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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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
“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”
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.
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.
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.
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“.
Budget 2012-13 impacts on sustainment and new capabilities Amongst the headlines of Defence’s contribution of $5,454 million across the Forward Estimates, announced in the Budget, little has been said about the impact on sustainment and approved new capabilities, even less about projects in the latest Defence Capability Plan which have not yet reached First Pass Approval.
In the lead up to the 2012 / 13 budget, Treasurer Wayne Swan insisted that it would be a tough one because of the need to achieve a surplus. Defence has made a major contribution to achieving that goal.
JP 2065 (IBS) and a parallel project, JP2089 Tactical Information Exchange (TIE), are intrinsic components of a Defence global communications architecture that will facilitate the use of the now rapidly evolving “ Everything Over the Internet Protocol” (EOIP) capability for real-time video, voice, digital data – contributing to the effectiveness of Network Centric Warfare (NCW).
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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”.
This afternoon Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced the Government's response to the Black Review into Departmental lines of accountability. These are largely in line with expectations and the main features are: * the establishment of two Associate Secretary positions to strengthen Defence’s capacity to implement the Black Review; * the strengthening of capability development and acquisition; * increasing rigour and contestability within capability development, including the establishment of a new process for the inclusion of projects into the Defence Capability Plan;
With Australia’s most comprehensive industrial base, NSW industry is integrated into local and international defence supply chains. The diverse capabilities offered by the State’s small-medium enterprises (SME) are essential to Australian defence requirements.
The Northern Territory’s strategic importance to Defence is well documented. Industrial growth in the Territory is booming: major offshore and onshore gas and oil projects are leading the way with an anticipated investment of around $25 billion over the next few years.
• More than 900 aviation and aerospace companies are located in Queensland • Over 16,500 aviation and aerospace jobs in Queensland Queensland - an aviation and aerospace hub After almost a decade of unprecedented industry growth, the Government's vision for Queensland as an aviation and aerospace hub for the Asian Pacific region is fast becoming a reality.
South Australian SMEs in Global Supply Chains – What the South Australian Government is doing to support defence export, including entry into global supply chains. South Australia is a state focused on its defence future – and that future includes innovative, sustainable defence companies working from Australia’s Defence State to equip the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and other defence customers around the world.
When it comes to Australia’s defence industry, Victoria has a long and proud history of providing innovative solutions for the Australian Defence Force. Speak to many Victorian SME defence companies today and they will tell you that the best blueprint for international success is consistently delivering high quality products and services, nurturing highly skilled people and a willingness to expand beyond national borders. According to Ric Smith, Chair of the Defence Council Victoria “Victorian SMEs, with their record of innovation and their global reach, are ideally placed in the changing world of defence industry”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Given the recent very public problems with the Navy’s existing amphibious ships, there are high hopes that the 2 Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) currently under construction will be more than adequate replacements. And at a mid-way point in the programme, work seems to be progressing extremely well. Despite still having some way to go – especially with a few complex electronic systems integration issues coming up – all of the contractors spoken to by APDR expressed quiet satisfaction about how successful the programme has been to date.
The death of Osama Bin Laden is now being analysed, with new information emerging almost by the hour. He had been on the run for almost a decade and was able to frustrate US and allied intelligence agencies in their attempts to track him down, which added to his mythical status. In an extraordinary comment three minutes into his address to the nation, President Barak Obama revealed: “Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the Director of the CIA to make the killing or capture of Bin Laden the top priority in our war against Al-Qaeda.”
Every year the National People’s Congress (NPC) meets in the Chinese capital Beijing to lay out policy for the coming year. Among the first items on the annual agenda is the defence budget. On 4 March, on the opening day of the Fourth Session of the 11th NPC, the party leadership announced military spending would increase by 12.7%. This figure marks a return to double-digit growth after last year’s budget expanded by 7.5% as China weathered the global economic crisis.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Lockheed Martin has announced that on August 15 it successfully identified and tracked four live targets during a test of its Multi-Mission Signal Processor (MMSP) being fielded as part of the Aegis next-generation Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability.
Canada’s CAE announced on 5 May that towards the end of its fiscal 2010 it was awarded several new military contracts in Europe and Canada to support the German Army and Royal Netherlands Air Force as well as Canada's Department of National Defence. The value of the contracts combined is approximately C$50 million.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.