What next for US littoral combat ships?

By Duncan McCrae

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.

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Should Navy return to fixed-wing?

The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic..

By Stephen Kuper, of Defence Connect

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?

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2019 McNeil Prize announced

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.

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Pacific Islanders upset at Australia over climate

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-up must 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.

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Australia, Chinese warships and US Indo-Pacific strategy

Chinese warships in Sydney (June 2019)

By Rebecca Strating*

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)?

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Debunking myths about Pacific island countries

Taiwan’s presence in the Solomons

By Professor Steven Ratuva

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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What Indonesia’s submarine purchase tells us

By Shang-su Wu

Jakarta’s choice to upgrade its defence capabilities with a billion-dollar submarine project reveals how they view their greatest naval strategic challenges.

The deal to acquire three more submarines from South Korea with the value of US $1.02b — about an eighth of the Indonesian defence budget — indicates the Southeast Asian state’s strategic intentions.

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About the ANI Occasional Paper series

The Occasional Paper series embodies ANI’s commitment to engaging in public discussion and, where possible, the development of public policy. This series was created in response to an need to provide a vehicle to gain an audience for research and writing that relates to specialist naval, maritime and related topics that are not addressed in standard scholarly publications. Three broad categories of work are ‘published’ in the Series – Position Papers, Working Papers and Occasional Papers – each reflecting the length and purpose of the manuscript rather than its academic discipline. 

Position Papers are 2,000-4000 words in length and seek to shape debate, direct discussion or outline a position on some aspect of policy. The emphasis is on highly topical work embodying the opinion and judgements of the contributor on matters of contemporary concern. Working Papers are 3,000-5,000 words and are intended to be ‘work-in-progress’. Papers in this category are offered for comment from other scholars working in the area. These papers are ‘first drafts’ of more substantial pieces of writing and present interim conclusions. Occasional Papers typically exceed 5,000 words and constitute completed work. Papers in this category include high quality descriptive and analytical work that might be too specialised or too topical for a scholarly journal. There is no upper word limit for papers in this category.

These papers are available in identical HTML and print-ready PDF formats and include an author note, illustrative material and references for further ready. The series is promoted through the ANI’s website, social media presence and events. 

Submission guidelines

Researchers interested in having their work appear in the series are encouraged to contact the ANI through admin@navalinstitute.com.au in the first instance. Prospective contributors need to decide whether their submissions are to be assessed as Position, Working or Occasional Papers. Guidelines regarding style and format are available on request.