Northrop Grumman M5 is set to use the 2014 Military Communications and Information Systems (MilCIs) conference to launch the latest product in their innovative Secure Communications System (SCS) series.
Ladies and gentlemen, I had to write that headline to prove a point to DMO CEO Warren King. The media does occasionally listen when the DMO does good things. After speaking at length with King about the reform journey the organisation has been on since its 2000 inception, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking at performance.
Australia’s future defence simulation capability will move from monolithic independent systems to the defence equivalent of plug and play, share realistic “virtual world” modules from a central database repository and may incorporate technology borrowed from the computer gaming industry to provide maximum reality at affordable cost.
The Australian Submarine Escape and Rescue System (SERS) is a unique capability. Even more so when you consider that a lone, local SME has produced a range of technologies that world leaders told them was ‘unachievable’ for some elements of the system.
The notion of acquiring new, enhanced non-lethal weapons, to provide deployed forces with greater options than through the use of lethal force, had its genesis in the 2009 Defence White Paper. And there it appears to have rested.
At the 2001 Defence + Industry Conference in Canberra, there was an expectation that Defence would announce the results of the competition for the supply of a new combat system for the Collins-class submarines. The choice lay between the ISUS90-55, offered by STN Atlas and its Australian partners, and the Raytheon CCS Mk.2, in service with the US Navy.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, government, defence and the DMO have spent many dollars and man hours reforming the processes by which materiel for the ADF is acquired and sustained. The endless cycle of reviews (Kinnaird, Mortimer, Black, Coles et al) continues with the First Principals Review, which is due out next year alongside a raft of other important strategic documents including a new White Paper, Defence Capability Plan and Industry Policy.
Back in 2003 the government dispatched a small team of soldiers to help train the Iraqi military, a massive job considering the US administration in Baghdad had unilaterally abolished Saddam’s army as irremediably compromised by Baathism.