APDR Article Library: Sea

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Lockheed Martin continues to bring world-class innovation to South Australia

Lockheed Martin today opened a new high-tech laboratory to support the design, delivery and sustainment of Australia’s future Submarine Force, bringing world-class defence innovation to South Australia.

27th Nov 2015 | Read more

There is no substitute for Australian innovation

The opening of a state-of-the-art centre for the development of submarine combat systems in Adelaide is providing opportunities for researchers and industry to work closely together to foster skills, create cutting edge technology and boost the nation’s economy.

27th Nov 2015 | Read more

AWD Alliance lays keel for third Australian destroyer

The Australia Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance reports the keel has been laid for the third ship of the three-ship program.

20th Nov 2015 | Read more

Babcock and ASC reach new sustainment services agreement for Collins fleet

Babcock International Group has signed a new Transitional Services Agreement (TSA) with Adelaide-based submarine builder and maintainer (ASC) for the delivery of sustainment services to the six Collins Class Submarines.

19th Nov 2015 | Read more

Royal Australian Navy Task Group exercises with the French Navy in South China Sea

HMA Ships Arunta, Stuart and Sirius, have rendezvoused at sea with the French frigate FNS Vendemiaire as part of a Royal Australian Navy Task Group

4th Nov 2015 | Read more

Lockheed Martin Canada Announces Latest Achievement on New Zealand ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade Project

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Canada marked an important milestone toward modernizing the Royal New Zealand Navy’s two ANZAC Class ships.

23rd Oct 2015 | Read more

Senator Marise Payne says Australia opposes intimidation in the South China Sea

THE Turnbull Government is maintaining a hard line against China and other nations making illegal claims to territory and waters in the South China Sea.

7th Oct 2015 | Read more

Two ships. Two teams. One goal.

Sustainment teams on both sides of Australia are upgrading ANZAC class frigates HMAS Perth and HMAS Anzac to significantly increase their capability.

5th Oct 2015 | Read more

TKMSA announces ‘Endeavour’ as the name for Australian Future Submarine Project

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), the world’s leading builder of conventional submarines, has announced the name ‘Endeavour’ for its Australian SEA1000 Future Submarine Project.

5th Oct 2015 | Read more

Defence insiders welcome first female minister Marise Payne

Long serving NSW Senator Marise Payne has been sworn into her new role and is today receiving briefings from Defence Force bosses

20th Sep 2015 | Read more

Australia's Newest Naval Vessel Ready for Delivery

The Australian Navy’s NUSHIP Adelaide has completed its final sea ship trials in Port Phillip Bay.

29th Aug 2015 | Read more

NUSHIP Adelaide’s final sea trials

Williamstown, Victoria: In preparation for delivery later this year, NUSHIP Adelaide will start her final period of sea trials today.

17th Aug 2015 | Read more


BAE Systems has today announced a further reduction in the workforce at its Williamstown shipyard.

11th Aug 2015 | Read more

Saab Australia Welcomes Government’s Commitment to Naval Shipbuilding

Saab Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a continuous build program for the Royal Australian Navy’s Future Frigates

7th Aug 2015 | Read more


On July 25, coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 13 airstrikes using fighter, bomber, attack and remotely piloted aircraft.

26th Jul 2015 | Read more

Minister for Defence – Media Statement – Mr Shorten, please don’t be so short sighted on subs

Today Mr Shorten and his faithful followers were outside the Australian Submarine Corporation being their usual negative selves.

15th Jul 2015 | Read more


DCNS will propose the world’s most advanced conventionally powered submarine – named the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A

14th Jul 2015 | Read more

France offers stealth submarine tech to Australia to bolster contract bid

France will offer Australia its stealth technology for submarines, never before shared abroad, if it wins a lucrative deal to build Australia's fleet of next-generation submarines

14th Jul 2015 | Read more

New Australian ship completes initial sea trials

NUSHIP Adelaide, a second Landing Helicopter Dock Ship for the Royal Australian Navy, has successfully completed its initial sea trials, BAE Systems said.

10th Jul 2015 | Read more

SEA 1000- Speculation about the origins of Option J

In 2012 the Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee published their final report into ‘Procurement Procedures for Defence Capital projects’

4th Jul 2015 | Read more

NUSHIP Adelaide commences sea trials

BAE Systems announced on June 23 that NUSHIP Adelaide, one of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), left Williamstown (17 June)

2nd Jul 2015 | Read more

BAE Systems delivers more AWD blocks

Williamstown, Victoria: A further two Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) blocks manufactured at BAE Systems’ Williamstown shipyard have been sent to Osborne, South Australia.

25th May 2015 | Read more

SA to host defence manufacturers

Major defence manufacturers from France, Japan and South Korea are visiting South Australia to inspect its naval shipbuilding sector.

23rd May 2015 | Read more

Air Warfare Destroyer project: HMAS Hobart launched

SA Premier Jay Weatherill has used the launch of the first Air Warfare Destroyer to push South Australia's credentials to build the next generation of submarines.

22nd May 2015 | Read more

International participation in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2015

Australia and the United States are preparing for Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2015, the largest combined military exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

17th May 2015 | Read more

Shipbuilder lays off another 80 workers

SHIPBUILDER BAE Systems has laid off another 80 workers at its Melbourne yard, with fears it will completely run out of work early next year.

12th May 2015 | Read more

Navy should stay anchored in Sydney

The NSW government has thrown its support behind the navy remaining at Garden Island rather than a move to Port Kembla.

26th Apr 2015 | Read more

Babcock signs $NZ300 million agreement with the New Zealand Defence Force

Babcock International Group announced on April 22 that it has renewed a $NZ300 million agreement with the Government of New Zealand which will see the company deliver through life engineering support services across the New Zealand naval fleet for the next seven years.

21st Apr 2015 | Read more

Victoria, South Australia join forces

Victoria and South Australia have joined forces to press for urgent federal funding to save military shipbuilding jobs as the industry enters the so-called "valley of death" between work orders.

16th Apr 2015 | Read more

Fourth ANZAC frigate milestone

HMAS Warramunga, the fourth ANZAC frigate to be upgraded as part of the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) program has been undocked at the BAE Systems Henderson (WA) shipyard.

13th Apr 2015 | Read more

Shipbuilding industry ‘valley of death’ cannot be avoided, says Defence Minister Kevin Andrews

The industry says it has already entered the valley, and the engineers are the first of what could be thousands of jobs to go.

31st Mar 2015 | Read more

German defence group to visit ASC as part of $20 billion submarine bid

ADELAIDE’S shipyards will be showcased to a top-level group of German defence and government officials within days as part of the bid to build Australia’s next submarine fleet here.

23rd Mar 2015 | Read more

Sweden blasts Defence for submarine decision.

In a letter obtained by APDR, the Head of Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration – the equivalent of DMO – has called into question several aspects of Australia’s decision to exclude her country from the evaluation process.

16th Mar 2015 | Read more

APDR examines whether the Defence Department is capable of balanced, objective advise.

In the next edition of APDR we critically examine whether the Department of Defence is any longer capable of giving balanced, objective advice about the Collins submarine replacement

5th Mar 2015 | Read more


Adelaide, South Australia: BAE Systems Australia will bid to build the 21 Pacific Patrol Boats required by the Commonwealth Government.

4th Mar 2015 | Read more

Swedes believe that domestic submarine construction is a strategic necessity

Speaking to a group of visiting Australian journalists, Sweden’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist described the domestic construction of submarines as a vital part of the country’s security policy.

17th Feb 2015 | Read more

Pressure builds to save Victorian shipbuilding jobs

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.

9th Feb 2015 | Read more

Submarines open tender process falls short of Federal Government's promise to build locally, SA Defence Minister says

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.

8th Feb 2015 | Read more

Redundancies begin at BAE Systems in Williamstown, union claims

STAFF sackings at the Williamstown naval shipyards have started with about five workers made redundant, a union representative claims.

2nd Feb 2015 | Read more

A UNITED STATES move to bolster its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region

The eight per cent increase sought from the Congress for Pentagon funding is about nine thousand million dollars more than Australia’s entire annual $29.3 billion defence budget.

29th Jan 2015 | Read more

The consequences of capricious decision-making

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.

28th Jan 2015 | Read more

Saab and Damen Team for Walrus Future Submarine Replacement Programme

Swedish defence and security company Saab is teaming with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group to explore future opportunities in the international submarine market.

20th Jan 2015 | Read more

Cabinet reshuffle delays $US25bn defence tenders

National defence tenders valued at $US25 billion have been delayed by the federal government's recent cabinet reshuffle

19th Jan 2015 | Read more

Protectionism, geopolitics trump cost in Australia-Japan submarines deal

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.

13th Jan 2015 | Read more

Thousands of Victorian defence industry jobs are at risk

Thousands of Victorian defence industry jobs are at risk if the federal government fails to place further orders for work, Premier Daniel Andrews says.

4th Jan 2015 | Read more

AU’s Guided Missile Submarine Receives Upgrade From Thales Group

Australian Navy's guided missile submarine, the Collins Class submarine, received significant upgrade from the Thales Group.

14th Dec 2014 | Read more

Thales successfully delivers Collins submarine simulator upgrade

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.

9th Dec 2014 | Read more


Today’s announcement that BAE Systems has joined the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) reform project has been welcomed by the company as a “positive step” towards helping to turn the project around.

8th Dec 2014 | Read more

Creating a sustainable naval shipbuilding industry

The Abbott Government is committed to investing in a safe and secure Australia.

8th Dec 2014 | Read more

Additional shipbuilding expertise to be inserted into the Air Warfare Destroyer program

We are taking the next major step to put the $8.5 billion Air Warfare Destroyer program back on track to deliver critical capability for the Royal Australian Navy.

8th Dec 2014 | Read more

Joe Hockey rules out open tender for new submarines

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.

1st Dec 2014 | Read more

2000 jobs at risk in Air Warfare Destroyer project chaos

UP to 2000 naval shipbuilding jobs could be lost across three states next year — a third of the entire industry — according to a confidential report into the troubled Air Warfare Destroyer project.

27th Nov 2014 | Read more

Defence Minister David Johnston's criticism of ASC.

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.

25th Nov 2014 | Read more

DCNS opened a new subsidiary in Australia

Hervé GUILLOU, CEO of DCNS Group opened the new DCNS Australia subsidiary on Wednesday, November 19th,

19th Nov 2014 | Read more

Northrop Grumman Appoints Todd Leavitt Vice President of Maritime Systems Business Unit

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has named Todd Leavitt, vice president

12th Nov 2014 | Read more

BAE Systems are designing warships using virtual reality

Virtual reality technology is being utilized in the construction of warships for the Royal Navy

12th Nov 2014 | Read more

Submariners on show in Fremantle

Around 250 men and women of the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Force marched proudly through the streets of Fremantle

12th Nov 2014 | Read more

NUSHIP CANBERRA departs Melbourne

BAE Systems Williamstown shipyard has farewelled the first Landing Helicopter Dock

29th Oct 2014 | Read more

Future still uncertain at BAE Williamstown, despite destroyer contracts

WORKERS at the Williamstown shipyards have welcomed news of more work

29th Oct 2014 | Read more

Politics before three word slogans

The death of Edward Gough Whitlam on October 21 has been met with considerable nostalgia not only for a reforming Prime Minister

22nd Oct 2014 | Read more

ADELAIDE-based shipbuilder ASC is poised to split in two in a bid to tackle problems with the $8.5 billion air warfare destroyer project.

In a move that also would boost ASC’s positioning for future submarine work

16th Oct 2014 | Read more

Germany fights for Australian submarine defence contract after Japan makes a bid for it

A HIGH-POWERED German submarine delegation is in Canberra

16th Oct 2014 | Read more

Commonwealth accepts first LHD from BAE Systems

The Commonwealth of Australia has accepted the first of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships, NUSHIP CANBERRA, from prime contractor BAE Systems.

6th Oct 2014 | Read more

Contract awarded for anti-ship missile decoys

The Department of Defence announced on October 1 that the design of the next generation of anti-ship missile

2nd Oct 2014 | Read more

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

On September 26, U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN)

2nd Oct 2014 | Read more

NUSHIP CANBERRA embarks on final trials

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA: NUSHIP CANBERRA, the first of two Landing Helicopter Dock

15th Sep 2014 | Read more

Making sense of the Japanese submarine option

There has been a flurry of public commentary following yesterday’s News Limited claims that Australia is about to enter into a commitment to buy our next generation of submarines from Japan.

8th Sep 2014 | Read more

New training centre to transform Australia’s naval industry

The Australian Maritime College (AMC) at the University of Tasmania will be the home of a new training centre

25th Aug 2014 | Read more


Newcastle-based Forgacs today announced it has acquired Broens, a precision engineering company that operates in Australia

12th Aug 2014 | Read more

The Chief of Army's Exercise 2014

The Chief of Army's Exercise 2014 is an invitation only event to be held in Brisbane

7th Aug 2014 | Read more

Exercise RIMPAC Draws Australia Closer to Amphibious Future

More than 800 Australian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel are on their way home

7th Aug 2014 | Read more

Thales to continue operating Sydney’s Garden Island

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.

22nd Jul 2014 | Read more

Thales Australia wins RAN’s Adelaide Class Frigate maintenance contract

Thales Australia Ltd has been awarded the Royal Australian Navy's (RAAN)

8th Jul 2014 | Read more

Minister for Defence Formally Opens the Saab Advanced Maritime Systems Centre

Minister for Defence Senator the Hon David Johnston officially opened Saab’s Advanced Maritime Systems Centre in Adelaide this morning.

2nd Jul 2014 | Read more

HMAS Parramatta departs for the South Pacific

The Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Parramatta departed Sydney this week

26th Jun 2014 | Read more

Arunta's sea time starts with a bang

HMAS Arunta recently dusted off the mount

26th Jun 2014 | Read more

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence – Maritime security strengthened through Pacific Patrol Boat Program

A new $2 billion Pacific Patrol Boat (PPB) Program unveiled today

18th Jun 2014 | Read more

Jump jets on navy's agenda as Tony Abbott orders air strike rethink

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's order to examine turning the navy's amphibious assault ships

3rd Jun 2014 | Read more

Australia urged to up defence spending to meet threat from rising power China

A key Australian defence think tank has suggested more money and a broader strategy

29th May 2014 | Read more

Thales Acquires IMARCS

Thales has acquired a maritime command and control system which integrates Automatic Identification Systems (AIS)

29th May 2014 | Read more

The Federal Budget

The Federal Budget sees a modest increase in defence spending – up $800 million to $29.2 billion.

13th May 2014 | Read more

Changes likely for Defence

Several things are underway directly affecting Defence: the May budget; the findings of the Commission of Audit; the Winter-White AWD review.

8th May 2014 | Read more

Commission of Audit

The impact of the Commission of Audit on the Department of Defence will be profound, if its recommendations are accepted.

8th May 2014 | Read more

ASPI’s submarine conference—key messages

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.

15th Apr 2014 | Read more

Submarines: German–Swedish tensions

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?

13th Apr 2014 | Read more

ASC says designers and builders must work together on future submarines

The Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC), Australia’s largest specialized defence shipbuilding

10th Apr 2014 | Read more

Austal Lays Keel for 6th Cape Class Patrol Boat

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison MP, participated in a keel laying ceremony

31st Mar 2014 | Read more

Playing the fiddle while Rome burns.

Make no mistake – naval shipbuilding in Australia is facing a crisis from which it might never recovery. The so-called Valley of Death is real and it will be reached at a specific time – August 2015

25th Mar 2014 | Read more

Australian minister loves Barrow

AUSTRALIAN defence minister David Johnston has declared his love for Barrow.

20th Mar 2014 | Read more

Australia’s first Landing Helicopter Dock visits Sydney

Navy’s first Landing Helicopter Dock, NUSHIP Canberra, will enter Sydney Heads today and will be visible on the harbour.

12th Mar 2014 | Read more

New defence white paper likely to test government appetite for radical thinking

Defence Minister David Johnston has selected a ripper team to prepare his new white paper.

11th Mar 2014 | Read more

Austal Awarded Contract for Two 72mm High Speed Defence Support Vessels

Austal Limited (Austal) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a contract from a naval customer in the Middle East

11th Mar 2014 | Read more

Warship project heading for cost blowout

The $8.5 billion project to build three advanced warships is facing a cost blowout of at least $300 million

6th Mar 2014 | Read more

Aussie Poseidon will be an advanced version of the US Navy P-8A

The new fleet is expected to become fully operational in 2021

4th Mar 2014 | Read more

HMAS Childers returns from Indian Ocean deployment

he Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) HMAS Childers has arrived in Darwin after participating in Milan 2014, the biannual international naval event

23rd Feb 2014 | Read more

China, Australia strike agreement on defence action plan

The Chinese People's Liberation Army's deputy chief of staff

15th Jan 2014 | Read more

BAE lease extension signals confidence in the Australian Marine Complex

BAE System’s multi-million dollar investment in its future at the Australian Marine Complex

4th Dec 2013 | Read more

BAE Systems to expand presence at the Australian Marine Complex

BAE Systems Australia has signed agreements with local authorities to expand its presence at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) in Henderson, Perth, the company announced on 28 November.

1st Dec 2013 | Read more

Saab signs contract to upgrade Australian Submarine Sub-System

Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with ASC Pty Ltd (Australian Submarine Corporation)

1st Dec 2013 | Read more

Canberra based company awarded radar development contract

Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston today announced the award of a Standing Offer contract to Canberra based company CEA Technologies

27th Nov 2013 | Read more

Australia Collins Class Submarines to be Updated

Defence Minister Senator David Johnston announced the Defence Materiel Organisation has signed a multi-million dollar contract with ASC Pty Ltd

26th Nov 2013 | Read more

Australia summons Chinese ambassador over air defence zone

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.

25th Nov 2013 | Read more

Defence awards contract to support frigates

Multi-million dollar contract has been signed with Thales Australia for in-service support on four Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships.

24th Nov 2013 | Read more

30 jobs cut in shipyard work

The first wave of job cuts has hit Australia's shipbuilders as unions fear it signals a looming collapse in the industry.

7th Nov 2013 | Read more

First harbour trial completed for Australian helicopter docking vessel

Australia's newest landing helicopter dock ship, the Canberra, successfully completed a vehicle loading trial at Williamstown, near Melbourne in the southern state of Victoria.

7th Nov 2013 | Read more

Exercise Bersama Lima 2013 – Boosting regional security

An air and maritime exercise involving Australia and its regional security partners commences today (7 November 2013) in Malaysia.

7th Nov 2013 | Read more

Raytheon awarded US Navy next generation Air and Missile Defense Radar contract

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)

27th Oct 2013 | Read more

Defence Confirms Intercepting Pirates off Somalia Coast

Australian Department of Defence confirmed intercepting pirates off the Somalia Coast with the company aboard HMAS Melbourne.

21st Oct 2013 | Read more

Defence calculating cost of repairs to Collins-class submarine damaged during severe storm

The Department of Defence is hoping insurance will help cover the costs of repairing a Collins-class submarine damaged during severe storms in Western Australia in June.

14th Oct 2013 | Read more

BAE gets new order for Nulka missile decoys

BAE Systems Australia reports it has received a new $32.9 million contract to produce additional rounds for the Nulka active missile decoy system.

8th Oct 2013 | Read more

First ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Starts in Sydney

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.

30th Sep 2013 | Read more

Navy and NSW Government join forces to commemorate ships and crew lost in war

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.

30th Sep 2013 | Read more

Rohde & Schwarz selected for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship

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.

26th Sep 2013 | Read more

BAE Systems gets $13.6M to continue support of Navy systems

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.

26th Sep 2013 | Read more


The latest state-of-the-art submarine in the Astute class has been unveiled during a ceremony at its site in Barrow-in-Furness.

23rd Sep 2013 | Read more


The U.S. Australia Centennial Display honors RAN and USN cooperation in a unique exhibit

18th Sep 2013 | Read more

LHD program

One of the weighty matters that will need to be considered urgently by new Defence Minister David Johnston

18th Sep 2013 | Read more

Australia’s Future Submarines at War against China?

The 2009 Defence White Paper caused anxiety in Beijing when it stated that China's rise in economic, political and military terms has become more evident and that its pronounced military

25th Aug 2013 | Read more


Whenever I am asked why we should build submarines in Australia, my short reply is that we can’t afford not to.

7th Jul 2013 | Read more

Australia's Future Submarine

AUSTRALIA'S next submarine will be much bigger than the existing Collins boats but the likely cost won't be known for years, a senior defence official says.

3rd Jul 2013 | Read more

2013-14 Defence Budget

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.

17th Jun 2013 | Read more

Collins Class upgrades a mixed scorecard

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.

6th May 2013 | Read more

Landing Helicopter Docks Big ships taking shape

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.

6th May 2013 | Read more

Defence White Paper 2013

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.

2nd May 2013 | Read more


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”.

8th Apr 2013 | Read more


Ventura Media is the offical supplier of the Pacific 2013 Directory and Conference Programme. BOOK your space NOW

19th Mar 2013 | Read more


The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) began receiving Bell 47G Sioux helicopters in 1965, along with Bell UH-1 Iroquois a year later at the height of the Vietnam War.

27th Feb 2013 | Read more


Last month’s SEA 1000 article explored and found a ‘grand plan’ bespoke submarine design program costing up to $36 illion couldn’t be justified on ‘nation building’ grounds.

27th Feb 2013 | Read more

Anti-Ship Missile Defence impressive progress

The project to give the Navy’s eight Anzac frigatesThe ability to defend against saturation attacks

26th Feb 2013 | Read more

SEA 1000 and “Nation Building” - The Industrial Tail Wagging the Capability Dog?

“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”

27th Jan 2013 | Read more


The National Executive of the Australian Industry & Defence Network Inc. (AIDN) held their Annual General Meeting at the Naval, Military and Air Force Club in Adelaide today.

9th Dec 2012 | Read more


“The numbers tell the story. Next year the defence budget will fall in real terms by 10.5%, the largest year‐on‐year reductions since the end of the Korean conflict in 1953.

9th Dec 2012 | Read more

Maritime surveillance

Australia’s – and the Region’s – Grand Challenge: Situational Maritime Domain Awareness

9th Dec 2012 | Read more

SEA 1180 - Four into one does go

SEA 1180 is the project to replace four RAN classes, totalling 26 small vessels in service at present, with a single class of around 20 Offshore Combatant Vessels (OCVs).

9th Dec 2012 | Read more


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.

30th Oct 2012 | Read more

Meeting Australia’s – and the Region’s – Defence Needs: The Role of Autonomous Systems

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.

14th Oct 2012 | Read more

Another player joins the field of maritime communications

The Defence tender evaluation process often throws up seemingly inconsistent decisions and the one that currently has the maritime world in a buzz is SEA 1442 Phase 4.

3rd Oct 2012 | Read more


A Pump Jet Moment Senate Estimates Committee hearings are always interesting for submarine watchers. The Collins Class and also the future submarine project usually feature prominently.

3rd Oct 2012 | Read more

Local design expertise and experience

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.

3rd Oct 2012 | Read more

SEA 1442 Phase 4: shock decision seems to be in favor of Selex.

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.

6th Sep 2012 | Read more


Like its Australian counterparts, the NZDF has been sustaining a much higher operational tempo than has been the long-term norm.

29th Aug 2012 | Read more


A 2015, not 2030 Problem For several years now defence analysts, official or otherwise, have been highlighting a build-up in Chinese military capability.

29th Aug 2012 | Read more


In July the Ministers of Defence and Defence Materiel announced that they had listened to industry seeking more certainty in information about planned key defence projects.

29th Aug 2012 | Read more

Dr Mike Kelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence

As Australia begins the process of military transition from Afghanistan, one of the senior figures involved, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Dr Mike Kelly, spoke to APDR.

29th Aug 2012 | Read more

Global Supply Chains

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.

12th Jul 2012 | Read more

BAE Systems concerned about naval sector future

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.

5th Jul 2012 | Read more

Lockheed Martin officially opens Canberra office

As the world’s largest defence contractor – and likely to remain so for some time - Lockheed Martin has a lot of influence and prestige.

4th Jul 2012 | Read more


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“.

1st Jul 2012 | Read more

Australian Super Seasprites to fly again?

In the latter half of this decade the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) will almost certainly have seven vessels which could and should embark a ship’s helicopter.

11th Jun 2012 | Read more

2012 – 13 Defence budget

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.

11th Jun 2012 | Read more

Budget overview

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.

11th Jun 2012 | Read more

New Zealand considering purchase of Seasprites.

New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has confirmed that he is considering purchasing 11 Seasprite helicopters

15th May 2012 | Read more

Reflections of a Collins Submarine Captain

The Maritime Patrol Aircraft was still out there – an Australian AP3C with the formidable ELM2022 radar, entirely unforgiving to submarines in most circumstances but for some reason not today.

3rd May 2012 | Read more

JP 2065 Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS)

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).

3rd May 2012 | Read more

Air Warfare Destroyer

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.

3rd May 2012 | Read more


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.

3rd May 2012 | Read more

Important developments for Defence

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.

3rd May 2012 | Read more

Minister for Defence Materiel – More than $12 million investment in priority industry capabilities

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.

29th Apr 2012 | Read more

A curious approach to SEA 1442 Phase 4

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.”

3rd Apr 2012 | Read more

AIR 5428- Tender still in the clouds

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:

1st Apr 2012 | Read more

JP 2048

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.

1st Apr 2012 | Read more


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.

1st Apr 2012 | Read more

Environmental information. A thirst for knowledge

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.

5th Mar 2012 | Read more

Pacific 2012

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:

5th Mar 2012 | Read more

Border security - Transnational crime in Micronesia

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.

5th Mar 2012 | Read more

Vikramaditya – India’s Russian aircraft carrier

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.

15th Jan 2012 | Read more

Anti-Submarine Warfare

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.

15th Jan 2012 | Read more


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.

15th Jan 2012 | Read more


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.

13th Dec 2011 | Read more

RAN Mine Countermeasures Capability – Where to Now ?

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.

11th Dec 2011 | Read more


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.

11th Dec 2011 | Read more

Micronesia and its Law Enforcement Problems (Part II).

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.

1st Nov 2011 | Read more


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.

6th Oct 2011 | Read more

Another budget hand back?

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.

6th Oct 2011 | Read more

The problem with Defence (Part 1)

(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.

27th Sep 2011 | Read more

AIR 9000 Phase 8 October 2011

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.

27th Sep 2011 | Read more


BAE Systems has reinforced its commitment to growing Australia’s defence industry capability through the creation of a supply chain agreement with the Federal Government.

27th Sep 2011 | Read more

Achieving an Equilibrium in the South China Sea: An Air and Space Perspective

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.

13th Sep 2011 | Read more

Changing the structure of Defence.

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.”

1st Sep 2011 | Read more

Austal teams with Rhode & Schwarz for ANZAC frigate communications upgrade.

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.

1st Sep 2011 | Read more

BAE Systems Ships first AWD block to ASC

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.

1st Sep 2011 | Read more


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.

1st Sep 2011 | Read more

Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel – Defence capability projects approved

The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare announced on 30 August that the Government has approved four major Defence capability projects.

1st Sep 2011 | Read more

Future submarine torpedo options.

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”.

30th Aug 2011 | Read more

Major Defence reforms unveiled.

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;

8th Aug 2011 | Read more

Defence Exports Future - Defence in NSW

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.

21st Jul 2011 | Read more

Emerging Defence industry in the Top End

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.

21st Jul 2011 | Read more

Queensland: An Asia Pacific aviation and aerospace hub

• 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.

21st Jul 2011 | Read more

South Australian SMEs in Global Supply Chains

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.

21st Jul 2011 | Read more

Going global: Victorian companies perform on a world stage

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”.

21st Jul 2011 | Read more

Defence & Industry 2011 Conference - Official optimism and Industry gloom.

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.

20th Jul 2011 | Read more

AIDN - Australian success stories.

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.

20th Jul 2011 | Read more


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.

20th Jul 2011 | Read more

Border security Transnational Crime in Micronesia (Part 1)

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.

20th Jul 2011 | Read more

US orders more JHSVs from Austal

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.

20th Jul 2011 | Read more

Defence Budget 2011 / 2012

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.

5th Jun 2011 | Read more

1st Person Senator Mark Bishop

Senator Mark Bishop, Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee speaks with APDR Editor, Kym Bergmann

5th Jun 2011 | Read more


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.

5th Jun 2011 | Read more

ANZAC Frigate upgrade

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.

5th Jun 2011 | Read more


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.

11th May 2011 | Read more

LHDs powering along.

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.

9th May 2011 | Read more

Osama Bin Laden – an earlier intelligence failure? 5 may 2011

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.”

4th May 2011 | Read more


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.

7th Apr 2011 | Read more

Growler and its impact on Australia’s EW capabilities

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”.

5th Apr 2011 | Read more


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.

5th Apr 2011 | Read more

Border security– Australia’s Border Protection Command

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.

13th Mar 2011 | Read more


The ADF’s fourth arm - Less well known than the Australian Defence Force (ADF) itself is the Australian Defence Intelligence Group (DIG)

13th Mar 2011 | Read more

Babcock AWD torpedo launcher contract moves into next phase

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.

13th Mar 2011 | Read more



13th Mar 2011 | Read more

Poseidon P-8A - God of the sea and shaker of the earth.

AIR 7000 Phase 2B.

13th Feb 2011 | Read more

Not just a powerful weapon.


13th Feb 2011 | Read more

AWD moves ahead

Air Warfare Destroyer

21st Dec 2010 | Read more

A German Success Story

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.

21st Dec 2010 | Read more


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.

21st Dec 2010 | Read more

The role of submarines in Warfare

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.

21st Dec 2010 | Read more

Harry Dunstall, General Manager – Commercial

Speaking to APDR Editor Kym Bergmann

30th Sep 2010 | Read more

Spain’s S-80: the SEA 1000 dark horse?

Undersea warfare

30th Sep 2010 | Read more

Border security

Michael Yui. Singapore, Malaysia

31st Aug 2010 | Read more



31st Aug 2010 | Read more

Lockheed Martin completes second live tracking exercise for ballistic missile defense

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.

31st Aug 2010 | Read more

The Global Supply Chain

Foreword by The Hon Greg Combet

31st Jul 2010 | Read more

The New Royal New Zealand Navy

At the beginning of the Twenty First century the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) faced an uncertain future.

31st Jul 2010 | Read more

LHD communications suite

A transformational capability

31st Jul 2010 | Read more

Industry policy

New Defence Industry Policy - what it really means!

31st Jul 2010 | Read more

The Federal Election

At the time of writing, the Australian Federal election looks to be a close contest with the odds slightly in favor of the Government being returned

31st Jul 2010 | Read more



31st Jul 2010 | Read more

Defence Budget 2010 - 2011


31st May 2010 | Read more

SEA 1000


31st May 2010 | Read more

CAE awarded new military contracts in Europe and Canada valued at approximately C$50 million

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.

31st May 2010 | Read more

Indonesia's National Corvette Program

Resurrecting the National Corvette Program?

4th May 2010 | Read more

PLA(N) Makes Worldwide Waves

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.

22nd Apr 2010 | Read more

Kim Beazley

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

15th Apr 2010 | Read more

Electronic Warfare: Australia's mixed record

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.

9th Mar 2010 | Read more

MRH-90 Performs Well in Maritime Trials

New platforms don’t always receive positive reports from pre-entry into service trials, but the new Eurocopter MRH-90 multi-role helicopter appears to have performed well so far.

13th Jan 2010 | Read more

AWD Ship Construction Underway

Air Warfare Destroyer : Ship construction underway - the sparks start to fly

7th Jan 2010 | Read more

From Sea 1441 to Sea 1000

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.

1st Jan 2010 | Read more

Maritime Counter-Terrorism and the Sri Lanka Navy

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.

1st Nov 2009 | Read more

NCW – the way ahead

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.

4th Oct 2009 | Read more

Anti-Ship Missile Defence

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.

30th Jun 2009 | Read more

Boeing's Poseidon reaches another milestone

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.

30th Jun 2009 | Read more

Having to do more with less

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.

5th May 2009 | Read more

Navy The Big Winner - But When?

The Government’s long awaited White Paper – Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 has been greeted with consistently mixed reviews.

5th May 2009 | Read more

APDR at a glance