P-8A represents generational leap in the maritime domain

The first Boeing P-8A Poseidon for the Royal Australian Air Force has arrived at its new home with 11 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh north of Adelaide, heralding a “giant leap forward” in maritime warfare capability, according to Chief of Air Force (CAF) Air Marshal Leo Davies. And the P-8A is set to take over some of the AP-3C Orion’s duties as soon as the middle of next … [Read more...]

Army seeks “soldier-proof” unmanned systems

Australian industry involvement has been put at the heart of a plan to acquire a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) to be used by Australian Army soldiers that is expected to be man-portable or carried within a team. The requirement for the first tranche of UAS being acquired under the LAND 129 Phase 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle project is regarded as operationally urgent, … [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...]