Tighter scrutiny on Defence-Also to shed 1000 civilian staff in 3 years #military #auspol

Defence is going to be more critical of projects that are not “off-the-shelf” solutions.

Under the changes, new cost-benefit analysis rules will apply to all projects that are not “off-the-shelf” investments. Tailor-made projects will be assessed on cost and risk against off-the-shelf products at every stage of the procurement process.

Also, Defence is looking at reducing its civilian workforce by 1000. No mention of what departments these reductions will come from.

Mr Smith said new strategic reforms would include the shedding of 1000 staff from defence’s civilian workforce over the next three years. The measure would save $300 million which would be ploughed back into consolidated revenue.

Big helicopter advert in today’s Australian Financial Review #auspol #military

There is a huge full page advert in today’s Australian Financial Review for the NH-90 naval variant (Nato Frigate Helicopter) that Australia is considering for the upcoming competition.

Huge photo with the take-away message claiming that it will be capable and the other–what seems to be a more important message–about jobs for Queensland.

We’ll see.

Correcting the Sydney Morning Herald in reference to a Defence article #auspol #military

Correcting this article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Under the Multi-Role Helicopter program, Australia is buying 46 European-designed MRH-90 helicopters for the army and navy to rationalise the defence helicopter fleet, replacing ageing Iroquois, Black Hawks and Sea Kings with a modern utility aircraft.

Not quite. What helicopter the Navy will use has gone to competition between a Navy variant of the above mentioned helicopter and the U.S. made MH-60R Seahawk. It is possible that Defence may make a decision this year.

A look at the risks involved with Australia’s fighter decision #auspol #military

You will see “maintaining regional air superiority” or some similar words, littered all over various discussions of Australian Defence in government documents.

What does it mean? Given the poor decisions made thus far, not a heck of a lot.

A simple picture of the risk involved to the fighter aircraft roadmap for Australia can be seen below.

Click here for a larger image.

It shows the risk involved in the most simple of ways. It may be simple, but it is pretty close to the describing the gravity of the situation. All other conversations of what you want a fighter aircraft to do become useless if it is not able to give our pilots the ability to dominate the skies.

I really tried to give the F-35 more points, but given all of the woes like lack of relevant flight testing, the helmet failure, software problems and no solution to moldline issues in production until at least 2015 it gets difficult to hand out credit. Add to that, with no high-altitude combined with super-cruise performance to make up for it’s lack of self-defense jamming when export-friendly-stealth goes naked, survivability becomes a dead issue.

As for the scoring; “medium” is about as low as you can go in defense procurement risk these days until there is a solid track record of performance to display on the CV.

Maybe by the 2020‘s Australia will be able to look at a full go to war configured F-35 and make a sound procurement decision.

Australia and Afghanistan-Why? #military #auspol

Corporal John Edmondson VC

Today is ANZAC day. It is the day when Australia and New Zealand remember their war dead.

If one can go, the early morning memorial service is pretty impressive.

WWII was the last justified conflict Australian troops have been in; and depending on your views, maybe Korea. There have been peace keeping missions like East Timor–which should be expected as that is in our immediate region–however it is doubtful that North Vietnam had the capacity to attack Australia.

Borrowing a statement from the USMC and changing it to suit us; “The Defence Force is at war; Australia is at the mall.”

Of the 23 troops lost in Afghanistan since 2002, Australia has lost 12 troops since the last ANZAC Day but darned if the clueless politicians–most who have never warn a uniform–can state anything more than platitudes as a reason to be there. How many more losses can be covered with platitudes by this time next year? 12 more? 50?

911 was caused in part by poor U.S. visa control and poor airport/airline security. The Afghanistan mission provides no national security value to Australia. Maybe the politicians and mall-goers will wake up to this fact someday.