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A Night at the Opera

Watching the Defence Senate Estimates hearing makes it clear that Australia deserves more transparency when it comes to Defence acquisitions.

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A focused force?

One of the key messages from the recent Defence Strategic Review (DSR) – a message repeated several times through the 110-page unclassified version – is that the ADF must move from a “balanced force” to a “focused force”.

With either brilliant or frustrating timing – depending on which side of the fence you’re on – the public version of the much-anticipated Defence Strategic Review (DSR) was released on Monday 24 April.

Well, we now know how Australia intends to acquire a nuclear-powered submarine capability to replace the Navy’s ageing Collin-class diesel boats.

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All things airpower

Welcome to this latest issue of ADM, our traditional airpower-focussed issue that will be distributed at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon in late February/early March.

The importance of the new Defence Strategic Review cannot be overstated. But with the DSR comes risk and responsibility.

As I write these words on the eve of the Albanese Government’s first budget, I’m mindful of the pressures on defence spending – both internally and externally.

While it’s still far too early to be drawing definitive conclusions from the tragic events in Ukraine, several things are already very clear.

Unless you’ve been completely off-grid for the last couple of months, you’ll know Australia has a new government and there’s new range of Ministers for Defence and industry to deal with.

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Winds of change

Well, the federal election has been and gone, Australia has an ALP government for the first time in almost a decade and it’s now time to move on and and start looking to the future once again.

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An uncertain future

One thing is clear: the world is a much more dangerous place than it was in the years after the Berlin Wall came down.

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Missing opportunities

The Federal Government launched its Defence Export Strategy in 2018 in recognition of one of the major problems facing the local defence industry – that the requirements of the ADF alone are not adequate to sustain and grow a healthy eco-system.

Sovereignty is not a catch-word to be bandied around when convenient. It is a long-term commitment to the future growth of the nation.

As these words are written, 2021 is running down to the wire and once again it has been a challenging year for Defence and industry.

Defence is now undertaking the largest re-capitalisation of Australian military capabilities since the Second World War without accountability to the Australian taxpayers it is tasked to defend.

Welcome to the September 2021 edition of ADM: Katherine Ziesing’s final edition as Managing Editor. As Kath herself put it, the ship will sail under new leadership from the October 2021 edition onwards.