Putting on a good show requires a great rivalry – how about F-35 versus Growler?

Welcome to the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition edition of Australian Defence Business Review. The scheduled arrival of Australia’s first two F-35A jets at Avalon Airport on Friday March 3 is sure to be the talk of the town. Confirmation from the Defence Minister of the planned Australian debut of the aircraft was greeted by media … [Read more...]

Defence, the budget deficit and the age of low economic growth

One of the risks of working up a new plan to drive a whole new generation of new military capability acquisitions distilled from the conclusion of a brand-new Defence White Paper is the burning issue of how the new investment program will be paid for. This was not a problem for former Prime Minister John Howard, as he spent his way through the mining boom, but really is a … [Read more...]

Fifth run around the Collins submarine mulberry bush

At least one senior defence force official, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, will no doubt have a better reason than most to break out some serious Christmas cheer in the coming weeks. After a decade of trouble with sustainability of the Collins class submarine fleet, Barrett was told in a recent study that there was a reasonable chance that by the middle of next … [Read more...]

Defence-industry policy searching for tinkers, tailors and candle-stick makers

There is an interesting element to the Deloitte report reviewing the approach to Australian Industry Participation (AIP) in regard to the rollout of Phase 2 of Project LAND 400. When the government announced in April 2016 that it was deferring for three months the down-select of Phase 2 tenderers, the decision was greeted with some scepticism. Surely one of the bidders had run … [Read more...]

Balancing risk and reward in the quest for the best capability

When we talk about seeking to acquire the ‘best’ capability, how much risk is too much risk? The ADF’s E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control platform, for instance, is said to be one of the most advanced air battlespace management capabilities in the world, and the envy of other countries. But this sort of developmental acquisition would not provide an appropriate … [Read more...]