Editorials

Like many, the famine to feast shipbuilding announcements that the government made in April caught me by surprise.

With competitive evaluation process (CEP) decisions on the OPVs, Future Frigate and Future Submarine all ostensibly due this year, there is much to do for all players in this space.

Chief of Army LTGEN Angus Campbell made an interesting point at the ADM Congress when he questioned the conversation around the acquisition of platforms for Army.

Asking the right question at the right time can allay those feelings, that niggle that all is not well.

It's that time again when we look at the year that was and the year ahead.

One of the more enjoyable roles of the ADM team is to visit the major defence conferences and expositions held around the country throughout the year.

Having had some time to digest the news of a continuous shipbuilding plan, I am inclined to ask – what has changed?

Sustainment, along with infrastructure and ICT, are the trio of Fundamental Inputs to Capability (FICs) that are the unsexy side of Defence.

As this edition of ADM goes to print, it remains to be seen what effect the First Principles Review (FPR) has had on Defence in a substantial way.

This month’s edition was a bit of trial for me I have to say. If you read the opening article of our annual Defence Capability Plan (DCP) Calendar, you can see where some of my frustration came from. The better part of a month was spent going around in circles. I have no doubt that I am not the only one who is irritated by the lack of information coming out of Defence at the moment.

Of all the topics that ADM covers, cyber is perhaps the least well-understood domain. Cyber warfare, cyber crime, cyber threats and all the other cyber terms that come up can provide a labyrinth for the everyday person to navigate with little or no skill in the workplace or at home.

If it hasn’t already happened, there’s a chance that sooner or later a RAAF crew aboard a Super Hornet high over Iraq will release a weapon that obliterates a teenaged jihadist from western Sydney.

We’re sending trainers back into Iraq and back to the same sprawling base at Taji where members of the Australian Army Training team-Iraq operated almost a decade ago.

Land 400 has begun in earnest with the release of the RFT earlier this year. Bids are due in the box in June. That gives defence industry about two more months from when you receive this edition of ADM to decide how they’re going to go about the program.

Twenty years ago the government of the day was facing similar circumstances when it came to procuring a new submarine and new frigates.