Aussie politics thread (2)

 
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Carrying on from the now-closed thread -

The F-35 (ordered by the Gillard government for Australia) is proving to be a very expensive and overly-heavy aircraft so the United States is coming up with something cheaper... Forbes Magazine;

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer wants the service to develop an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters.

The result would be a high-low mix of expensive “fifth-generation” F-22s and F-35s and inexpensive “fifth-generation-minus” jets, explained Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr.

If that plan sounds familiar, it’s because the Air Force a generation ago launched development of an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small future fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters.

But over 20 years of R&D, that lightweight replacement fighter got heavier and more expensive as the Air Force and lead contractor Lockheed Martin LMT +0.1% packed it with more and more new technology.

Yes, we’re talking about the F-35. The 25-ton stealth warplane has become the very problem it was supposed to solve. And now America needs a new fighter to solve that F-35 problem, officials said.

With a sticker price of around $100 million per plane, including the engine, the F-35 is expensive. While stealthy and brimming with high-tech sensors, it’s also maintenance-intensive, buggy and unreliable. “The F-35 is not a low-cost, lightweight fighter,” said Dan Ward, a former Air Force program manager and the author of popular business books including The Simplicity Cycle.

What a shame we can't change our order for the cheaper, lightweight, lower-tech version being developed. On the topic of overly expensive military equipment, it's looking like the Attack Class Submarines project will probably be cancelled - and possibly the Hunter Class frigates program scaled back too ABC;

A year after Naval Group pledged to spend 60 per cent of the massive contract value on local suppliers, the company is yet to enshrine the figure in a formal deal with the Commonwealth.

At the same time, there are fears Australia's ambitious $45 billion program to construct new anti-submarine frigates could go the way of a related Canadian warship project which is experiencing massive cost and time blowouts.

Sources have said Prime Minister Scott Morrison has become increasingly worried in recent months about Defence's ability to deliver the massive projects and has relayed his concerns directly to the Department's National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise team.

Ahead of her meeting with Naval Group, Senator Reynolds has told Parliament she is annoyed with the slow progress of the negotiations with the French.

If the rumors of the Attack Class being cancelled and the Hunter Class being scaled back are true then there's probably 3,000 or so jobs on the line here in South Australia - which is really unfortunate but as a Commonwealth taxpayer I think its a relief after the $350 billion already spent on COVID despite the fact that we'll have more unemployment here in SA.

The problems have been numerous though including cost blowouts, refusal of the French contractor (Naval) to commit to spending money to establish supply chains in Australia as originally agreed (as in the article) and the fact that the contract is already well behind schedule with the first submarine not due to be delivered until 2030.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, just "closing threads" with no commentary why doesn't really achieve much if a 2nd thread is able to be opened to continue.


So start another 20 year project to replace the previous 20 year project failed to achieve? Yeah, well.

Who'd of thought building advanced state of the art low volume military hardware from a very limited supply chain would run over budget and over time? I'm shocked Rolling Eyes

Yes, want something for a fixed price and time frame, no risk that everyone else uses, buy last decades technology off the shelf.

Maybe time to follow the likes of NASA and move to fixed price contracts.


Ahead of her meeting with Naval Group, Senator Reynolds has told Parliament she is annoyed with the slow progress of the negotiations with the French.

"I am frustrated and I'm very disappointed that Naval Group have yet been able to finalise this contract with Defence, but it will not be done at the expense of Australian jobs, and Australian industry," Senator Reynolds said on Tuesday.

I like Senator Reynolds, unlike some posters here who are happy to sell out Australian jobs to off shore suppliers with inferior proposals or products or in some cases do not even exist for the 25 year sub project, she's working towards a solution that protects a generation of skilled Australian jobs in this project.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

We should have gone for a SAAB A26 sub instead, and built it here. Should have bought a proven European frigate, probably from the Spanish again. As for the planes, an export F-15 that has long range high speed interceptor capability and is not over reliant on tankers would have sufficed. It carries a significant payload unlike the F35. A small band of F35s might have been useful aboard our two helicopter carriers.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

We should have gone for a SAAB A26 sub instead, and built it here. Should have bought a proven European frigate, probably from the Spanish again. As for the planes, an export F-15 that has long range high speed interceptor capability and is not over reliant on tankers would have sufficed. It carries a significant payload unlike the F35. A small band of F35s might have been useful aboard our two helicopter carriers.
ANR
We should have purchased nuclear submarines of the Yanks. I am sure they would have been happy to supply a few news ones are a couple of second hand ones in the interim.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Why the hell are we buying submarines at all?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
We should have purchased nuclear submarines of the Yanks. I am sure they would have been happy to supply a few news ones are a couple of second hand ones in the interim.
nswtrains
Cannot, despite Don harping on about there numerous times, the Yanks do not make available their nuclear subs for sale (nor do they make or operate diesels), new or old. Even scrapping must be done on US soil by approved US contractors.

The French design can be either diesel or nuclear, the first 6 are certainly diesel and the govt has left the door open for the last 6 to be nuclear. Once built, conversion from one to the other would like be just as expensive as buying new.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Why the hell are we buying submarines at all?
Valvegear

Because the current ones are approaching end of life and replacement will be due within 10 or so years.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
On another note, the events in Canberra over the past few days with regard to Rape allegations are deepening.  Morrison even stated in parliament the ALP should watch themselves on the allegations over Liberal sitting members I think he was referring to the Rape Allegations made against Bill Shorten whom the alleged Victim stated were not properly investigated.

We also have a sitting Minister who is the subject of a letter based allegation over the rape of a 16YO woman.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
On another note, the events in Canberra over the past few days with regard to Rape allegations are deepening.  Morrison even stated in parliament the ALP should watch themselves on the allegations over Liberal sitting members I think he was referring to the Rape Allegations made against Bill Shorten whom the alleged Victim stated were not properly investigated.

We also have a sitting Minister who is the subject of a letter based allegation over the rape of a 16YO woman.
bevans
Allegations need to be treated as rumors until such and treated accordingly until a such a time the allegations have been proven in a court of law.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Because the current ones are approaching end of life and replacement will be due within 10 or so years.
"RTT_Rules"
Ever the literalist, our RTT. Let me rephrase - why the hell do we want submarines at all?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
No, an allegation needs to be treated as an allegation. The problems start when the public and the media treat allegations as fact that a crime has been committed.

We have the presumption of innocence in this country we just need to remember how to use it.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
We also have a sitting Minister who is the subject of a letter based allegation over the rape of a 16YO woman.
"bevans"
The identity of this Minister is fairly well known. Until he voluntarily steps aside whilst these allegations are tested, there are many male Ministers who could be under suspicion as far as the public is concerned.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
We also have a sitting Minister who is the subject of a letter based allegation over the rape of a 16YO woman.
The identity of this Minister is fairly well known. Until he voluntarily steps aside whilst these allegations are tested, there are many male Ministers who could be under suspicion as far as the public is concerned.
Valvegear
I am not comfortable with this trial by media at the moment. It seems that it is now ok to simply to accuse, so that there is a significant consequence. The people pushing this, need to remember if this practice becomes acceptable (no matter how righteous it is), it can work the other way. People will simply start making crap up against accusers to suppress allegations.

I am all for calling for an inquiry (a prosecution can't happen due to obvious reasons), and if those allegations are tested and some circumstantial evidence is there, then that person needs to step aside. However to say that a person needs to step aside, before anything is tested is wrong.

The allegations are very serious and need to be tested. They should not be ignored as the person that is being accused might be innocent, or an inquiry might reveal a systemic pattern and the character of that person is questionable to hold office. This is not about a criminal prosecution, but to test the character of people holding office of power.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I like Senator Reynolds, unlike some posters here who are happy to sell out Australian jobs to off shore suppliers with inferior proposals or products or in some cases do not even exist for the 25 year sub project, she's working towards a solution that protects a generation of skilled Australian jobs in this project.
RTT_Rules
We've been through this before: We decided collectively that we wouldn't bother manufacturing complex things in this nation any longer when we let the car industry go. That was decided by both sides of politics some decades ago with the Button Report. How the blazes do you think we'd go at making an incredibly complex and sophisticated piece of military hardware like a submarine here if we can't even build cars?

Short answer is we can't. It's too expensive to replicate existing production lines, contractors and suppliers in this country - that's part of the reason why the contract with Naval is going to be cancelled. Naval were asked a year ago to give a final figure on how much of the actual production was going to be given to local Australian contractors after telling the Commonwealth that 90% local production wasn't possible. They've since dropped that figure to 60% - but now they're saying that this is also too high - which is why ScoMo has ordered a review into the whole contract, because the French aren't adhering to their part of the agreement.

So your fantasy of having local expertise and production is just that: A fantasy. Better to cancel it now rather than find out later that all the components they said would be locally-manufactured are actually fully imported don't you think.
Ever the literalist, our RTT. Let me rephrase - why the hell do we want submarines at all?
Valvegear
It's the protection of the sea lanes to our north that has been repeatedly identified as the strategic need - and submarines come up as the answer.
We should have purchased nuclear submarines of the Yanks. I am sure they would have been happy to supply a few news ones are a couple of second hand ones in the interim.
nswtrains
An incredibly rare juncture where I agree with you: The US has an obligation under ANZUS to sell us whatever we need. A couple of second-hand nuclear submarines at a fraction of the cost of the Attack Class units would suffice.
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
To Valvegear’s question on why we need submarines at all???
It’s like the Army having tanks. We have them purely as a deterrent. OR put more simply we have them ONLY because others have them.
Have we deployed them anywhere oversees? NO. But the reason I just told you why we have them makes their non deployed irrelevant.

To the submarines. The Collins class have copped their  share of criticism, more so than the Oberons before them. The new ones and other ships will probably be late and have cost overruns. They might not be the best. However,  IF it’s got a potential adversary having doubts about giving us a whack, then that’s probably worthwhile insurance IMHO.


Regards
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Why the hell are we buying submarines at all?
Valvegear
We are buying them because there too difficult to steal  Razz

BigShunter.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
We also have a sitting Minister who is the subject of a letter based allegation over the rape of a 16YO woman.
The identity of this Minister is fairly well known. Until he voluntarily steps aside whilst these allegations are tested, there are many male Ministers who could be under suspicion as far as the public is concerned.
Valvegear

Can you advise who it is?

With regard to the ALP MP back to the 1980's might that be Shorten?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Can you advise who it is?
"bevans"
I can, but I'm not going to.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

We also have a sitting Minister who is the subject of a letter based allegation over the rape of a 16YO woman.
The identity of this Minister is fairly well known. Until he voluntarily steps aside whilst these allegations are tested, there are many male Ministers who could be under suspicion as far as the public is concerned.

Can you advise who it is?

With regard to the ALP MP back to the 1980's might that be Shorten?
bevans
If it's the person you say then those accusations were thoroughly dealt with some time ago. Little prissy Ms. Greeno muck racking again.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
don_dunstan
An incredibly rare juncture where I agree with you: The US has an obligation under ANZUS to sell us whatever we need. A couple of second-hand nuclear submarines at a fraction of the cost of the Attack Class units would suffice.


No quite correct. The US is not obliged to sell us anything that we need under ANZUS. A recent example is the F22 raptor. They were in the mix for planning. Apart from the challenges to maintain them (which is significantly more complex than the F35) and the fact that they are currently only air to air capable presently, the US decided not to sell these to any alliance partners including Australia. Even though our politicians did make noise about this.

The US is not obliged to sell us nuclear capable subs if we wanted them. However if Australia decided to buy nuclear powered subs, I am sure that the US would allow us to buy, so that they can make a sale (to deny other suppliers), not because of any treaty. The real issue is that, if we did decide to go that way, it would be a massive change in terms of sailing subs. the challenge will be if our population will accept that. I doubt it, as we are not willing to have a large scale fission reactor for power, let alone a repository for spent nuclear fuel. How many decades have these issues have been discussed?

Even if there is a miracle and our community wants it, the US will put their interest first. Will enabling Australia to have nuclear capable subs ratchet up a risk of neighbouring countries buying similar equipment from China or Russia, even if they are aligned with the US? That will probably force the US to spend more to have presence to balance any increase in this region. Ironically, I think it does suit the US, that we do not sail nuclear powered subs.

The US is keen to sell us platforms, but there are limitations. Australia does enjoy a superior level of access to the technology over other US partners, but it isn't open ended.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Why the hell are we buying submarines at all?
We are buying them because there too difficult to steal  Razz

BigShunter.
BigShunter
It was easy in Hunt for Red October - that was a documentary wasn’t it?
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Because the current ones are approaching end of life and replacement will be due within 10 or so years.
Ever the literalist, our RTT. Let me rephrase - why the hell do we want submarines at all?
Valvegear
Surveillance, and covert insertion mostly.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Carrying on from the now-closed thread -

What a shame we can't change our order for the cheaper, lightweight, lower-tech version being developed.
don_dunstan
FWIW, there isn't such an aircraft under development: it is only being discussed in USAF circles. The USAF is still committed to around 1750 F-35A at this time.

The only real other options for Australia would be more F-18E/F Super Hornets or the latest F-15EX.

As problematic as the F-35 is, it definitely does bring capabilities to the table that 4th gen jets do not. Whether the RAAF has struck the right mix can be debated.

The next generation jet for the RAAF should be a large UCAV with around 3000km combat radius with the ability to carry four JASSM/LRASM class weapons. See the Loyal Wingman project.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
An incredibly rare juncture where I agree with you: The US has an obligation under ANZUS to sell us whatever we need. A couple of second-hand nuclear submarines at a fraction of the cost of the Attack Class units would suffice.


No quite correct. The US is not obliged to sell us anything that we need under ANZUS. A recent example is the F22 raptor. They were in the mix for planning. Apart from the challenges to maintain them (which is significantly more complex than the F35) and the fact that they are currently only air to air capable presently, the US decided not to sell these to any alliance partners including Australia. Even though our politicians did make noise about this.

The US is not obliged to sell us nuclear capable subs if we wanted them. However if Australia decided to buy nuclear powered subs, I am sure that the US would allow us to buy, so that they can make a sale (to deny other suppliers), not because of any treaty. The real issue is that, if we did decide to go that way, it would be a massive change in terms of sailing subs. the challenge will be if our population will accept that. I doubt it, as we are not willing to have a large scale fission reactor for power, let alone a repository for spent nuclear fuel. How many decades have these issues have been discussed?

Even if there is a miracle and our community wants it, the US will put their interest first. Will enabling Australia to have nuclear capable subs ratchet up a risk of neighbouring countries buying similar equipment from China or Russia, even if they are aligned with the US? That will probably force the US to spend more to have presence to balance any increase in this region. Ironically, I think it does suit the US, that we do not sail nuclear powered subs.

The US is keen to sell us platforms, but there are limitations. Australia does enjoy a superior level of access to the technology over other US partners, but it isn't open ended.
Big J
The biggest military ‘thing’ the US have sold to us is Link 11/16 etc.

They might ‘sell’ us a Los Angeles, but they’re getting a little long in the tooth now, Seawolf? Forget it, and the Virginia would likely have to be quite neutered to be available to sale to other nations.

We would be better off buying the actual Barracuda SSN, not the over priced pieces of smeg brought to us by Sean Costello.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

An incredibly rare juncture where I agree with you: The US has an obligation under ANZUS to sell us whatever we need. A couple of second-hand nuclear submarines at a fraction of the cost of the Attack Class units would suffice.
don_dunstan


There is absolutely no such obligation and it is highly unlikely that the US would sell or lease SSNs to Australia. The US was recently asked if a sale of the upcoming B-21 Raider to Australia was a possibility and the answer was a polite but distinct "no."

I personally think we would have been best off going with the Royal Navy Astute class, but even they may have been cagey on the issue. Few countries can operate nuke subs and even fewer can build them.

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