– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– Sydney Morning Herald – Propulsion problems on two new amphibious warships which cost taxpayers $3 billion could be the consequence of fundamental design flaws, navy chiefs have revealed, as they confirmed at least one of the vessels will miss major drills with the US next month.
– US Naval War College Review – While the Australian Defense Force and New Zealand Defense Force maintain a relatively high level of interoperability, further enhancements in the area of amphibious capability could be achieved through greater integration, specifically through emulating the model adopted by the United Kingdom / Netherlands Amphibious Force (UKNLAF).
– ABC – Australia’s “largest maritime operation” in peacetime history will involve up to a dozen patrol boats and a supporting naval warship, as well as an offshore patrol vessel from the Australian Border Force (ABF), to create a so-called “ring of steel” to block future people-smuggling ventures.
– Second Line of Defense – Rear Admiral Mead is the Navy’s joint capability manager and is clearly focused on the cross-cutting dynamics of maritime modernization within the context of the overall evolution of the ADF.
– Breaking Defense – The Australian military is shaping a transformed military force, one built around new platforms but ones that operate in a joint manner in an extended battlespace. The goal is to extend the defense perimeter of Australia and create, in effect, their own version of an Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) strategy.
– USNI News – The Rim of the Pacific 2016 exercise has given the Australian landing force a well-timed opportunity: soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR) played a central role in three-ship Amphibious Ready Group operations off Hawaii ahead of conducting ARG operations on their own for the first time ever next year.
– Breaking Defense – America’s Pacific partners are building up their amphibious forces, but they can’t storm a beach against a high-tech adversary like China. Even the most advanced allies — Australia, Japan, and South Korea — would need US support for a raid against a well-armed terrorist group, especially in command & control, logistics, and helicopters.
– The Conversation – France will be awarded the contract to partner with Australia to build the next generation of submarines to replace the Collins-class…But what was at stake in this A$50 billion program? What were the real technological differences between the submarines on offer?
– BBC – France has won a A$50bn (€34bn; £27bn) contract to build 12 submarines for the Australian Navy, beating bids from Japan and Germany.
– War is Boring – HMAS ‘Canberra’ rushes aid to storm-stricken Fiji.
– USNI News – Australia has placed significant emphasis on enhancing its maritime capabilities in its long-delayed 2016 Defence White Paper amidst an overall surge in the country’s defense spending, while warning that China’s policies and actions will have a major impact on the stability of the Indo-Pacific in the coming decades.
– Aviation Week – With troops deployed in the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, the JSF program ramping up, and a heavy involvement in the two-year search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370, Australia’s defense priorities appear self-evident. Yet 2016 looks set to be dominated by another defense procurement program, the largest in Australian history. The replacement of Australia’s Collins-class submarine fleet is turning into a political story almost as big as its anticipated budget.
– Canberra Times – Sailors on Australia’s submarines will be given annual lump sum payments of up to $50,000 just for staying in their jobs as navy bosses grow increasingly desperate to keep crews on the boats.
The navy’s high command hopes the big money offer will end their long struggle to hold on to enough sailors to maintain Australia’s vital submarine warfare capability.
– USNI News – New submarines, frigates and offshore patrol vessels will be at the top of Australia’s list to modernize its military capabilities.
– The Australian – Serious doubt that Washington will be willing to provide the US Navy’s most advanced combat systems to Australian submarines if they are built by Germany or France is emerging as a trump card for Japan in the three-way battle to construct the new boats.
– Daily Telegraph – Australia’s new $1.5 billion warship — the HMAS Adelaide — will be commissioned into service at Woolloomooloo before 1200 people on Friday. Officially known as NUSHIP Adelaide until its inauguration, the 230m long, 20m high helicopter carrier is the identical sister ship to the HMAS Canberrawhich arrived at the Garden Island naval base 12 months ago.
– USNI News – The consortium building three air warfare destroyers (AWDs) for the Royal Australian Navy has provided an update on the construction of the ships, as well as an overview on the lessons learned from the delays and cost overruns that have plagued the program.
– USNI News – Japan’s submarine bid team has outlined the details of its proposal for Australia’s SEA1000 Future Submarine program to replace the Royal Australian Navy’s existing Collins-class boats.
– USNI News – The Royal Australian Navy has begun sea trials for its second big deck Canberra-class amphibious warship.
– USNI News – Australia’s state owned shipbuilder ASC launched the first of a new class of guided missile destroyer for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) last week a day after after a new government statement outlined additional delays and cost overruns in the three ship program.
– National Interest – The case for building the next generation of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) submarines in Australia begins with the stand-out attributes that make submarines so important for Australia as a whole: they must be able to operate in areas a long way from home, without air or sea control, to watch, listen, evaluate and act when necessary. Australia’s future submarine will be a unique platform, giving early warning of an adversary’s intentions and providing an excellent antisubmarine and anti-surface ship capability.