Extended forward presence: China’s artificial islands

By Olli Pekka Suorsa

Summary: China has expended significant resources in erecting seven artificial islands in the Spratlys, in the South China Sea. The real worth of these artificial islands may be in extending its coast guard and other paramilitary forces’ presence in the South China Sea.

Much has been written about China’s artificial islands in the Spratlys, South China Sea. A lot of the debate has focused on the outposts’ potential military value. The actual military potential in any near-peer military confrontation would prove more of a hindrance than an asset for Beijing. The United States military still holds more options to degrade or stop Chinese military operations from those outposts in a conflict.

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ANI annual dinner and oration postponed

In step with evolving national health guidelines designed to slow potential transmission of the coronavirus and with the ACT now recording its first confirmed case of COVID-19, the ANI Council has decided to reschedule the 2020 Annual Dinner and Vernon Parker Oration to Wednesday, 29 July 2020. The event will be held at the Hotel Realm with Sir Peter Cosgrove as the Guest Speaker. Further details will be available shortly.

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Subs: best Plan B is to make Plan A work

By Paul Jennings*

At this stage of Australia’s future submarine project, there is absolutely zero chance of the government adopting a Plan B.

Realistically, I doubt that the government—or the opposition if by some alternate miracle they were the government today—would reverse course on the submarine project now. That’s because Plan A — the plan we have now — was the best outcome available from a set of limited and somewhat difficult options.

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How Australia can deter China

By Paul Dibb*

Two important military developments recently should give China pause for thought. The first one is the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison of a $1.1 billion upgrade to the Royal Australian Air Force base at Tindal, which is about 300 kilometres south of Darwin, to lengthen the runway so that US B-52 strategic bombers as well as our own KC-30 air-to-air refuelling aircraft can operate from there.

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SIA urges no capability gap

The Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) has noted the release of the report ‘Australia’s Future Submarine – Do we need a plan B?’.

The SIA’s core position is that during the transition from the Collins class submarines to the Attack class submarines, there must be no gap in Australia’s submarine capability and this will require a life-of-type extension to most, if not all, Collins class submarines which needs to commence soon.

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Regional navies and Pacific security

During Rim of the Pacific (RimPac) 2018, Chilean Navy Commodore Pablo Niemann was the maritime component commander. With him were the frigate CNS Almirante Lynch, a Chilean Marine Corps platoon, and a group of officers and ratings who were part of the command-and-control organization of the exercise. This was not a new occurrence for Chile—it has been participating in RimPac since 1996—but it was significant because of the responsibilities given to Commodore Niemann, pictured aboard USS Bonhomme Richard during RimPac 2018.

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VP oration date postponed

Lockheed Martin 2020 Vernon Parker Oration and Dinner.

Sharks in the Moat: A Landsman’s View of our Maritime Security Environment.General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd). Governor-General 2014-2019 Former Chief of the Defence Force. Wednesday, 29 July 2020, 6.15pm for 7.00pm. Hotel Realm 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

The Australian Naval Institute is pleased to announce that General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC(Mil) CVO MC (Retd) has kindly agreed to deliver the 2020 Vernon Parker Oration.

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