project - SEA 1000 - continues to move forward at what appears to be a slow pace, Defence will have no choice but to expend even more funds on keeping the Collins Class in service until a viable replacement appears.
Networked Army is the future and LCVS has a key part to play in it, both delivering feedback from its own sensors and also receiving situational awareness and commands while in the mounted close combat role with an enemy in difficult terrain.
he two massive LHDs that are under construction at Williamstown in Melbourne and Ferrol in Spain are now entering an advanced stage of the project. Being built by Navantia, the hull of Ship 02 - which will become HMAS Adelaide - is 85% complete and will begin the journey to Australia for the final stage of assembly in December this year. Ship 01 – or in the jargon of naval shipbuilding NUSHIP CANBERRA - is on track to begin trials next year, with prime contractor BAE Systems confident of being able to deliver her to the Navy on schedule in 2014.
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.
n 2008 the Defence Department commissioned a review into submarine workforce sustainability which, when completed in 2009, made a number of recommendations to ensure Australia could deal with the pressures facing its submarine workforce and “to develop the required level of capability from the Submarine Force”.
At the 13 February 2013 hearing of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Senator Fawcett asked Lieutenant General David Morrison “Chief of Army, to conclude our discussion.
The competition to find a contractor for the Domestic Munitions Manufacturing agreement reached an important milestone on March 25 with four bids being submitted. This date was a slight delay over the original schedule.
Two years ago the amount of interaction was disappointingly low, but the situation this time was greatly improved – after a quiet first day. All of the major aerospace companies active in Australia were present, with the exception of Raytheon - which like many companies is in a cost-saving mode.
Most people are aware that bad news sells newspapers far better than good news. That’s human nature - try it for yourself. Describe to your friends the wonderful holiday you have just experienced and even the politest of them will tune out after a few minutes of boredom.
Human piloted aircraft, both fixed and rotary wing, will continue to be the ADF’s most important aerial assets for the foreseeable future. Although the ISR requirements of Australia’s huge EEZ, the third largest maritime jurisdiction in the world
“Defence heavyweights Peter Cosgrove and Angus Houston say an Australian-built submarine fleet is essential for the nation's strategic interests, urging the government to resist cheaper options for replacing the ailing Collins Class boats”
Being self-reliant in the production of ammunition seems sensible for any country, but especially so for an island continent. However, making sure the three services have enough bullets, bombs, artillery rounds and explosives available in Australia for all realistic contingencies has been a more expensive undertaking than was anticipated in the mid-1990s when the issue first received critical analysis.
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.
Members of the owl family like the Powerful Owl Ninox strenua, Rufous Owl Ninox rufa, Barking Owl Ninox connivens, etc., are common in some coastal fringes of Australia. These are relatively large birds which possess acute night vision through huge eyes which can barely move in their sockets.
The troops of Australia’s Special Operations Command (SOCMD) having been doing a lot of ‘heavy lifting’ in recent years, particularly with continuous rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering numerous fatalities and serious injuries in the process.
Japan has a solid conventional submarine build program producing high quality and capable evolved MOTS products. At 4000 to 4200 tonnes they are of a size that many seem to think is important for Australia’s future submarine program.
It is beyond debate that global trends are converging to make the 21st Century the Asia-Pacific Century. Just as certainly, for myriad reasons, the nations of the region – Australia chief among them – have moved forward proactively to enhance their defence posture.
To be effective in the increasingly complex environments now being encountered, Army’s Land Force needs its manoeuvre elements to be highly mobile, protected, and integrated into a single information environment, implemented over a secure terrestrial communications network, so as to rapidly direct precision joint fires of artillery and other weapons systems from all three services.
Several armies are in the process of introducing future soldier systems: the United States with FBCB2; France with FELIN; and Israel with their WIN battle management system (BMS) and related digital products such as ‘Fast Road’ for armoured forces.
In an Australian defence contracting environment that has experienced many peaks and troughs, an SME has recently celebrated its 25th birthday and is still going strong. Australian Marine Technologies started life as Blohm+Voss (Australia) – a local centre of naval engineering and systems integration expertise created to support the company’s ultimately successful bid for the ANZAC frigate project.
The military communications world is abuzz with rumours that The Department of Defence is about to award the communications upgrade of the RAN's ANZAC frigates to the relatively unknown Italian company Selex Elsag.
Speaking to the media on August 23 August in Canberra, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager Tom Burbage explained that once Australia’s F-35s are delivered they will never have to return to the US for maintenance.
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.
The announcement that Australia would participate in the Joint Strike Fighter project was made almost exactly a decade ago on June 22, 2002. In another piece of symmetry, the Government’s contribution of $300 million to the System Design & Development phase is the same as the amount of work won so far by Australian industry on the aircraft since that time.
For the second time in two decades Australian naval shipbuilding is facing a substantial hiatus. Having engaged in a major ramp-up to build three Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs), complete two Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) - whose hulls are being constructed in Spain - and upgrade eight ANZAC frigates, industry has to face the prospect of activity coming to an abrupt halt about three years from now.
INTRODUCTION Midway through last month Professor Hugh White wrote an article in The Melborne Age entitled “Our Military Strategies Indefensible“. In it he made passing critism of Defence with respect to Australia’s Future Submarine Program, commenting “...while [Defence] allows a slow-motion, high-cost train smash in the replacement submarine program that jeopardises the future of perhaps the most important single capability for Australia over the next few decades“.
After detailing a series of budget reductions, Defence Minister Stephen Smith has thrown into the mix an announcement on May 10 to acquire 10 C-27Js at a cost that seems to fluctuate. The initial Ministerial release referred to a price of $1.4 billion. The following day a media release from the US prime contractor L-3 said it estimated the contract to be valued at $600 million. The FMS price notified to Congress was $950 million. Then on June 3, Ministers Smith and Clare made a further announcement that Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia had received an additional contract:
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.
In a press conference immediately following the announcement, the Minister clearly stated that there had been a competition between the C27J and the Airbus Military C295 airlifter. Airbus Military is obliged to place on the public record our disappointment at the Minister’s choice of words, because there was no tender process and certainly no competition.
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Government had agreed to purchase 10 Alenia C-27J Spartan Battlefield Airlift aircraft at a cost of $1.4 billion.
The competition is really fierce for the billion dollar Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) contract, where six teams of experienced suppliers and integrators of aircrew training systems have been attracted by the opportunity.
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).
As Australians intimately know, the oceans––not the land––define this region, and those oceans and the global maritime commons are critically important to Australia’s security and prosperity. Australia is among the most proactive nations in ensuring the rule of law on the global maritime commons, and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) plays a prominent role in stabilizing the global maritime commons by teaming with regional and global partners.
At February’s Senate Estimate hearings, Defence acknowledged for the first time that a submarine capability gap is a real possibility. Subsequent analysis by ASPI reveals that, if the life of Collins cannot be extended or a MOTS submarine is not procured, it is not a question of whether there will be a gap, simply how large it will be.
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.
Moving naval communications into the internet era is a high priority for the ADF and one of the more important projects is the multi-phase SEA 1442. The Defence Capability Plan says it: “…..aims to upgrade and modernise maritime communications systems on RAN ships to allow networked communications between selected major surface vessels within a task group.”
As is now common knowledge, the F-35 JSF is still fighting its critics on numerous fronts and in the process it has collected many supporters and many detractors across the world, with Australia represented in both camps. In mid-March, Lockheed Martin representatives were given a comprehensive grilling by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. As we write it would be difficult to decide whether the optimists or pessimists will be proven correct, but it is noteworthy to report that most recently in December, Japan has opted to join a growing list to buy the aircraft to replace its ageing fleet. This came after a comprehensive evaluation in a competition against the Super Hornet and the Eurofighter.
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.
What is delaying the release of a draft of this Request for Tender (RFT), soliciting industry comment on the project’s requirements? Planned to be out by now, the official Defence position given to APDR in March is:
The two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships, CANBERRA and ADELAIDE will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy when they come into service in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Based on the Spanish ‘Juan Carlos’ class – in fact virtually identical to them – they will displace 28,000 tonnes. Their roles are to embark, transport and deploy an Army force of up to 1,160 soldiers each by helicopter and landing craft. They will also be an outstanding asset for carrying out or supporting humanitarian missions.
f all goes well, SEA 1000 will deliver the RAN 12 reliable and high end submarines which will form the backbone of the most capable submarine force in our region and serve as a significant capability element of the ADF.
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.
There have been several recent developments in the effort to replace RAAF’s retired Caribou transport fleet, most notably the US decision to cancel their order for C-27J aircraft. The choice for Australia between Alenia’s C-27J – potentially to be acquired via the US Foreign Military Sales process - and Airbus Military’s C295 has been complicated by an unsolicited and unconfirmed bid from Raytheon Australia, also believed to be offering the C-27J.
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.
The biannual Pacific 2012 international maritime exhibition, held in Sydney in late January and early February, continues to show steady growth in the number of exhibitors – a reflection of growing prospects for business in the naval sector. In his keynote speech at the associated sea power conference, Defence Minister Stephen Smith made it clear that the Indian Ocean, as well as the Pacific, is of increasing strategic importance:
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.
The Indian Navy through-deck aircraft carrier Vikramaditya (ex-Gorshkov) is 90.5% complete and within a year of commissioning. A recent visit to Russia’s Sevmash Dockyards in Severodvinsk near the far northern border with Finland, where the new Indian navy carrier is being completed, revealed considerable progress. Since a previous inspection in June 2010, the amount of work completed increased from 68.5% to 90.5%, according the to builders. A critical boost was given last year, when India agreed to pay extra for the refit work and Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev inspected the Vikramaditya and chaired a special governmental session on Indo-Russian military technical cooperation in the naval sphere.
In a time of intense political turmoil for the European Union, on 8 December 2011 in Brittany, at the Lanvéoc-Poulmic Naval Air Station, the French Navy commissioned its first naval air squadron of brand-new NH90 naval frigate helicopters (NFH) . This is in the form of the revived Flottille 33F, an Aéronavale squadron previously flying the veteran Sud-Aviation SA321G Super Frelon, today no longer in service in France.
Big ticket shipbuilding programmes such as the Air Warfare Destroyer and amphibious warfare vessels have revitalised the local industry, which had contracted following completion of the Anzac frigate, Armidale patrol boat and Collins submarine programmes. However vital skills have been lost to other industries, in particular the mining sector, which has enjoyed sustained and massive growth for several years.
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.”
While the UK waits impatiently for its new aircraft carriers and F-35Cs, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines are now taking the lead in providing Britain with a global intervention capability, as APDR’s Richard Gardner reports from HMS Bulwark.
It has been over 20 years since an Australian Government Senate inquiry sparked an investment in Mine CounterMeasures (MCM) of nearly $1.5 billion. This investment culminated in the building of a modern MCM HQ at HMAS WATERHEN in Sydney and the delivery of 6 Huon Class Minehunters during the period 1999-2004. This article sets out what has been achieved and makes suggestions as to what is the required future focus for this vital maritime warfare capability. A Short History - Towards the end of the 1990s, the revitalisation of the RAN’s Mine Warfare (MW) capability was well underway. The new class of 6 MHCs were about to commence delivery, a project to procure a new range of mines was still underway (although it was not to last long), HMAS WATERHEN, the RANs MCMHQ was being rebuilt as a purpose built MCM support base and the plans were afoot to take the Clearance Diving capability to 90 metres with a new diving set. In all, this $1.5bn had been committed to ramp up the RANs MCM and MW capability – with potentially more to come with the acquisition of sea mines. Why all the expense on MCM? The answer was in the Government’s 1987 White Paper, which emphasised the need for capabilities to insure the Defence of Australia, its strategic maritime approaches and in the context of MW, its priority ports. These were ports that then and even more so now were seen as vital for Australia’s economic prosperity.
Because of New Zealand’s geographic isolation and friendly neighbours, successive governments have maintained the nation’s armed forces at “minimum credible” levels of manpower and equipment. The 2010-11 Defence budget saw spending rise modestly to NZ$2.85 billion, a figure representing approximately 1.2% of GDP. NZ is heavily dependent on international trade, with 24% of its national output exported, mostly by sea. The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) thus plays a crucial role in defending the realm, which, thanks to far-flung islands and dependencies such as the Cook Islands, possesses the world’s sixth-largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The EEZ encompasses an area of 6.68 million km². The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has three objectives: to defend the nation against threats; to contribute to regional security; and to participate in global security efforts. The importance of the RNZN’s role has been reflected in recent defence budgets. This year the navy’s share expanded to NZ$673 million, although it is being forced, along with each service of the NZDF, to find areas of savings within its overall budget.
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.
Year 2028; Deep Inside Enemy Territorial Seas … DTG 290040H FEB 28. Despite it being very early morning, the command team members were alert. Twenty minutes earlier the submarine had been brought to action stations after sonar had classified contacts 34 and 35 as two enemy destroyers. Commander Saunders had used the energy in her submarine’s lithium ion batteries to quickly close within visual range, then slowed and returned the boat to periscope depth. After conducting a target setup using the optronics mast’s fifth generation night vision capabilities and being satisfied with the updated fire control solution she returned the boat back below the layer, increased speed and set course for the intended firing position.
As described in the previous part of this small series (July / August APDR), 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. 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.
This is the second article based on a speech to a Rockwell Collins ‘Connected, aware, responsive technology’ Symposium. Having defined the problem with Defence as I see it, it is now time to examine solutions. What I am proposing is a tool that could be used now to improve even a sub-optimal Defence process. It is a tool or methodology that would indicate ministerial leadership and a healthy ministerial interest in real outputs and not only inputs. It is a tool that applies discipline both across the organisation and from top to bottom, as well as a tool that could be understood by a much larger proportion of the population than can currently understand Defence. And what might work against the acceptance of the methodology itself, it is something that creates a highly visible means of assessing the impact of government actions on the effectiveness of the defence force of this nation. But finally, it is a tool that can be used by a minister to truly increase accountability.
Although Australian industry is arguably not a major player in the global Unmanned Aerial Systems marketplace, it nevertheless plays an important role in technology development and support of local programmes. The UAS industry has also been assisted by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) through the government/industry Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) programme, leading to several innovative developments which have commercial potential.
Arguably Army’s most important indirect firepower project – LAND 17 – seems to be making patchy progress. As an essential part of Hardening & Networking the Army, having a capability that can be used in combat operations seems to be some way from fruition.
A submarine is something that keeps water off the combat system and carries it to the battle”. At least that’s how we combat systems artificers used to view the situation. Putting an old submariner’s saying aside, however, the combat system is a very important component of a submarine’s capability and it deserves some attention in this series on SEA 1000.
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.
The original version of this project was to improve dismounted soldiers’ day and night vision capabilities when operating under adverse conditions - such as in jungle and open conditions – and to detect hostile forces by using a range of complementary and mainly electro-optical equipment. The products adopted for NINOX included soldier-carried Image Intensified devices, thermal imagers and microwave radars, the latter two tripod or vehicle mounted. NINOX also included unmanned perimeter surveillance equipment.
Writing an overview of Australia’s military vehicle industry base is fraught with difficulty, due in no small part to the twists and turns of various phases of the overarching and ambitious Project Overlander vehicle replacement programme. Analysis of any future industry base is therefore very much dependent on the outcome of several phases.
A clear blue sky, an azure swimming pool, gym, the gentle buzz of light aircraft arriving and departing, everything neat and clean, attentive smiling staff. Could APDR have been transported to a resort for the ultra-rich in the Seychelles or perhaps near Bora Bora? In our dreams. In fact the location is the Tamworth Flying School - operated by BAE Systems – and while it is not actually a tropical paradise it is in fact very pleasant.
(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.
Boeing announced on September 14 that it has delivered Australia’s fifth C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during a ceremony at the C-17 program’s final assembly facility in Long Beach. A RAAF delegation led by Stephen Smith, Australia’s Minister for Defence, received the country’s latest C-17 at an event also attended by Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley, Australian Secretary of Defence Duncan Lewis, and U.S. Ambassador to Australia the Honorable Jeffrey Bleich.
Recent skirmishes between China, Vietnam and the Philippines have threatened to reignite the long-standing and protracted dispute in the South China Sea. The potentially resource-rich islands in the South China Sea remains a source of friction and instability between the claimant states of the Asia-Pacific region. A peaceful resolution to the South China Sea dispute is imperative for the stability and security of the region.
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.”
Leading Australian defence prime contractor, Austal, announced on 22 August that it has teamed with Rohde & Schwarz, internationally renowned supplier of integrated defence communications systems, to submit a proposal to the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) in response to the SEA 1442 Phase 4 request for tender. SEA 1442 is a maritime communications modernisation program for the eight ANZAC Class Frigates of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) that will provide a significant capability improvement to the existing communications environment between RAN assets in support of Network Centric Warfare.
BAE Systems announced on 19 August that it has shipped the first of its Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) blocks to the ASC facility at Osborne in South Australia. BAE Systems Director of Maritime, Harry Bradford, said the block left the Williamstown yard on 12 August and arrived at Osborne on 15 August. He said shipping of the first block by barge was a major milestone for the Williamstown yard.
APDR understands that Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs has approved Initial Operational Release (IOR) for HMAS PERTH Stage 1 ANZAC Class ASMD Upgrade Capability. This has been done on the advice of the Surface Force Commander and the Fleet Commander.
Raytheon Australia has formally announced the company’s teaming for their pursuit of JP 2072 Phase 2B. In a briefing to media at the company’s corporate headquarters on 1 August 2011 Raytheon Australia’s Managing Director, Michael Ward, revealed that Raytheon Australia intends to prime JP2072 Phase 2B with the strong support of Raytheon Company (Network Centric Systems) and General Dynamics C4 Systems.
In ASPI’s well-respected 2011-2012 Defence Budget Brief a suggestion was made that Defence would mandate equipping Australia’s future submarines with US AN/BYG-1 combat systems and US Mk 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedoes. In fact, the use of the Mk 48 was “a given”. The source of this claim was not provided. Neither was an explanation as to “why”.
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.
The new US Navy helicopter was selected by the RAN in June 2011 to replace ageing Seahawks following a competitive tender between the US Navy and NH Industries - offering the NFH-90 - to supply up to 24 complete aircraft and associated support services. The decision seems odd when 46 NH-90s, labelled the MRH-90 will support the RAN’s “transport” capability and means that the RAN will operate two different helicopters and by doing so will ignore the 80% commonality of the two NHI aircraft. This paper reviews the MH-60R.
Airborne tactical transport. One of the principles of modern warfare is that a country can never have too much airlift capacity. With this in mind, Defence hopes to have another slow motion crack at plugging an annoying gap in capability caused by the retirement of the long-serving Caribou battlefield airlifters last year. Known as project AIR 8000 Phase 2, this is likely to be a re-run of a competition a decade ago that had exactly the same aim, but was cancelled for reasons that are the subject of speculation and rumour, which will be put to rest later in this story.
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;
The Land-Based Test Site (LBTS) at BAE Systems in Williamstown for the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) project is now complete. BAE Systems, Saab and L-3 Communications (L-3) completed the installation in July 2011 as a key milestone in the development of the integrated combat and communications systems.
Rheinmetall unveils new HE DM11 secondary ammunition for MBT 120mm smoothbore gun Rheinmetall recently revealed a new 120m HE round to a group of international experts at its proving ground in Unterlüß, Germany. It can be fired from any in-service 120mm smoothbore gun (L44 and L55). Dubbed the DM11, the new ammunition was developed on behalf of the German Ministry of Defence. It enables main battle tanks to respond more effectively to a variety of contemporary threats.
Dr Stephen Gumley AO joined the Defence Materiel Organisation as its inaugural CEO in February 2004 and retired abruptly on July 7, turning the almost monthly rumours of his departure into reality. Before joining DMO he had a distinguished career in industry including with Boeing and then as the Managing Director of Government-owned ASC, the imaginatively rebranded Australian Submarine Corporation.
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.
The RAN’s quest to overhaul its maritime operational support capability, SEA 1654, was originally conceived in four phases, which would replace the existing fleet oiler and underway replenishment vessels.
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.
The U.S. Navy has exercised contract options funding the construction of the sixth and seventh Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), as part of a ten-vessel program potentially worth over US$1.6 billion. The construction contract for both vessels is valued at approximately US$313 million. Austal Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, noted that this contract demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s confidence in Austal as a leading defence prime contractor.
Thales announced on 16 June that its support contract for the Tiger Aircrew Training Means (TATM) has been extended by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) representing Germany and France.
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.
ust after noon on 19th January 1991, during operation “Dessert Storm”, USS LOUISVILLE became the first submarine to launch a land attack missile in anger when she fired eight missiles at targets in Iraq. She did this operating from the Red Sea. Shortly afterwards, USS PITTSBURG became the second when she fired four more missiles from the Mediterranean Sea. Submarines have subsequently fired land attack missiles in a number of other operations. USS MIAMI fired some into Iraq In 1998 at the start of “Desert Fox” (the 4 day bombing operation undertaken in response to Iraq's failure to comply with UN Security Council resolutions). USS ALBUQUERQUE, USS MIAMI and HMS SPLENDID fired some into Kosovo a year later as part of “Allied Force”. HMS TRAFALGAR and TRIUMPH fired them into Afghanistan In 2001 as part of operation “Enduring Freedom and in 2003, 12 USN submarines and the RN submarines HMS SPLENDID and TURBULENT attacked land targets in Iraq as part of “Iraqi Freedom”. Finally, in March this year SSGN USS FLORIDA, and SSNs USS PROVIDENCE, USS SCRANTON and HMS TRIUMP fired some into Libya as part of “Odyssey Dawn”. It is clear that land strike from submarines is not an aberration In this day and age.
The Australian Defence Force’s programme to deliver a Pilot Training System (PTS) which will take a candidate from initial flight screening through to his or her possible entry into the post-graduate Lead In Fighter Trainer, is arguably the most important project on the books at this moment in time. The Pilot Training System, AIR 5428 Phase 1, will deliver a turnkey solution to the ADF, something that has never happened before in this domain. In the past, training projects have been platform-centric – selecting and introducing a specific aircraft type to service and adapting training accordingly. AIR 5428 is a holistic approach, which is outcome driven, rather than a project to acquire a new training aircraft (or two). As such, it is crucial that Defence gets it right.
n the light of Australia’s continuing problems in the naval shipbuilding sector, it is interesting to see what New Zealand is doing with far more modest means when it comes to upgrading their ANZAC Frigates. Australia and New Zealand ordered the German designed MEKO class frigates at the same time twenty years ago. This came about as a rare consequence of both navies running a combined project office and both Governments remaining committed to a project that promised significant savings through scale – a single order for 10 ships rather than separate contracts for eight and two. Both countries received significant industrial benefits as a result.
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.”
On May 16, Sagem announced that following a competitive call for tenders, the new-generation ballistic computer offered by them was chosen by French defense procurement agency DGA to outfit all control stations in the French army’s Atlas* artillery system. The outstanding technical quality of this product was the decisive factor in winning the contract for this program, designated CADET 2G.
Elbit Systems to Supply an Asian Country with Electro-Optical Payloads for Maritime Patrol Aircraft Under Contract Valued at Approximately $20 Million On May 18, Elbit announced that it was awarded a contract to supply an unnamed Asian country with dozens of CoMPASS™ (Compact Multi Purpose Advanced Stabilized System) payloads for maritime patrol aircraft. The Asian country, which operates one of the largest maritime patrol fleets in the world, has selected the CoMPASS™ payload as a solution to protect its coastlines. The contract, valued at approximately $20 million, is scheduled to be completed within two years.
ast month the generic roles and functions of a submarine were mapped into the Australian context and some analysis was carried out to identify any aspects of the Australian requirement that stood out as unique. One requirement that warranted further discussion was that of submarine “endurance” and “range”. It was acknowledged, and is largely undisputed in military circles, that the Area of Operations (AO) for Australia’s future submarines will be both large and distant. Are the Australian range and endurance requirement unique, or perhaps just unusual? Can the Australian requirement be met by a Military Off The Shelf (MOTS) submarine, and if not, by how much does a MOTS submarine miss the mark? Finally, if the MOTS submarine does miss the mark, how can the requirement gap be met economically by alternative solutions? There is little point in procuring a future submarine that cannot meet ADF peace and wartime endurance and range needs. However, noting the high cost that would be borne by the taxpayer for the procurement of a unique submarine design and the national consequences if any of the significant own design project risks are realised, all options with respect to meeting endurance and range requirements must be considered.
Three phases of Project AIR 9000, the Australian Defence Force’s helicopter roadmap for the future, are due to progress to either type selection or contract over the next year or two, realising a reduction in the number of platforms flown.
Aerospace companies, helicopter manufacturers and training and simulation providers are teaming up in readiness for the launch of the Air 9000 Phase 7 helicopter training competition – hardly a surprise given its estimated value is approaching the $1 billion mark.
The dust has settled on the ugly Australian Defence Force Academy ‘Skype Incident’ – at least for the moment. A great deal has been written about the episode and much of it has been plain wrong – such as the baseless assertion that the Chief of the Defence Force threatened to resign over how the matter was being handled. This media myth – recycled for three days by its originator – came from a single unverified source with an axe to grind. What has emerged is a surprising amount of strong bipartisan political support for the position taken by Stephen Smith, who has been praised by former Liberal Defence Minister Peter Reith and former Liberal Opposition Leader John Hewson – amongst others.
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.
Since the Defence Simulation Roadmap was first published in 2006, work to ensure the document evolves to better plan for future development and establish a system of simulation governance for both the ADF and industry has continued without pause. Simulation governance protocols are being developed which will not only guide the ADF along the path to greater and more efficient use of simulation in its activities, but also to shape a vision for the establishment of partnerships with industry and academia in the future.
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.
There is continuing uncertainty as to when the RAAF’s long awaited Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft will be delivered. From a technical viewpoint, two of the modified A-330s have been ready to be transferred since October last year but delays have occurred because of problems with the provision of ancillary items - especially documentation – and more recently issues concerned with the refueling boom. A Departmental spokesperson explained:
If the RAAF takes up the option of converting up to 12 Super Hornets to EA-18 Growler configuration, it will provide the ADF with a new and complex airborne EW capability. In such an event their application in a 3D battlefield electronic environment is considered likely to stretch the RAAF’s EW Squadron’s technical capacity for many years as the system evolves and the threat environment changes and ramps up. This situation lends itself to a logical decision to source EA-18G technology and techniques from the USAF/US Industry conglomerate that design and supply it. Ironically, this may bring about the ultimate demise of the EW Squadron’s “raison d’etre” - apart from involvement in a decreasing number of simple, indigenous, EW systems. As Shakespeare so beautifully described it, the EW Squadron may yet be “hoist on its own petard”.
In the February edition of APDR we outlined the generic roles that submarines perform in peacetime. These roles were broken down into four different categories; prevention of war, preparation for war, naval diplomacy and constabulary tasks. In March’s issue we outlined the generic roles that submarines perform in wartime. These roles were broken down into those associated with battle space preparation and those conducted after commencement of war. It is now time to map those roles into the Australian context.
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.
At some future time, a doctoral candidate may explore the impact poor government policy has on newly formed, highly professional and very effective maritime security agencies. Only in this way will the rather extraordinary story of Border Protection Command be told.
On February 24 Boeing announced that it has received a contract from the U.S. Air Force to build the next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft that will replace 179 of the service’s 400 KC-135 tankers.
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.
Thales announced on February 11 that together with the Tiger and Huey UH-1Y helicopters, its TopOwl® Helmet Mounted Sight & Display system (HMSD) has been deployed with the French and US Forces in Afghanistan, to provide high levels of night vision performance and targeting capabilities for helicopter pilots.
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.
CAE Australia announced on February 17 that a major upgrade to the Australian Army's S-70A Black Hawk full-flight and mission simulator (FFMS) has been completed on-schedule and recently entered service for the Australian Army.
Within the ship are 1,130 linear metres of space which can accommodate 24 main battle tanks, or 150 Jeep-type vehicles with 200 tonnes of supplies or 24 x 24 TEU containers while the ship can carry 356 troops
While the Department of Defence continues to cogitate its navel about the RAN’s SEA 1000 future submarine, in terms of capability, design availability, cost and in service date to eventually replace the Collins, the German submarine building machine HDW continues to pump out its Type 214 SSK to many European maritime countries, (Spain excepted), and is also enjoying export success much further afield – including Asia.
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.
Raytheon Australia announced on December 16 that it has teamed with BAE Systems to bid for the Air 5428 Pilot Training System Program. Air 5428 Phase 1 aims to utilise advanced training systems to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Australian Defence Force’s fixed wing pilot training.
Lockheed Martin announced on December 15 that the F-35 Lightning II program team reached its 2010 goal of 394 test flights jointly established by the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and Lockheed Martin. Since the first flight of the F-35 on Dec.15, 2006, the program has logged a total of 531 flights, expanding the performance envelope of the three F-35 variants and testing the mission systems.
Australian government policy is to replace the current six Collins class with twelve new larger submarines armed with, among other things, long-range cruise missiles. The hope is that these craft will provide something like the long-range punch formerly provided by the recently-retired F-111s. Where is submarine technology going? How may it affect any new Australian submarines over, say, the next two decades? Any discussion should begin with the reasons that submarines, albeit expensive, are still worthwhile. The fundamental value of submarines is that they are stealthy, hence can operate in areas nominally dominated by others. What the submarine does with that ability varies with what it has on board and with the scenario. In the past, the most prominent missions have been to attack enemy ships and submarines, to conduct reconnaissance, and to deter an enemy by threatening strategic attack from a secure place. (KYM TO TASHA, BPS) Australia does not currently entertain the vision of strategic deterrence by submarine, but that might become attractive in a future in which nuclear weapons were more widely spread in the region.
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.
The strategic level of war concerns the overall conduct of the war, the approximate forces that will be made available, and the weights and efforts required in various theatres. The operational level of war is the one below and is primarily concerned with how to achieve the strategic aims of the conflict with the forces allocated. It involves the planning and conduct of campaigns and key operations in order to achieve the strategic aim. It provides the link between the strategic and tactical levels of command.
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.
Australian Aerospace Limited, which assembles the Army’s and Navy’s MRH90 helicopters in Brisbane, has welcomed the imminent return to flying operations by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) of what it describes as a world leading and most advanced multi-role helicopter.
On 21 July Raytheon Australia announced that their contract for the provision of comprehensive calibration services for ADF test and measurement equipment has completed the final phase-in activities with the formal approval to commence full scale calibration production.
EADS has announced that preparations have begun to deliver thousands of items of tooling and spare parts from Europe to Australia to support the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) new fleet of Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker-Transport (MRTT) air-to-air refuelling tankers.
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.
In October 2006, a Chinese Song-class submarine evaded escorting vessels of the American Kitty Hawk carrier battle group, surfacing 8km away and within torpedo range of the huge aircraft carrier itself.
Never far from controversy, the Joint Strike Fighter programme is facing pressures both from within Lockheed Martin, in terms of the delayed testing schedule, and those exerted on defence budgets by the global financial crisis.
In one of his last interviews before his departure to take up his position as Australia’s Ambassador to the US, former Defence Minister Kim Beazley talks to APDR’s Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe about the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean to Australia’s
As far as the author is aware there is no official history of Australia’s endeavours in indigenous Electronic Warfare (EW) projects in Australia, but if there was then the Defence Research Laboratories at Salisbury in South Australia would undoubtedly be the principle player, with some support from Australian Industry.
The Commonwealth has allocated AS$2.5 billion over a period of 10 years to provide support and sustainment for the introduction of 24 F/A-18F Block II+ Super Hornets with the Royal Australian Air Force.
It boggles and saddens the mind that Defence, the launch customer for the supply of an airborne early warning and control capability for Australia, and the supplier Boeing, have failed to perform satisfactorily on this critically important program for the defence of Australia.
The ink is hardly dry on the decision to adopt a US Navy combat system for the Type 471 Collins class SSK submarine; availability, serviceability and crewing remain problems to be solved; their half-life update is not too many years into the future; and the Government has said it will not abandon the Collins.
The recent and spectacular successes of the Sri Lanka Navy [SLN] in countering the maritime wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE], the Sea Tigers, serves as an interesting example of maritime counter-insurgency.
And well might it be said as the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter [ARH], now beginning to enter into service in the Australian Army, is demonstrating that it is an outstanding example of European commercial and technological aviation expertise that is stealing the march on a heretofore entrenched market for United States helicopters in Australia and also in other nations.
The concept of Revolution in Military Affairs [RMA] has become a key driver behind technological change and the requirement for achieving the knowledge edge, as essential elements of successful waging of modern warfare.
Announced with no fanfare in early October – not even a media release – the NCW Roadmap 2009 is a 70 page document providing an outline of how the ADF needs to achieve key objectives in the next decade and beyond.
Australia and New Zealand’s deep and common heritage, a lasting - if gruff - kinship, and similar social values all underscore the merits of a standing trans-Tasman force, ready to meet shared national security challenges. Peter Greener and Nick Floyd review the challenges that the notion itself presents.
The search for a successor to Australia’s geriatric de Havilland DHC-4 Caribou fleet, which started way back in the 1970s, has stalled a number of times in recent years but with annual support costs for the fleet now reaching A$35 million continuing operation of the type is no longer feasible.
Considered to be one of Asia’s longest running conflicts, the Sri Lankan civil war officially ended on 19 May 2009, with the Sri Lankan military recapturing all LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) controlled territory and killing its leadership.
In his announcement on 13 July 2009, the Hon. Greg. Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science announced an “International Challenge to Develop Military Robots” through a competition known as the Multi-Autonomous Ground-robotic International Challenge (MAGIC).
When the history of the ANZAC ships is written, it is highly likely that the success and utility of the Commonwealth’s original approach since the frigates have required minor and major upgrades to enhance their anti-submarine warfare [ASW] and anti-surface warfare [ASuW] capabilities, but not their capability to prosecute an attack.
The Boeing Company and the United States Navy (USN) have formally unveiled the service's newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, during a ceremony near Seattle on 30 July.The Boeing Company and the United States Navy (USN) have formally unveiled the service's newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, during a ceremony near Seattle on 30 July.
Speaking at the rollout of the first RAAF Super Hornet, RAAF Chief Air Marshal Mark Binskin said that he personally is in favor of the future conversion of some of the aircraft to the Electronic Warfare ‘Grizzly’ variant. Previously known as the Growler, the EW variants have been rechristened to avoid confusion with their predecessor the Prowler.
There is very little information available about the J-XX. The existence of the program was first disclosed by US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in 1997 when J-XX was described as a 4th generation fighter to enter the service around 2015.
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.
This is particularly so for navies in the South-East Asian region As we approach the first decade of the 21st Century, it is clear that the maritime environment will continue to play an important role for not only nations but also people of the world, a large proportion who depend on maritime trade and activities.
The goal of the Australian Defence Force’s [ADFs] Project AIR 9000 is to plan a ‘rotary wing roadmap’ for the future and as such, aims to replace legacy Army and Navy fleets to satisfy projected operational requirements.