Editorials

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has released the Defence Industrial Capability Plan.

Speaking at ADM’s 15th Congress last month, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell reflected that the Australia Army has been on “sustained and ongoing operations with our joint force and interagency partners – in the Middle East, our closer region, on our borders and at home” for 19 years.

Once upon a time, there was a capability known as Electronic Warfare in the RAAF. It was the home of PowerPoint slides with lightning bolts connecting everything in new and exciting ways. Few truly understood how EW worked or what it could do.

2017 was the year that these changes were felt outside the Defence establishment.

I have managed this survey single-handedly for 22 years. Over that time it has grown in stature so I’m delighted that what started as a ‘thought bubble’ in 1995 has proved to be of long term value to Defence and defence industry alike.

Those of you who attended ADM’s Defence Estate and Base Services Summit in September may remember an extremely engaging and interesting presentation by Professor Andrew Harris.

How many times have you heard the words ‘People are our most important asset’?

Australian Industry Content or Australian Industry Capability? What is the difference?

The unknown unknowns, when it comes to Defence and the wider Defence industry, come down to asymmetric information. Who does what, where, how, with whom?

There is room for improvement on how local companies engage with Defence and each other.

Despite the fact that people are economically termed as capital, they are a lot less moveable than other traditional items considered capital such as machines or infrastructure.

Cyber security is no longer just a “tech” issue for companies.

Greater detail on what continuous or even rolling production looks like is missing, and the national shipbuilding plan that was supposed to fill this gap is missing in action.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you’ll know that Land 400, Army’s biggest ever vehicle program, is well underway.

As the RAAF transitions a number of successful platforms, I can’t help but think what the next generation of platforms will look like.