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Subject: Global Hawk and 4th AWD axed, JSF delayed a year
Aussiegunneragain    3/3/2009 4:59:43 AM
Some big cuts had to happen given the revenue projections I guess, the only thing that I'm happy about is that our potential adversaries will be in the same boat. What do people think about the choices of kit to go? What else do you reckon will get the axe? My bet is Land 17, which will make me even madder at the dickheads who canned the cheap Dutch Pzh-2000 purchase last year because it wasn't to be conducted according to the procurement process. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Global financial crisis stalls billions in Defence spendingFont Size: Decrease Increase Print Page: Print Patrick Walters and Mark Dodd | March 03, 2009 Article from: The Australian THE global financial crisis has forced the Defence Department to shelve plans to buy billions of dollars' of military equipment, including a new $5 billion maritime surveillance system. The economic downturn will also mean the navy will not exercise the option to acquire a fourth air warfare destroyer worth $2 billion, and could force a one-year delay in plans to spend $16 billion on 100 F-35 joint strike fighters. While Defence is putting the final touches to its long-awaited white paper, the rapidly deteriorating global economy could dictate further delays in its publication beyond the May budget, according to senior government sources yesterday. The white paper, designed to chart Australia's defence strategy to 2030, is due to be published next month, but doubts are emerging that cabinet's national security committee will sign off on the document in time. It was originally planned to be released in December. The RAAF had hoped to replace its 32-year-old fleet of Orion AP-3C maritime surveillance planes with a combined mix of unmanned aerial systems and a new patrol aircraft, the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. The Rudd Government yesterday effectively ended hopes for the early acquisition of the $1.5billion Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial System, part of an ambitious 15-year project to revolutionise maritime surveillance requirements. Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said: "Introducing such an advanced new aircraft at this time would have caused incredible workforce pressures on the Australian Defence Force." This was particularly the case given the requirement for the air force's AP-3C Orion fleet to be replaced by a new manned surveillance aircraft in the same period. Australia was jointly cooperating with the US Navy in its development of a broad area maritime surveillance program based on the unmanned Global Hawk, a high-altitude long-endurance aircraft. The Global Hawk's makers, Northrop Grumman, claimed the aircraft was versatile enough to take high-definition imagery of a submarine periscope from a cruising altitude of 22,000m. It was equally capable of switching to civilian missions such as mapping bushfires or using its state-of-the-art electro-optical sensors to photograph the licence plates of suspect arsonist vehicles. Mr Fitzgibbon said the earliest delivery schedule under the US Navy's Global Hawk program had slipped to 2015. Defence sources say the RAAF's preference is to acquire the P-8A manned aircraft rather than the Global Hawk if the defence budget cannot accommodate both aircraft types. The draft defence white paper, the first since 2000, embodies Kevin Rudd's plans for a stronger maritime defence for Australia, including the acquisition of 100 joint strike fighters and 12 new-generation submarines. Mr Fitzgibbon is banking on the Prime Minister keeping his election commitment to lift defence spending in real terms by 3per cent annually, in addition to finding about $15billion in internal savings over the next decade to help fund the new white paper. The main worry for Defence is how it will cope with the effect of continuing strong personnel and operating costs on its $22billion annual budget over the next three years, amid an alarming slump in government revenues. Mr Fitzgibbon is relying on his department generating internal savings of about $750million over the next three years as a result of reforms recommended by management consultant George Pappas on top of a 10-year $10billion savings target already announced. In deciding not to proceed with the planned maritime surveillance system, Mr Fitzgibbon said yesterday he was confident the US Navy BAMS (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance) program would deliver a very capable unmanned aircraft. "However, at this stage in the development of this project, it is in Australia's best interest to not knowingly risk incurring the unmanageable workforce chaos that would result," he said. Defence would continue to "closely monitor" the progression of BAMS and other similar unmanned aircraft programs. The US Navy had been waiting since late last year for a decision on whether Canberra would go ahead with plans to buy the Global Hawk. A decision to proceed would have required a
 
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Volkodav    Defence 'to buy hunter-killer drones'   3/3/2009 6:06:46 AM
Article from: The Daily Telegraphhttp://www.news.com.au/images/sources/h14_dailytelegraph.gif" border="0" />
By Ian McPhedran

March 02, 2009 11:30pm

  • Choppers fire guided missiles, bombs
  • Would allow SAS to call in strikes
  • But have been blamed for civilian deaths

 

AUSTRALIA is set to buy a number of missile-equipped unmanned "hunter-killer" aircraft to attack insurgent targets in Afghanistan.

The drones, or unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), will carry guided missiles and bombs and will provide a major capability boost to Australian forces.

Special forces troops will be able to identify targets and call in their own remote controlled UCAV to fire Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, or precision laser guided bombs, against insurgent strongholds.

At present the troops have to call up coalition manned or unmanned aircraft to conduct such attacks.

Unmanned aircraft have been used extensively by US forces since 9/11 and in 2002 a Predator killed Osama Bin laden's top man in Yemen.  The son of Predator, known as Reaper, is one of the main contenders for the Australian contract.

But the remote-controlled aircraft have also been involved in a number of accidental civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Unmanned technology is leaping ahead and pilotless helicopters such as Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout are already operating from US warships. The first unmanned fighter jet will soon take off and land on a US aircraft carrier and this year the US Air Force will buy more unmanned than manned aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has angered the US Navy with a decision, taken last week by the National Security Committee of Cabinet, to abandon plans to join a program to develop the world's first strategic "national security" UAV.

Instead of buying the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk it will opt for the much smaller UCAV that can fire missiles and undertake surveillance.

Leading contenders would be the US-built General Atomics Reaper and the newly launched twin-engine Mantis, from the British firm BAE Systems. Well-placed sources say the US Navy is bitterly disappointed that the Rudd Government has decided against investing $300 million to join the development phase of the so-called Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (BAMS) project.

The US has been waiting for years for a decision from Canberra and the Global Hawk has made 11 demonstration flights to Edinburgh in South Australia to show off its wares.

The aircraft was put to good use during California's bushfires last year and it has become the most cost-effective method of keeping watch over vast areas of ocean.

The future of our unmanned aircraft program is uncertain following a decision last December to cancel another program to buy tracking and targeting UAVs. That contract was won by US giant Boeing, but was complicated by the army's decision to modify the system.

It is understood a new tender will be released at next week's Australian International Air Show at Avalon near Melbourne. Boeing has been leasing small Scan Eagle spy drones to Australian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan under a $40 million deal.

 
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Aussie Diggermark 2       3/3/2009 6:57:15 AM
1. I reckon the SPG will go for sure, from LAND 17. Government wanted options from defence on an M-777 only fleet and they requested a firm price through DSCA. The rationale will be: A) They are too "heavy". B) They are "unnecessary" for our current operations (USMC, UK and Canadians have been getting along just fine in Afghanistan without SPG's) so can we and they are unnecessary for DOA operations and C) Too costly.
 
2. I think the P-8A acquisition will go in favour of a service life extension on the AP-3C's and rolling upgrades on mission systems, sensors and weapons. Government commissioned an assessment of this very option a year ago...
 
3. I think the F-35 acquisition will be deferred with the legacy Hornets "solidering on" until 2025 or so, in combination with the Supers. 
 
4. I think the "Battlefield Airlifter" project will be canned. The Bou's are gone already, with only the very unsuitable (yes, except for the glass cockpits and the maintenance benefits, cause 38 Sqn couldn't learn about that on the Hercs or C-17 could they?) Kin Air 350's to replace them.
 
Defence publicly admitted a few weeks ago there is almost no runway in the "PNG highlands" where ADF actually goes, that can't take a C-130 nowadays anyway. 
 
As to other budgetary inspired measures, I can see most foreign deployments wound up. The frigate will return to Australia after it's current deployment and not be replaced. The AP-3C's will come home soon, Timor and Solomans troops will be wound down to minimal numbers (we have less than 650 in Timor now anyway) and Afghanistan won't get any significant boosts, though perhaps some different capabilities might deploy. (Special forces come home, a beefed up infantry force deploys etc). 
 
All in all, a terrible outcome for defence...
 
And of course, it's all the Global Economic Crisis's fault. Sorry Australia, you can't be protected adequately anymore. It just costs too much. But here's $900 per person to "spend" and stimulate the economy...
 
I'm sure that will have made a HUGE difference in 10 or 15 years time...
 
 
 
 

 



 
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Aussiegunneragain    AD   3/3/2009 7:42:18 AM

1. I reckon the SPG will go for sure, from LAND 17. Government wanted options from defence on an M-777 only fleet and they requested a firm price through DSCA. The rationale will be: A) They are too "heavy". B) They are "unnecessary" for our current operations (USMC, UK and Canadians have been getting along just fine in Afghanistan without SPG's) so can we and they are unnecessary for DOA operations and C) Too costly. 
 
2. I think the P-8A acquisition will go in favour of a service life extension on the AP-3C's and rolling upgrades on mission systems, sensors and weapons. Government commissioned an assessment of this very option a year ago...

3. I think the F-35 acquisition will be deferred with the legacy Hornets "solidering on" until 2025 or so, in combination with the Supers. 

4. I think the "Battlefield Airlifter" project will be canned. The Bou's are gone already, with only the very unsuitable (yes, except for the glass cockpits and the maintenance benefits, cause 38 Sqn couldn't learn about that on the Hercs or C-17 could they?) Kin Air 350's to replace them.

Defence publicly admitted a few weeks ago there is almost no runway in the "PNG highlands" where ADF actually goes, that can't take a C-130 nowadays anyway. 

As to other budgetary inspired measures, I can see most foreign deployments wound up. The frigate will return to Australia after it's current deployment and not be replaced. The AP-3C's will come home soon, Timor and Solomans troops will be wound down to minimal numbers (we have less than 650 in Timor now anyway) and Afghanistan won't get any significant boosts, though perhaps some different capabilities might deploy. (Special forces come home, a beefed up infantry force deploys etc). 

All in all, a terrible outcome for defence...

And of course, it's all the Global Economic Crisis's fault. Sorry Australia, you can't be protected adequately anymore. It just costs too much. But here's $900 per person to "spend" and stimulate the economy...

I'm sure that will have made a HUGE difference in 10 or 15 years time... 
1. I don't see them not replacing the F-18A's from mid next decade, they are too key a capability even in a fictional DOA scenario. It would also be politically suicidal for Fitzgibbon to not get some sort of upgraded air combat capability, given all the fuss he made about getting F-22's before the election. I wouldn't be surprised if more Super Hornets go into the mix at the expense of some F-35's though.

2. The GFC is the reality for us and for everybody else in the world now, the difference what we do makes in 10 or 15 years a secondary issue. I don't agree with the structure of the stimulus package (the $900 handout should have been put into tax cuts) but any Government would be socially irresponsible and politically crazy not to do their best to reduce the inevidable increase unemployment. The Coalition would have put through a stimulus package in one form or another.
 
As for not being defended, like I said our potential opponents face the same challenges so our relative strength isn't goine to change by much. If anything we are better off than them so as long as they maintain our defence spending in terms of GDP per capita we may actually make some ground.
 
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DropBear       3/3/2009 11:40:19 AM
Frankly, I couldn't give a rats about 4th AWD wet dreams or needing to buy JSF a year or so one way or the other from contract proposal, however, the BAMS malarky p1sses me right off. This could have been an amazing capability for not only the ADF but for other Gov users around Oz.
 
For ferks sake!!! fisheries surveillance is a huge problem and the industry is quite large in terms of monies generated at a national level. The ability to track certain neighbours would have really helped out the States and Feds with the extra intell garnered.
 
I just hope Customs and Surveillance Australia can keep Mariner on the cards.
 
Annoyed.
 
 
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SCisback       3/3/2009 10:58:06 PM

Frankly, I couldn't give a rats about 4th AWD wet dreams ... 

40 would be wet dreams.
4 is a reasonable requirment, yet it seems for the next few years the ADF will be trying to keep its head above water. Once capabilities and strength are scratched, it is ridiculously hard to bring things back up.

I find it hard to believe that 950 bucks could be dolled out to every loser, yet 1 ship is too much of an ask.
Heres an idea for stimulus, support Australian shipbuilders, not Nintendo.
 
 
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gf0012-aust       3/4/2009 3:07:24 AM
forget the 4th AWD, and Customs are going to lose some big boys toys as well....
 
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Aussiegunneragain    SC   3/4/2009 3:26:46 AM




Frankly, I couldn't give a rats about 4th AWD wet dreams ... 




40 would be wet dreams.


4 is a reasonable requirment, yet it seems for the next few years the ADF will be trying to keep its head above water. Once capabilities and strength are scratched, it is ridiculously hard to bring things back up.


I find it hard to believe that 950 bucks could be dolled out to every loser, yet 1 ship is too much of an ask.

Heres an idea for stimulus, support Australian shipbuilders, not Nintendo.

 


Unfortunately spending on long term projects doesn't wind up quickly enough to give a decent stimulas and shipbuilding is so locally concentrated that it wouldn't deliver Australia wide benefits. Don't get me wrong though, I'm pissed off about the 4th ship too. The least the dickheads could have done is to negotiate a 2 year delay to the option signing up the 4th ship. Its not like Navantia isn't going to need the business during a global downturn.
 
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Volkodav       3/4/2009 4:03:13 AM




Frankly, I couldn't give a rats about 4th AWD wet dreams ... 




40 would be wet dreams.


4 is a reasonable requirment, yet it seems for the next few years the ADF will be trying to keep its head above water. Once capabilities and strength are scratched, it is ridiculously hard to bring things back up.



I find it hard to believe that 950 bucks could be dolled out to every loser, yet 1 ship is too much of an ask.

Heres an idea for stimulus, support Australian shipbuilders, not Nintendo.

 

There was recent talk of giving life extensions to 3 of the 4 remaining FFG's to see them reach or even surpass 2020.  If this is the case then we could be in luck as it suggests that the objective is to rebuild from a force of 12 back up to 14 large combatants instead of dropping to 11 with the AWD's becoming the FFG replacement. 
This would also increase the chance that the FFG's will eventually be replaced with, if not a full evolved AWD, then an FFG type with a minimum of VLS SM2 matched to CEAFAR / CEAMOUNT.
 
At the end of the day if missing out on a fouth AWD means we may get 3 addition FFG/DDG down the track then I am happy.
 

 
 
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BLUIE006       3/4/2009 7:01:13 AM

Frankly, I couldn't give a rats about 4th AWD wet dreams or needing to buy JSF a year or so one way or the other from contract proposal, however, the BAMS malarky p1sses me right off. This could have been an amazing capability for not only the ADF but for other Gov users around Oz.

 

For ferks sake!!! fisheries surveillance is a huge problem and the industry is quite large in terms of monies generated at a national level. The ability to track certain neighbours would have really helped out the States and Feds with the extra intell garnered.

 

I just hope Customs and Surveillance Australia can keep Mariner on the cards.

 

Annoyed.

 


I find it absolutely incomprehensible that governments are using the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) excuse to cancel some of this stuff, I understand that financial reality of the situation, however it is documented throughout history and a fact that
" Every time humans are faced with the ultimatum of staving or raiding, humans raid "   suggesting that problems such as illegal fishing, illegal immigration, hijacking of resources etc will become an even worse problems than they already are.
Not to mention the global financial crisis adds fuel the fire in terms of global instability and as it is; we are facing uncertain times ahead: climate change, ethnic tensions, geopolitical shifts, shifting alliances and the emergence of new super powers in Asia ( our doorstep). Couple all this with the GFC and population explosions in the developing world and id suggest we should be beefing things up, to face some of the most dangerous times in living memory.
Surely the government can acknowledge this?
 
While i agree some stimulus package( hand out)  is required, I think it requires a rethink, spend majority of it on job creation and addressing the skills shortage etc.
 
  
  
 
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VGNTMH    BAMS   3/4/2009 9:00:53 AM

 the BAMS malarky p1sses me right off. This could have been an amazing capability for not only the ADF but for other Gov users around Oz.

 For ferks sake!!! fisheries surveillance is a huge problem and the industry is quite large in terms of monies generated at a national level. The ability to track certain neighbours would have really helped out the States and Feds with the extra intell garnered.
 

I agree 100%!
 
BAMS/Global Hawk:
(a) Is the last ADF procurement project I would cancel.
(b) Will be an extremely persistent and extremely long ranged surveillance asset and the vast distances around Australia make persistence and range key attributes!
(c) Would be close to the "silver bullet" for the ADF mentioned in the other thread.
(d) Would save money in the longer term as it can survey a much wider area than P-3Cs, for a much longer time than even a Wedgetail would be able to, and would be much cheaper to operate without aircrew!
(e) Would be an extremely useful asset for just about every scenario the ADF is likely to face, from helping in Afghanistan to SLOC protection against pirates to regional counter terroism to regional interventions .... not to mention non ADF roles such as fisheries and bush fires ... certainly a very useful asset
(f) Would be a fairly low risk project as the ADF can piggy back on the USN and only end up paying ... what ... 10% of the development costs ... ?
 
Silly!

 
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