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20 Dec 18. Russia’s Putin accuses U.S. of raising risk of nuclear war. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the United States of raising the risk of nuclear war by threatening to spurn a key arms control treaty and refusing to hold talks about another pact that expires soon. In a news conference that lasted more than three hours, Putin also backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria, said British Prime Minister Theresa May had no choice but to implement Brexit and that Western democracy was under serious strain. The annual event, the 14th of its kind, is used by Putin to burnish his leadership credentials and send messages to foreign allies and foes.
This year, he made clear his biggest worry was what he called a dangerous new arms race, something he accused the United States of stoking by turning its back on arms control. Washington has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which bans Moscow and Washington from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. Putin said the move, if it happened, would have unpredictable consequences.
“We are essentially witnessing the breakdown of the international arms control order and (the start of) an arms race,” Putin told more than 1,000 reporters. It’s very hard to imagine how the situation will develop (if the United States quits the INF treaty). If these missiles appear in Europe what should we do? Of course, we’ll have to ensure our own security.”
Putin has previously said that Russia would be forced to train its own missiles on any European countries that host U.S. rockets.
Another U.S.-Russia treaty, the New START pact, which limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads each side can have, expires in 2021. Putin said he was worried that Washington didn’t appear to be interested in discussing its future.
“No talks on extending this are yet being held. Are the Americans not interested, do they not need them? Ok, we’ll survive and will ensure our own security, which we know how to do. But in general, this is very bad for humankind because it takes us closer to a dangerous threshold.”
The Russian leader, who said Moscow had developed nuclear weapons which he believed gave it an edge over other countries, warned the threat of a nuclear conflict was growing as a result of the U.S. moves. He also cited the dangerous tendency of lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons and the idea of using ballistic missiles with conventional warheads.
“If, God forbid, something like that were to happen, it would lead to the end of all civilisation and maybe also the planet,” said Putin.
But though Putin criticised Washington, he made clear that he still hoped to meet Trump sometime soon, saying it was important the two leaders discussed issues such as arms control.
With relations between Moscow and Washington strained by everything from Ukraine to hacking allegations, Putin said he did not know when a meeting with Trump might take place however.
Putin won a landslide re-election victory in March, giving him six more years in power. Although he faces no serious political threat for now, plans to sharply raise the pension age saw his approval rating fall to below 60 percent for the first time in five years. (Source: Reuters)
21 Dec 18. Applications now open for NSW Defence Innovation grants. The NSW Defence Innovation Network’s (DIN) next round of seed funding is available for SMEs to collaborate with academic partners to accelerate development of early-stage technology concepts. The DIN brings together NSW industry, universities, the state government and the Defence Science and Technology Group to help make NSW businesses more competitive and innovative on a global scale, and better able to respond to national objectives for defence industry research and development by harnessing the research capabilities available within the NSW university system. DIN support for seed projects is based on a co-investment model, where seed funding of up to $50,000 per project will be made available on a competitive basis, and will require commitment of matching funds from the industry partner.
A successful proposal will see pairing of the industry partner with one or more university research teams that have the expertise and capacity to deliver project outcomes in collaboration with industry capability. DIN can assist to locate such expertise among member universities, on request.
To be successful, industry proposals for seed projects must meet the DIN’s selection criteria below. Areas deemed to have the greatest potential for defence innovation fall into the Next Generation Technologies Fund, including:
- Medical countermeasures;
- Directed energies and advanced sensors;
- Multi-disciplinary materials science;
- Enhanced human performance;
- Trusted autonomous systems;
- Quantum technologies;
- Aerospace; and
- Cyber and intelligence.
Projects should be scoped to deliver outcomes within six to eight months and, to ensure substantive progress towards realistic goals, may be aimed towards a long-term program of research that will be well-placed for future funding initiatives.
Key selection criteria include:
- Identified need in Defence (technology or capability);
- Novelty and potential to become world leading;
- Technical/scientific merits, scientific and technical risk, best collaborative team;
- Potential for impact and implementation pathway; and
- Capacity and capability of the SME to commercialise project IP.
The DIN is made up of NSW universities, including UNSW, University of Sydney, Macquarie University, University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University, University of Newcastle and UTS.
SMEs wanting to apply for grants need to lodge full proposals by 4 March 2019. Any queries and completed proposals should be submitted here. (Source: Defence Connect)
21 Dec 18. Global wrap-up: Sea trials for China’s new Destroyer, Patriots for Turkey. This global wrap-up provides key updates of industry developments across the globe, including new procurement deals, capability introductions and key announcements.
- The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has begun a series of sea trials for the lead vessel of the Type 055 Class Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG). The Nanchang (DDG-101),a 13,000-tonne vessel, and her sisters will play a key role in protecting China’s existing and future aircraft carrier battle groups.
- The Indian Army is fast-tracking a US$553 m deal to procure 93,895 close-quarter-battle (CQB) rifles for UAE company Caracal following controversy about the bidding process and complaints from Thales and S&T Motiv of South Korea over the price offered by Caracal.
- The Indian Navy has commissioned its fifth Mk-IV Class Landing Ship as part of a US$310m contract for eight ships, signed in September 2011.
- The Royal Thai Navy took official delivery of the first of the nation’s new guided missile frigates from South Korean company DSME. The vessels have a length of 122.5 metres and displace 3,650 tonnes.
- JFD secured a US$30m contract with the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK-N) to design, construct and deliver a deep-sea search and rescue vehicle combined with training and in-service support.
- Hyundai Heavy Industries secured a US$561.5m to build two 2,800-tonne escort frigates for the ROK-N. The two escorts will have enhanced combat capabilities compared to first-phase naval escorts as they will be equipped with state-of-the-art weapon systems, including tactical ship-to-ground guided missiles and long-range anti-submarine guided missiles.
- The Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and Japanese government have announced a major increase in the nation’s 2019 defence budget. The US$315bn over the next five years will see the nation become the second largest operator of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the modification of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF), Izumo Class vessels, a modernisation of key air and sea platforms, as well as new investments in cyber, space situational awareness, anti-space and ballistic missile defence capabilities.
- The United States has announced a “full and rapid” withdrawal of US forces in Syria following President Donald Trump declaring that ISIS has been defeated in the country.
- Turkey has been cleared for a US$3.5bn deal with the US to purchase the Patriot Missile Defence System, including 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles and 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement Missiles and associated equipment, logistics, serving and support training.
- A subsidiary of Tutor Perini won a US$104m contract to design and construct facilities for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), which will include a squadron operations facility, three aircraft maintenance hangers, a storage facility, a water and fire protection system pump building and a gatehouse, as well as an apron, shoulders and taxiways for aircraft, with construction to begin in 2019.
- The German Army has announced that it will form a fully equipped and digitised division sized force by 2027. The Armoured Infantry Brigade will continue to lead the NATO Response Force’s (NRF) Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2023. The brigade will be expanded into an entire division by 2027 and by 2032 the German Army aims to have three fully deployable divisions, two of which are digitised, for territorial and NATO defence.
- The French Air Force has expanded their order for Airbus A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (KC-30A) to include and additional three aircraft, following an announcement earlier in the year.
- The Czech Ministry of Defence has announced a US$92.6m agreement with domestic small-arms manufacturer Ceska Zbrojovka to supply 14,000 CZ BREN 2 assault rifles.
- The UK government announced the Modernising Defence Program (MDP) to the House of Commons, which will be supported by a US$1.2bn increase to the defence budget in FY19.
- The Croatian Navy has received a new inshore patrol vessel. The 43.25-metre vessel is armed with a 30mm automatic gun and will support patrol and search and rescue operations, as well as combat and logistic support as required.
- The US is playing middle-man in a US$500 m deal between Israel and Croatia for modified Israeli Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft to replace ageing MiG aircraft.
- The Russian Army is expected to receive two brigades of the S-300 air defence missile system in 2019, with additional plans to roll out 719 armoured vehicles, including a set of Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles and two brigades of Buk-M3 surface to air missile systems.
- The US Navy’s newest Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) the USS St Louis, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, was launched.
- BAE Systems won a US$376m contract to conduct engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) to build 12 pre-production vehicles for the US Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program.
- General Dynamics Land Systems also received a US$335 m contract for similar work for the MPF program.
- Raytheon secured a US$114m cost-plus-fixed fee, firm-fixed-price, cost only contract for air and missile defence radar AN/SPY-6(V) integration and production support efforts.
- Boeing was awarded a US$90.4m contract modification to support the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned air vehicle engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the program for the US Navy.
- Lockheed Martin delivered the first Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) to US Air Force operational units and has achieved early operational capability (EOC) ahead of schedule, sparking opportunities for future Australian service.
- The head contract has been signed between BAE Systems Australia and ASC Shipbuilding to deliver nine Hunter Class anti-submarine warfare, guided missile frigates as part of the $35bn SEA 5000 program.
- Australia’s new fleet of submarines will be known as the Attack Class following an announcement by Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral, Michael Noonan. The Attack Class submarines will be delivered as part of the $50bn SEA 1000 program, which will see Naval Groupdeliver 12 regionally superior submarines to the Royal Australian Navy.
- Airbus Australia Pacific secured a two-year contract extension to provide engineering, maintenance and supply support for the Royal Australian Air Force’s fleet of C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.
- Austal USA the wholly owned subsidiary of WA-based Austal secured an order for two additionalIndependence Class LCS for the US Navy, bringing the total Austal USA order book to nine vessels. (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Dec 18. Japan’s step-change defence budget and the possibilities for Australia. Japan has closely followed the modernisation of the Chinese armed forces and raised concerns about the nation’s defence capabilities. The Japanese government has responded with an unprecedented defence budget, which provides opportunities for Australian industry. The pre-war power has long sought to shake off the chains of the pacifist constitution enforced upon it by the US, UK, Australia and other allies following the end of the war in the Pacific. However, Japan’s geo-strategic realities have rapidly evolved since the end of the Cold War, when the US could effectively guarantee the security of the island nation.
Growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and modernisation efforts resulting in the fielding of key power projection capabilities, including aircraft carriers and supporting strike groups, fifth-generation combat aircraft, modernised land forces, area-access denial and strategic nuclear forces, combined with growing political and financial influence throughout the region is serving to shake Japan’s confidence.
As Dr Malcolm Davis of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) recently told Defence Connect, “2018 has been an interesting year in the South China Sea. It started fairly early on with the basing of anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) on reclaimed islands in the SCS, the basing of the upgraded, H-6K nuclear capable bomber on Woody Island and more recently the USS Decatur (DDG-73) incident really reinforces that China is not backing down from its territorial ambitions.”
Accordingly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly earmarked increased funding for the nation’s defence budget, expanding the capabilities of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and Japan’s industrial capability to modernise and equip itself in the face of growing regional instability and tensions.
The JFY2019 Defense Related Budget Request reinforces Prime Minister Abe’s commitment to strengthening the JSDF through a number of initiatives, including:
- Renewed focus on strategic partnerships with key allies like the US, Australia and India;
- Developing key capabilities across existing and new domains, including AI, cyber, space and electronic warfare; and
- Strengthening and enhancing the industrial capability of Japan to meet the operational and strategic requirements of JSDF.
Building alliances and strategic partnerships
Strategic partnerships and alliances form the basis of Japan’s post-war international engagement. Particularly the relationship with the US, but increasingly, regional powers like Australia and India are playing larger roles in the nation’s strategic calculus.
“The Japan-US alliance as well as defence co-operation with India, Australia, ASEAN countries and other partners can work very effectively in maintaining peace and stability of Japan and the region. Japan should develop a defence capability that can further deepen and expand these endeavours,” the Japanese plan states, highlighting the growing importance of strategic alliances.
The growing focus encouraging structural reform of the nation’s industrial and research and development (R&D) capabilities as part of building closer collaboration, improved interoperability and distributed lethality serves as the primary driving factor for this part of the Japanese plan.
Enhancing old strengths, building new ones
The rate of technological evolution has reshaped the field of warfare and the weapons and platforms that will be used. Japan’s proximity to China and developments in the ballistic missile, force projection, cyber capability and anti-space domains has prompted a growing response from Japan across a number of domains.
Space is an area of intense focus for the JSDF, with the government seeking to invest about 27.01bn yen in a number of capabilities, including:
- 26.8bn yen to develop a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) System in co-operation with major allies;
- 180m yen to enhance the command, control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities of the JSDF, including the vulnerabilities of satellites and their countermeasure, space-based electromagnetic surveillance to secure the stable utilisation of outer space; and
- 30m yen to develop and study SSA capability enhancements, including a space-based optical telescope to support the tracking and identification of space debris and unidentified objects that pose a threat to Japan’s satellites in geostationary orbit.
Growing Chinese capabilities in the cyber domain have prompted extensive expansions of Japan’s cyber warfare capabilities, including:
- Enhancing and expanding the Cyber Defense Group (CDG) to strengthen the initial and advanced response capabilities of the organisation;
- 3.8 bn yen to procure cyber information gathering devices, with a focus on tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) of cyber attacks that may be used against the JSDF and other government organisations; and
- 2.4 bn yen to develop external capabilities to respond to cyber attacks against the JSDF and broader Japanese political and economic infrastructure and services.
Electronic warfare modernisation for key Japanese platforms, like the Japanese Air Self Defense Force’s (JASDF) F-15 fighter jets, will enable improved survivability and combat effectiveness in contested environments.
Additionally, Japan is investing extensively in electronic warfare capabilities, including:
- 2.9bn yen to improve the sharing and processing capability of electronic warfare information of the Japan Aerospace Defense Ground Environment (JADGE); and
- 20 m yen to support the research and development for the Optimal Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Management to enable information sharing among Japanese forces for cross-domain joint operation.
The Japanese government has also embarked on an extensive modernisation program for the wider JSDF, resulting in a number of key procurement programs, including:
- 91.6bn yen purchase of 6 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, with recent announcements identifying that Japan will operate a fleet of about 147 of the fifth-generation aircraft, 105 of the ‘A’ variant and 42 of the ‘B’ short-take off, vertical landing variant for operation off the Izumo Class amphibious warfare ships;
- 8.4bn yen procurement of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk ISR unmanned aerial system;
- 99.5bn yen for the construction of two, multi-purpose, compact destroyers;
- 71.1bn yen for the construction of a new Soryu Class attack submarine; and
- Establishing an Airborne Warning and Control Wing within the JASDF.
Opportunities for Australian industry
Australian industry, defence and academia are well positioned to benefit from Japan’s arms build up across a number of areas. Australian involvement in the global F-35 program, as both a key supply chain contributor and as an Asia-Pacific regional maintenance, upgrade and overhaul hub, combined with the growing interoperability of key naval platforms, serve as catalysts for this integration.
Additionally, Australia’s world recognised expertise in space situational awareness (SSA) capabilities, Earth observation, advanced manufacturing and advanced materials, providing high-technology examples to build on from the success of Australia’s Bendigo built Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles.
These key capabilities can be combined with Australia’s rapidly developing research and development credentials in hypersonics, artificial intelligence and cyber security to enhance the economic and strategic relationship between the two nations.
In particular, Japan’s heavy investment in hypersonic vehicles and the aforementioned SSA capabilities are areas that Australian industry can add value to the Japanese supply chain.
Australia and Japan are working closely to help maintain a peaceful Indo-Pacific, as affirmed under the Australia-Japan Special Strategic Partnership.
The Australia-Japan relationship is the nation’s closest and most mature in Asia and is underpinned by the strategic, economic, political and legal interests of both countries. The countries work closely in strategic alliance with the US, and lead in critical regional partnerships with countries such as India and the Republic of Korea.
Australia and Japan regularly participate in joint defence exercises and frequently consult on regional security issues, such as the nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches undertaken by North Korea.
The Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation (JDSC) signed in 2007 provides a foundation for wide-ranging co-operation on security issues for both countries, including law enforcement, border security, counter terrorism, disarmament and counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The JDSC also established the regular 2+2 talks between the respective foreign and defence ministers.
More information about the JFY 2019 Budget Request is available here. More information on how to access the Japanese export market is available from the Defence Export Office. (Source: Defence Connect)
19 Dec 18. Russia says it won’t let U.S. see missile at heart of nuclear dispute. Russia said on Wednesday it would not let the United States inspect a new nuclear-capable cruise missile at the heart of a dispute between Washington and Moscow that risks unravelling a landmark arms control treaty. Washington has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), alleging that the new Russian missile, the Novator 9M729 (called SSC-8 by NATO), violates the pact, which bans either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.
Russia says the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty altogether and is not as long as Washington alleges, meaning that it is fully compliant with the INF. It has accused the United States of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty it wants to leave anyway so as to develop new missiles.
The United States issued Russia a 60-day ultimatum earlier this month to come clean about the alleged missile violation and return to “full and verifiable compliance.” That means Moscow is under pressure to scrap the new missile and its launchers.
However, Russia said on Wednesday it had no intention of letting U.S. inspectors look at the missile, which it said had not been tested at the longer range that Washington alleges.
“We don’t feel right now that such a step would be justified from either a political or a technical point of view,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily newspaper published on Wednesday.
Ryabkov accused Washington of “extremely intrusive” attempts to shine a light on Russian rocket manufacturing and said that Washington had in the past rebuffed Russian requests to look inside U.S. submarines under another arms control treaty. Any such inspections – if they were to happen – should not be unilateral but should take place in both countries, he added.
U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said on Nov. 30 that Russia has already deployed multiple battalions of 9M729 missiles and that they posed a direct threat to most of Europe and parts of Asia.
Russian military experts asked their U.S. counterparts several days ago to hold consultations on the missile dispute, but had not yet received any response, Ryabkov said. (Source: Reuters)
18 Dec 18. Japan’s New Defense Policy Adds ‘Effective Aircraft Carrier.’ New defense guidelines calling for the enhancement of capabilities to deal with security risks at sea, online and in outer space have been approved by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The new National Defense Program Guidelines were approved Dec. 18 along with the Mid-Term Defense Program, laying out Japan’s defense policy and weapons purchases over the next five years. The program estimated weapons purchases over the next five years at a record 27.4trn yen ($242bn). The main focus of both documents was the inclusion of wording that would allow for the retrofitting of an Izumo-class destroyer to give it aircraft carrier capabilities.
Underscoring the sensitivity of the issue in light of Japan’s long-held stance of assuming an exclusively defensive posture for the Self-Defense Forces, the terminology for the upgraded destroyer was kept the same as in the previous document, with the updated vessel being described as “a destroyer with multifunctional capabilities.” (end of excerpt)
(defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: The Cabinet also approved the acquisition of 105 F-35s in addition to the 42 already approved, at a cost of about $10.6bn. The plan calls for 42 aircraft to be bought in the “B” STOVL variant.) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Asahi Shimbun)
14 Dec 18. India and Russia pledge to deepen military-technical partnership. India and Russia have agreed to strengthen the already robust military-technical partnership between the two countries, the Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) announced on 13 December. Following meetings in New Delhi between Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her visiting counterpart from Russia, Sergei Shoigu, the PIB said the two sides agreed to expand joint manufacturing projects and to work towards the signing of a restructured military-technical accord. The PIB said talks between the two defence ministers represented the 18th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Co-operation (IRIGC-MTC).
According to the PIB, the IRIGC-MTC meeting discussed a “wide range of issues relating to defence equipment, industry, and technological engagement between India and Russia, as well as after-sales support [and] upgrades of military equipment of Russian origin”.
The PIB added that in addition to progressing details related to joint projects such as India’s proposed programme to locally manufacture Russia’s Kamov Ka-226T ‘Hoodlum’ light multirole helicopters for the Indian military, the two sides also agreed to advance arrangements to facilitate the joint production of spare parts for Russian defence equipment already in service in India.
Localised spare part production, said the PIB, would progress under the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
In addition, the two sides signed an agreement to restructure the existing IRIGC-MTC to encompass what the PIB said would be “military and military-technical co-operation”. Under the expanded agreement, a new working group headed by military staff will be established, it said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Dec 18. One step closer to Australian defence export goal. Minister for Defence Industry Steven Ciobo has announced that the Defence Export Facility will directly support the export of Australian designed and manufactured defence equipment to the world. As part of the government’s objective to establish Australia as a top 10 global defence exporter by 2028, the $3.8bn Defence Export Facility will support the implementation of the government’s Defence Export Strategy.
Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo said, “The Defence Export Facility was established to grow Australia’s defence exports by helping overcome difficulties in accessing private sector finance for exports.”
The Defence Export Facility will support the delivery of the Defence Export Strategy through access to the national interest account to help Australian businesses receive finance necessary to support international growth.
The facility has already provided financial support for Australian exporters like CEA Technologies, which was able to access a $90m loan to expand its Canberra facility.
“CEA Technologies will use a $90m loan from the Defence Export Facility to finance the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Canberra to help grow their exports and meet Australian Defence Force demand for their world-class phased array radars,” Minister Ciobo added.
“The expansion of CEA’s facilities is expected to create 200 jobs and further high-tech jobs in its Australian supply chain.”
The Defence Export Strategy recognises that Australian industry cannot sustain itself on the needs of the Australian Defence Force alone Accordingly, new markets and opportunities to diversify are required to help unlock the full potential of Australian defence industry to grow, innovate and support Defence’s future needs.
Exports will provide the Australian defence industry with greater certainty of future investment and support high-end manufacturing jobs for Australians for generations to come.
Australia has proven its competitiveness in the global defence market in niche areas, including advanced patrol boat design and manufacturing, as exhibited by WA-based Austal, which recently announced a $100m contract to provide two Cape Class patrol vessels to Trinidad and Tobago.
The Defence Export Facility played a critical role in supporting Austal’s success in securing the contract.
“Thanks to the Defence Export Facility, Austal is in negotiations to build two patrol boats for the government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT),” Minister Ciobo said.
“The export facility loan of up to $80m will directly support Australian jobs on the program. Austal is still in contract negotiations with the GORTT but has concluded an interim schedule protection agreement to allow work to commence at Austal’s Henderson, Western Australia centre for excellence in Maritime design to support the sale.”
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham reinforced the role of defence exports in strengthening the national economy and Australia’s defence industry, saying, “Exports will help strengthen Australia’s defence industry and build the nation’s sovereign defence capability, critical to keeping Australia safe and secure.”
The strategic goal over the next decade to 2028 is to achieve greater export success to build a stronger, more sustainable and more globally competitive Australian defence industry to support Australia’s defence capability needs. In support of this strategic goal, the government’s ambition is to achieve the following five objectives by 2028:
- Strengthen the partnership between the Australian government and industry to pursue defence export opportunities;
- Sustain Australia’s defence industrial capabilities across peaks and troughs in domestic demand;
- Enable greater innovation and productivity in Australia’s defence industry to deliver world-leading defence capabilities;
- Maintain the capability edge of the Australian Defence Force and leverage defence capability development for export opportunities; and
- Grow Australia’s defence industry to become a top 10 global defence exporter.
The strategy brings together all of the levers available to government, Defence and industry to provide end-to-end support for defence exports, from building export readiness to identifying export opportunities, and ultimately realising export outcomes.
“The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) will administer loans under the Defence Export Facility,” Minister Birmingham added.
The strategy provides $20m in additional annual funding from 2018-19 to support Australia’s defence exports. A new Australian Defence Export Office will be created within the Department of Defence to provide a focal point for defence exports and drive implementation of the strategy.
More information on how the Defence Export Facility and Efic can support your business access finance and global export markets is available here. (Source: Defence Connect)
17 Dec 18. France’s Naval Group eyes Brazil as hub for its regional submarine business. The Brazilian navy launched its first domestically produced attack submarine on Friday, a move that French boat designer Naval Group hopes will lead to additional sales in the region. The new vessel, named the Riachuelo, is a copy of Naval Group’s Scorpene-class submarine, though slightly bigger, at 1,870 tons, to enable more crew and longer range. The submarine program’s objective is protecting the vast resource-rich waters all along the country’s coastline, dubbed the Blue Amazon, outgoing Brazilian President Michel Temer told an audience at the launch ceremony at Itaguai naval base outside Rio de Janeiro. Defense News attended the launch and accepted airfare and accommodations from Naval Group.
The Riachuelo, considered roughly 80 percent complete at this point, is the first product of the Brazilian navy’s $8.9bn Prosub program. She is scheduled to begin sea trials next summer. Three identical, diesel-propelled boats are slated to follow by 2023, based on a technology-transfer contract with the French shipbuilder. A joint venture between Naval Group and local construction conglomerate Odebrecht, named ICN, assembles the boats at the new Itaguai submarine shipyard built for the program.
The real prize for the Brazilian navy, however, will only come afterwards. Beginning in the mid-2020s, the country’s military wants to start building what Naval Group chief HervéGuillou calls the “ultimate ambition” – a program of nuclear-powered submarines.
Design work for the first nuclear submarine is already underway, with the French shipbuilder providing “assistance,” as a company brochure puts it, and the Brazilian navy in a more prominent role. The sea service here will manage all aspects of the power plant development, for example.
“Brazil is absolutely critical for Naval Group and other European players to be present here,” Guillou told reporters at Naval Group’s Rio de Janeiro office. That’s because European countries, even those spending two percent of GDP on defense, a NATO-wide objective, are unable to match the growth rate of South America’s expected military spending, he said.
The foray into Brazil and other emerging markets offers the opportunity for “critical mass” to help bridge dips in demand at home, according to Guillou.
The French shipbuilder already has its eyes on another target, Poland, which the CEO said he wants to similarly develop into a submarine hub for regional navies. European rival shipyards Saab and Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems are also in the running for that country’s program, however, each with local work-share ambitions of their own.
Friday’s launch ceremony ended with Temer and his successor, far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, jointly pressing a large red button initiating the machinery for lowering the Riachuelo into the water.
“Brazil has a vocation for peace and is building its submarine not to threaten anyone or unsettle the calm of international waters,” Temer was quoted as saying in a local Reuters report. “Brazil is building submarines because a nation with more than 7,000 kilometers of coastline cannot do without tools to defend its sovereignty and its marine riches,” he said. Bolsonaro had no speaking part in the ceremony. (Source: Defense News)
17 Dec 18. Aus Industry helps to keep us ‘battle ready and deployed’: RADM Mead. The relationship between industry and Navy serves a critical role in supporting the introduction of future capabilities, while keeping the existing fleet at sea and mission capable in defence of the nation and its interests, Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead has told Defence Connect.
As Australia continues its $90bn naval shipbuilding program, collaboration between Defence and industry will play a critical role throughout the manufacturing, maintenance and sustainment cycles of Navy’s future frigates, submarines and offshore patrol vessels.
This next phase of the warship and submarine capability acquisition marks the turning point for both Navy as an operational force and industry as a long-term partner, invested in the sovereign capability of Australia’s defence capabilities.
For Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, the recent program milestones mark major progress towards meeting the capabilities outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper, while enhancing industry involvement in supporting the development of sovereign industrial capability.
“The announcements made in the last week really are the culmination of many years of hard work on the OPV, future submarines and future frigate programs, and it is great to see all the infrastructure breaking ground ahead of the building process,” RADM Mead told Defence Connect.
The 2016 Defence White Paper (DWP) and its focus on supporting industry through the sovereign industry capability and naval shipbuilding plans sought to respond to increased regional tensions and forge a path forward, following nearly two decades of ‘valleys of death’, cost and delivery overruns and shrinking defence budgets.
“The 2016 White Paper forced a major reset for us in Defence. It took us down the process of being more efficient throughout the procurement process, from contracting through to maintenance and sustainment,” RADM Mead said.
Learning lessons from the past
Much is known about the challenges faced throughout the procurement and maintenance cycles of key navy projects like the Collins Class submarines and the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers.
Design and manufacturing delays stemming from a variety of design and contractual issues throughout the early stages of the programs, combined with changing capability requirements, hindered the successful delivery of the key platforms, providing insights for major naval capability acquisition programs moving forward.
RADM Mead told Defence Connect, “One of the greatest lessons we learned through the Collins and Hobart programs was the necessity of combining the designer and shipbuilder, now sometimes they’re the one entity, but getting the integrated collaboration early on is critical to the success of these major projects.”
Adding to this, RADM Mead was quick to identify the importance of clearly defined operational capabilities for major naval assets, like the future submarines and guided missile frigates, to minimise additional cost and delivery overruns.
Improving the relationships
RADM Mead was quick to recognise that the relationships between Defence, Navy and industry had not always been as collaborative as they currently are, particularly following the challenges throughout the Collins and Hobart programs, but identified that while much had improved between the organisations there was always room for improvement.
Mead credited the reformation of DMO into CASG as providing a “quantum leap” in the level of industry and Navy engagement and collaboration and was critical to ensuring the improved relations currently enjoyed.
“What I have noticed with the businesses and the companies that succeed is that they keep the lines of communication open and they’re willing to take criticism from us when it is warranted. Navy has to be open to the model too, what we expect of industry we must model ourselves,” RADM Mead told Defence Connect.
For RADM Mead, the importance of these relationships goes beyond the initial procurement phase and extends to the through-life support for these key platforms, as industry plays an important part in keeping the Navy’s ships and submarines at sea, operational and mission capable over their life cycle.
The growing importance of Australian SMEs throughout the supply chain also plays a critical role in supporting the Navy’s mission of being “Battle Ready and Deployed”, and RADM Mead identified that both Navy and Defence had made great strides in supporting Australian SMEs become integrated within large defence projects, particularly major naval projects like SEA 1000 and SEA 5000.
RADM Mead told Defence Connect, “The first principals review saw us shift from having the same contracting process for a project worth $10m and a project worth $50bn, to a more flexible approach. We found that it stifled industry and highlighted the need for us to work more closely with industry to keep our existing and future vessels capable throughout their life cycles.”
As he identified, when 20-30 per cent of a project cost is in the initial procurement and the remaining 70-80 per cent is spread across the maintenance and sustainment cycles, robust, collaborative relationships with industry are critical to keeping Navy capable throughout the coming decades. (Source: Defence Connect)
16 Dec 18. Canada is looking for a way out of big Saudi arms deal, says PM. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in an interview that aired on Sunday, said for the first time that his Liberal government was looking for a way out of a multibillion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
The comments represented a notable hardening in tone from Trudeau, who previously said there would be huge penalties for scrapping the $13bn agreement for armoured vehicles made by the Canadian unit of General Dynamics Corp. Last month, Trudeau said Canada could freeze the relevant export permits if it concluded the weapons had been misused.
“We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV. He did not give further details.
Political opponents, citing the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen war, insist Trudeau should end the General Dynamics deal, which was negotiated by the previous Conservative government.
Relations between Ottawa and Riyadh have been tense since a diplomatic dispute over human rights earlier this year. Ottawa says it has been consulting allies on what steps to take after Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“The murder of a journalist is absolutely unacceptable and that’s why Canada from the very beginning had been demanding answers and solutions on that,” said Trudeau. (Source: Reuters)
16 Dec 18. Major Canadian Export Control Legislation Receives Royal Assent. Bill C-47, An Act to amend the Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code (amendments permitting the accession to the Arms Trade Treaty and other amendments), which the Senate of Canada passed on December 6, 2018, has now received royal assent, the process by which a bill becomes an act of Parliament and part of the law of Canada. Canada’s existing system of export controls meets or exceeds the majority of Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) provisions, but to both enhance transparency and fully comply with the ATT, thi s legislation amends the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) and one section of the Criminal Code of Canada that:
- Establish controls over brokering in military goods between two countries outside of Canada: To meet its obligations under article 10 of the ATT, Canada is required to implement brokering controls. Under the bill, brokering is defined as arranging or negotiating a transaction that relates to the movement of goods or technology (on a new brokering control list) from a foreign country to another foreign country. The bill amends the EIPA to prohibit brokering transactions involving the movement of arms from one foreign country to another foreign country without a permit. This applies to any person or organization in Canada, as well as to any Canadian citizen, permanent resident or Canadian organization abroad. Canada’s brokering controls will exceed the ATT requirements by covering more goods and technology, by controlling brokering by Canadians abroad and by weighing brokering transactions against the ATT’s assessment factors. This legislation will be further specified through a series of regulations. These regulations will set out the scope of items and activities captured by brokering controls, specific requirements when applying for a brokering permit and expedited measures for lower-risk transfers. Canada will accede to the ATT once all the necessary regulatory changes are implemented.
- Create a legal obligation for the minister of foreign affairs to consider certain assessment criteria before authorizing permits: Article 7 of the ATT requires that each state party take several criteria into consideration before authorizing the export of items covered by the treaty. The bill establishes a new legal obligation for the minister of foreign affairs. The assessment criteria that the minister must take into account are listed in the legislation itself. The EIPA now includes the specific obligations contained in article 7 of the ATT, notably the risk that the specific good or technology would be used to contribute to undermining or to undermine peace and security, or that it could be used to commit or facilitate: a(i) serious violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law; (ii) an act of terrorism or an act relating to transnational organized crime; or (iii) a serious act of either gender-based violence or violence against women and children. It now also includes a substantial risk clause that will mean that Global Affairs Canada would need to ensure—before the export of controlled goods—that we have a high level of confidence that those exports will not be used to commit human rights abuses.
- Increase the maximum fine under the EIPA from $25,000 to $250,000 for summary conviction offences: The bill also introduces other changes indirectly related to the ATT that will directly strengthen Canada’s export control system. It designates by law an annual May 31 deadline for the federal government to table two reports in Parliament: the Report on the Administration of the Export and Import Permits Act and the Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada. The government is also working with interested stakeholders to enhance transparency by making these reports clearer and more user-friendly. The legislation remains consistent with Canada’s existing export controls and system of assessing export permit applications. These changes do not impact the legitimate and lawful use of sporting firearms.
In preparation for the entry into force of Bill C-47, Global Affairs Canada is launching a public consultation on proposed changes to Canada’s export controls regime. To participate in the consultation, interested parties are encouraged to review the background information and provide feedback through the online questionnaire. Should you prefer to provide your comments directly to Global Affairs Canada, either as an individual or on behalf of an organization, or for any questions concerning this consultation, please contact the Export Controls Policy Division. Canadians have until 11:59 pPM (Pacific Time) on January 31, 2019, to submit their responses, comments and suggestions. (Source: glstrade.com)
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