Defence industry is crying #military #auspol

Elements of the Australian defence industry are crying a river because the current government is incompetent (just like the last one) yet they look toward the moronic Defence White Paper of 2009 as if it is the crown jewels. Interesting; they seem to avoid talking less about the  cancer that is the DMO and friends.

They want a 4th air warfare destroyer—which we do not need–and are deluded enough to think that Australia can make its own Collins-class sub replacement.

Since Australia refuses to pursue a true air domination mission, things like the air warfare destroyer will only see a watery grave if there is a big battle. So what about helping out U.S. aircraft carriers? Same thing here because the air wing that flies off of those will be obsolete unless hope-of-hopes UCAS-N becomes oh-so-incredible.

High-speed ship killers now proliferating in the region also don’t make for a happy thought. AEGIS meet your end with discovery on the horizon and the clock running. How ready is Defence to deal with this kind of technology launched from land, sea, air and underwater? It is very, very fast. Will Nulka save the day? Roll the dice. When you have real air domination assets you get into these bad situations less.  Even with that, what about this threat model? It is doubtful that an “air warfare destroyer”—which is not—has much capability here except as a range target.

Also without real air domination, ASW aircraft can’t fly in all the places you want them. This takes out part of our defence against submarines.

And what about our subs? Too few and too faulty. We need real Defence leadership to push Industry to produce a large number of low manpower (20 some crew) and very simple submarines.  Forget the gold-plated do everything unaffordables.  Defence/Industry impotence won’t deliver. What these people want is a path of doom.

Along with building simple subs, the pump should be primed by purchasing  something off the shelf. It is this or given current performance with the sub sorrow, risk having yet another ineffective and expensive sub fleet.

What do we need from these people? In order to make them effective we again must have real leadership from Defence. Without that, our industry is just going to be a mediocrity because it has poor requirements thrown at it; over and over along with poor oversight.  

We need to follow the only good thing about the Defence White Paper of 2009. That is to build more frigates; and not overly complex ones either. A similar size and capability to the ones we have will be fine. 

Yes industry seems to be in trouble. If they want to be activist about it, they need to criticise not political parties but the entrenched Defence bureaucracy which is leading them to ruin. Once there are capable people in the Defence bureaucracy, they in turn can lead the politicians down the proper path.

Unskilled politicians—they aren’t all stupid–see a poorly managed Defence bureaucracy for what it is and see the banner held high which is the project of concern list. DMO is incompetent; senior Defence is rudderless. Cry about that.

Australia out-sources its naval mission #auspol #military

Take a look at today’s press release from Defence below. It is a stark monument to the incompetence of the Defence Material Organisation (DMO). Because of a failure of the DMO (and with some responsibility to admirals), Australia is out-sourcing its naval mission.

Corrosion control is a bread and butter skill in a properly run navy. That and a number of other not very exciting details about sustaining ships, such as: preventive maintenance for motors, electrics, “hotel” facilities, POL, supplies, and so many other things.

It is “complex” as DMO likes to say in their descriptions of Defence systems but given the right leadership, it should all be doable. As for the officers and men that go on sea duty: join the Navy and spend a lot of your time performing some kind of upkeep on the ship. Boring, but it is essential to make ships operate properly.

How many years will it take the DMO to ruin the. Bay-class amphibious ship that has “no major defects”?

Amphibious Ship Update

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today provided an update on the Royal Australian Navy’s Amphibious Ship capability.

Purchase of Largs Bay

The Government announced on 6 April that Australia had been successful in its bid to acquire the United Kingdom’s Bay Class amphibious ship Largs Bay at a cost of £65 million (approximately $A100 million).

Australia has now signed a Letter of Intent with the UK Government and the first two payments of £22 million each (£44 million or $A66 million in total) have been made on the ship.

A sea-trial of the ship has also been conducted.

The trial was conducted in two phases – a harbour phase (11-17 April) followed by the at-sea phase (18-19 April).

Defence’s final report on the sea-trial confirms that the ship is in good material state.

International shipping firm, Teekay Shipping Australia, thoroughly inspected the ship prior to the submission of Australia’s bid and found that:

“the ship presents very well, and from a technical point of view, there are no major defects.”

Teekay was also engaged on the sea trial and have provided an updated report that confirms their previous assessment.

The Government will now give consideration to what modifications are necessary for Australian use of Largs Bay, with such work on the ship subject to Government approval. 

The ship remains on track to arrive in Australia by the end of the year in time for it to be operational in Australia in early 2012.

HMAS Tobruk

HMAS Tobruk will be docked in Sydney today for previously announced required maintenance, which is expected to take around two months.

In order to ensure Australia has an amphibious capability during this period, the Australian Government has chartered the long range support ship Aurora Australis from P&O Maritime Services from 8 May 2011 to 30 June 2011, with options for an extension up to a month.

The Aurora Australis is a 94 metre Super Icebreaker.

It can carry 700 tonnes of cargo, transport 116 passengers, embark watercraft and support helicopter operations.

The vessel regularly supports Antarctic bases with limited or no port facilities, making it unique among commercial vessels currently available and ideal for humanitarian and disaster relief work.

The charter of this vessel will help ensure that Australia is able to respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief incidents over this period.

The lease will cost $3.375 million and will be met from within existing Defence resources.

If required for operations it can be supported by a Guided Missile Frigate as well as Heavy Landing Craft.

The charter of the Aurora Australis is in addition to Australia’s agreement with New Zealand that the New Zealand amphibious lift ship HMNZS Canterbury would be made available as part of the joint Pacific-focused Ready Response Force during Tobruk’s maintenance period, subject to any operational requirements in New Zealand.

HMAS Tobruk is also scheduled for routine maintenance for around a six week period in September and October 2011 to prepare the ship ahead of cyclone season. 

Detailed planning is currently underway to ensure Australia has an amphibious capability during this period.  Details will be provided closer to that time. 

Options under consideration include ongoing cooperation with New Zealand over the use of HMNZS Canterbury, Aurora Australis and a range of commercial options. 


Media contact:
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Mr Clare’s Office: Korena Flanagan (02) 6277 7620 or 0418 251 316
Department: (02) 6127 1999

Australia-Solve the DMO problem before any more big dollar procurement #military #auspol

As always, some that are fawned over by the not-up-to speed media miss the bigger picture.

No money should be handed over for a poorly thought out submarine program until we eliminate the defective Defence Material Organisation (DMO) and produce a real plan of how our very small defence force should have big-dollar weapons projects procured and sustained.

The endless noise about “we need to buy subs now” (or fill in the blank of other systems) is the ultimate cart-before-the-horse poor thinking. The problem is the 20-some thousand DMO employees that collect a pay-check and don’t deliver much value to the defence of the nation.

Australia to get U.K. Bay class landing ship dock #military #auspol

Bay class landing ship dock

Australia will be getting a slightly used Bay class “landing ship dock” from the U.K.

Hopefully DMO and the rest of the Defence community can do maintenance and sustainment on it without screwing it up.

Mr Clare said Largs Bay was twice the weight of Manoora with a cargo capacity the equivalent of Manoora, Kanimbla and Tobruk combined. It can transport up to 150 vehicles, 350 soldiers and two large helicopters.

Considering Australia’s unhappy history in buying used vessels – Manoora and Kanimbla were both found to be riddled with rust and requiring expensive repairs – much effort will go to ensuring Largs Bay is in good condition.

Mr Clare said the firm Teekay Marine had already conducted a survey, concluding it was in good condition.

“But before we conclude the sale, we will also conduct a full sea trial of the vessel to verify its material state,” he said.

Here are some of the ship specs.

Class and type: Bay class landing ship dock
Displacement: 16,160 t (15,905 long tons) full load
Length: 176.6 m (579 ft 5 in)
Beam: 26.4 m (86 ft 7 in)
Draught: 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 2 × Wartsila 8L26 engines, 2 × Wartsila 12V26 engines
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Capacity: 356 troops; 1,200 Linear metres of vehicles (e.g. 32 Challenger 2 MBT’s or 150 light trucks); 12 × 40 FEU or 24 × 20 TEU containers, 2 Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP) Mk.5 and 1 Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk 10; two Mexeflote powered rafts
Complement: 59
Armament: • 2 × 7.62mm Mk.44 Miniguns
• 6 × 7.62mm L7 GPMGs
Fitted to receive :
• Phalanx CIWS
• 30 mm DS30B cannon [1]
Aircraft carried: Twin spot flight deck with limited facilities to transport and operate Merlin or Chinook helicopters, and V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft

Is the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) worth what the taxpayer funds? #auspol

Is the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) worth the taxpayer funds? It is hard to tell with so many big-dollar programs driven into the ditch.

Here is the manpower, including 150-some SES positions. What do they actually do that provides real defensive value for Australia?

“They remind me of the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin. But they seem to eat a great deal. I see no practical use for them.”

The Trouble with Tribbles

Update on Australia’s Project of Concern list-LCM 2000 Watercraft cancelled #auspol

Defence has updated their project of concern list.

These are projects which—more times than not—stand as a symbol of Defence Material Organisation (DMO) incompetence.

The LCM 2000 Watercraft project has been cancelled. Not rocket science but one would think you could at least figure out a simple boat project.

The MRH-90 helicopter project is under the gun due to “a series of key issues”.

Still; a big list to work through for such a small military.

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today updated the Projects of Concern list, announcing the cancellation of the LCM2000 Watercraft project.

LCM 2000 Watercraft

This project was approved by the previous Government in 1997 and involved the construction of six watercraft for the Landing Platform Ships Kanimbla and Manoora.

The project has suffered a number of problems. Most critically, the dimensions and weight of the watercraft meant they were unsuitable to be launched from these ships and are not fit for alternative Australian Defence Force use.

Accordingly, the project has been cancelled and Defence will now begin plans to dispose of the vessels.

MRH-90 Helicopter

Mr Smith and Mr Clare also announced that a high-level comprehensive diagnostic review of the MRH-90 helicopter project would occur this month.

As reported in both the Defence Annual Report and the ANAO Major Project Report released last year, the project has suffered delays of 12 months for the Navy’s helicopters and 18 months for the Army’s helicopters.

Delays are due to a series of key issues, including engine failure, transmission oil cooler fan failures and the poor availability of spares.

The former Government approved the order of 46 MRH-90s to replace the Army’s Black Hawk and Navy’s Sea King fleets.

13 MRH-90 helicopters have been accepted by Defence to date and are currently being used for testing and initial crew training.

Minister Smith said that the full diagnostic review would be supported by external specialists. It will provide recommendations to Government on the actions necessary to fully implement this important project.

Projects of Concern:

The Projects of Concern list was established by the Government in 2008 to focus the attention of Defence and Industry on remediating listed projects.

This process has been successful in remediating a number of key complex and challenging projects.

Projects are put on the list when there are significant challenges with scheduling, cost, capability delivery or project management.

Since September 2010, the Government has added two projects to the list (Electronic Support Measures upgrade for AP-3C Orion aircraft and Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles).

This brings the total number of projects placed on the list since 2008 to 18. Seven of these have been removed – five due to remediation and two due to cancellation.

Later this month the Minister for Defence Materiel will meet with the CEOs of companies who have projects on the list to discuss their plans to remediate the projects.

These meeting will now occur twice a year to ensure there is a focus at the top of Government, Defence and industry to remediate these projects and ultimately take them off the list.

Minister Clare also indicated he was developing plans to further strengthen the Project of Concern process. These reforms will be released in the next few weeks.

When will Australia’s KC-30A be taken off the Defence project of concern list?

U.S. made JASSM cruise missile added to Aus Def’s Project of Concern list