Earlier this year I wrote for Australian Defence Magazine suggesting that there was opportunity to include the BAE Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) in the mix for the USN’s FFG(X) program.
In response to that article, a number of colleagues and readers not unreasonably suggested that GCS was far too much at odds with the scope and intent of the FFG(X) requirements which had clearly set its sights on a cheaper ‘parent-design’ option to sit neatly alongside its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) fleet as part of the USN’s future small surface combatant (SSC) force.
A naval officer from Hobart in a miniature submarine played one of the most significant roles in the historic D-Day landing 75 years ago, the Submarine Institute writes in tribute this week (June 2019).
As Korea, Japan, China and India continue to invest in aircraft carriers to enhance their maritime security and power projection capabilities – the question remains, should Australia reintroduce a fixed-wing naval aviation capability and what options are available should the nation choose to participate in the regional carrier race?
The Australian Naval Institute announced the winner of the 2019 McNeil Prize at its Annual Dinner in Canberra on June 5. The recipient of the 2019 McNeil Prize was Mr Peter Jenkins, who is founder and Managing Director of Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems in Sydney. The Prize is awarded to an individual from Australian industry who has made an outstanding contribution to the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy. It was awarded to Mr Jenkins by the Acting Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond in the presence of members of the McNeil family and Mr Scott Thompson, Interim CEO of Lockheed Martin Australia who co-sponsor the Prize with the ANI. The McNeil Prize is named in memory of Rear Admiral Percival McNeil who was one of the driving forces behind Australian shipbuilding during World War II.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison flew to the Solomon Islands last weekend to “show our Pacific step-up in action” but this policy will fail if his government doesn’t take meaningful action on climate change. A successful step-upmust include stopping our own pollution, defending the sovereignty of our friends in the Pacific and offering a safety net to those who may need it.
Over the past five years Australia’s standing in the Pacific has declined dramatically because of an unwillingness to take strong action on climate change. It’s difficult to overstate how upset Pacific Islanders are when they look at Australia’s track record on climate.
Last weekend, three Chinese warships surprised Australian defence watchers by arriving in Sydney Harbour without prior public announcement. This provoked much debate on social media about how this should be interpreted: a perfectly run-of-the-mill naval operation; a sign of growing maritime cooperation; or an assertive show of maritime strength from the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)?
Contrary to popular perception about their political “passivity,” Pacific Island Countries (PICs) have developed very tactical, shrewd and calculating approaches to how they respond to the often ignorant and patronizing attitudes of foreign powers. It is against this backdrop, for countries like Australia and China, that the effectiveness of their engagement with PICs is determined.
One image the media has constructed is that of “impoverished” islanders, prone to a cult-movement type mentality and always craving for handouts. These myths conceal the salience of Pacific agency, in particular how the PICs leverage their “smallness” to maximise the economic and political benefits to themselves and bridge the power disparity between them and countries such as Australia, China, New Zealand and United States.
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