Naval News – Australia’s Future Submarine Program has reached a major milestone with the conclusion of negotiations between the Department of Defence and Naval Group for the amendments to the Strategic Partnering Agreement.
Defense News – Australia’s defense minister announced initiatives Monday that will fund early development work on a range of advanced guided weapons and new mine countermeasures/hydrographic ships for the Royal Australian Navy.
War Zone – Australia’s plans to introduce 12 advanced new Attack class submarines may have hit a new snag. The huge cost of the French-designed conventional submarines, which will likely feature air-independent propulsionand other advanced technologies, means that officials may be examining whether they might instead replace the Royal Australian Navy’s six existing Collins class boats with an updated version of this same design.
Naval News – After her arrival in the Netherlands at the end of August, Australia’s icebreaker RSV Nuyina is commencing her seatrials in the North Sea.
ABC – Australia’s only submarine rescue vehicle was damaged last week during a collision with a Navy ship during annual exercises.
(Thanks to Alain)
ABC – A three-decades-long Australian naval presence in the Middle East will come to an abrupt end this year as the Federal Government grapples with an increasingly uncertain strategic environment closer to home.
USNI News – Australia will join the India-led Malabar 2020 naval exercise next month, operating along with the U.S. and Japan in an exercise meant to send a message to China. The exercise will be a first for the so-called “Quad,” the Pacific cooperation between Japan, India, Australia and the U.S.
– War Zone – Australian, Japanese and U.S. forces combine to demonstrate an impressive show of integrated air and sea power in the tense Pacific.
– The Cove – This paper describes Australia’s current amphibious capability. The Australian Amphibious Force is able to employ a landing force of up to battalion-group strength over the spectrum of operations, from the provision of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to high-end war fighting.
– Defense News – The builder of the Royal Australian Navy’s new Hunter-class frigates has told Defense News that the ship’s design remains “within agreed weight and space envelopes,” despite a recent report in Australian media claiming recent changes have caused concern.
– Naval News – Australia’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan, released on 1 July 2020 by the Department of Defense (DoD), outline a new strategy for Defence and the capability investments to deliver it.
– South China Morning Post – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday announced a significant increase in defence spending to boost the country’s military prowess in the Indo-Pacific, amid jitters about China’s growing power in the region.
– Naval News – In a first, all three amphibious vessels of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), HMAS Canberra, HMAS Choules and HMAS Adelaide, sailed together in formation.
– Naval News – The U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy came together for operations in the South China Sea.
– Naval News – NUSHIP Sydney, the third and last Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), was provisionally accepted by the Commonwealth of Australia.
– Defense News – The State Department has approved a possible sale of up to 200 AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles and related equipment to the Australian government.
– Defense News – Australian defense leaders this week denied claims that their department was urged to consider alternatives to the navy’s plans of buying 12 large conventionally-powered submarines from France’s Naval Group.
– Reuters – The Australian navy on Friday began the evacuations of some of the thousands of people stranded on the east coast of the fire-ravaged country as a searing weather front was set to whip up more blazes across the states of Victoria and New South Wales.
– Navy Times – A witness says Australian navy helicopter pilots were hit by lasers while exercising in the South China Sea, forcing them to land as a precaution.
– Defense News – The Royal Australian Navy has managed to integrate the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk naval helicopter with a range of vessels that were not included in the original plans when Australia decided to acquire the type.
– Breaking Defense – France and Australia must resolve major differences over the Aussie’ new submarine program before a new Australian government is elected next year, and the most obvious alternative is Japan.
– USNI News – The Royal Australian Navy has set out its force structure for the next 40 years with decisions taken on construction programs for new submarines, frigates and smaller offshore patrol vessels.
– USNI News – Australia’s amphibious force was a breakout star of the Rim of the Pacific 2018 exercise, being thrust into visible leadership role when the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship suffered mechanical failures and remained pierside for most of the at-sea exercise.
– Breaking Defense – As the Chinese challenge grows, Australia is clearly concerned about expanded Chinese influence within Australia and with regard to Chinese efforts to reshape the external environment to expand the influence and power of the Chinese authoritarian state. Clearly the United States remains Australia’s core ally in dealing with the Chinese challenge, but as Australia modernizes its forces, it is broadening its working relationships with other key allies as well.