Huge Pacific Exercise Centered On Guam Brings Allies Together Amid Growing China Threat

War Zone – Australian, Japanese and U.S. forces combine to demonstrate an impressive show of integrated air and sea power in the tense Pacific.

Force From the Sea: Australia’s Amphibious Capability – An Update

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.

Australian shipbuilder pushes back against reports of frigate design concerns

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.

Australia Issues 2020 Defense Strategic Update And 2020 Force Structure Plan

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.

Australia boosts defence spending by 40 per cent as China tensions rise

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.

Royal Australian Navy’s Entire Amphibious Force Operating Together For The First Time

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.

Australia Accepts 3rd & Final Hobart-Class Air Warfare Destroyer

Naval News – NUSHIP Sydney, the third and last Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), was provisionally accepted by the Commonwealth of Australia.

U.S. approves deal to sell LRASMs to Australia for up to $990M

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.

Australian defense leaders defend submarine buy with France’s Naval Group

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.

Australian navy begins evacuation of beach where thousands had sought refuge from fire

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.

Aussie navy pilots hit by Chinese lasers

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.

Australian Navy gets more out of the Seahawk helicopter than originally planned

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.

Aussies At Impasse With France Over New Sub; Japan May Win

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.

Course Set for the Next 40 Years for the Royal Australian Navy

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.

RIMPAC Showcases the Evolution, Expansion of Australia’s Amphibious Force

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.

Australia Broadens Its Military Relationships With Shipbuilding Deals

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.

Australia officially announces $26B frigate contract. Here are the build details

Defense News – Australia will acquire nine high-end anti-submarine warfare frigates from the end of the next decade under a deal with BAE Systems worth AU$35 billion (U.S. $26 billion).

BAE reportedly comes out on top in Australia’s future frigate showdown

Defense News – In a move that could send shock waves through the global frigate market, Australia appears poised to announce that it has selected BAE Systems’ Type 26 design for its new future frigate design.

Australia Seals Deal To Buy MQ-4C Drones As Military Competition In the Pacific Heats Up

War Zone – The long-range, high-flying unmanned aircraft will patrol the country’s large maritime borders and keep tabs on Chinese developments in the Pacific.

Australia won’t abandon S. China Sea patrols after encounter

AP – Australia’s prime minister said his country has a “perfect right” to traverse the South China Sea after a media report Friday that the Chinese navy challenged three Australian warships in the hotly contested waterway.

How Australia’s Maritime Strategy and Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific Upset China

CIMSEC – It was revealing that Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 was explained by the Australian Department of Defence as enhancing military cooperation with some of Australia’s “key regional partners”; specifically named as Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. Politically the absence of China as a partner was deliberate but accurate, and in which the range of other countries represented a degree of tacit external balancing on the part of Australia.

How a French firm beat out Japanese companies in Australia’s submarine tender

Defense News – A lack of Australian confidence in Japan’s defense industry sank an offer from Tokyo in the AUD$50 billion (U.S. $38 billion) tender for attack submarines, while greater stealth and advanced propulsion technology buoyed a rival French bid, said Sam Bateman, a research fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security.

Australia’s Amphibious Force Nearing Full Operational Capability

USNI News – The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is nearing full operational capability of its amphibious force, after a six-year effort to turn an Army battalion into the heart of a joint-service expeditionary capability akin to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Turnbull government rejected US advice to prefer Japanese subs

The Australian – Washington was rebuffed by the Australian government when it tried to convey strategic concerns about the $150 billion new submarine project. Washington was “not able to have a serious alliance discussion” with the Turnbull government about the Americans’ preference for Japan to build the navy’s new submarines to strengthen Australia-US-Japan ties in the face of a rising China.