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The French submarine, Shortfin Barracuda, designed by the DCNS group, to be the design base for Australia’s new fleet. AAP Image/DCNS Group

What do we want from Australia’s new submarines?

Australia's new submarine fleet will be designed for a range of different missions in our challenging maritime environment.
If Tony Abbott is disappointed by the failure to choose Japan to build Australia’s new submarines, the only one he can blame is himself. AAP/Ben Macmahon

Submarines decision ultimately shows the merits of partisan debate on defence

Like oil and water, party politics and good defence policy are presumed not to mix. And the process to buy Australia's next fleet of submarines has been all about party politics.
DCNS’ ‘Shortfin Barracuda’ was the winning design for Australia’s next submarine fleet. AAP/DCNS Group

French company DCNS wins race to build Australia’s next submarine fleet: experts respond

The Conversation’s experts respond to key aspects of the announcement that French company DCNS will be build Australia's next fleet of submarines.
An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter on a night mission in the US. Flickr/Lockheed Martin

Hacking the secrets of Australia’s Joint Strike Fighter

Design details of Australia’s new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) have been stolen by Chinese spies, according to reports this week, although it’s not clear whether the information was highly classified…
Prime Minister Tony Abbot in the pilot seat of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. AAP/Alan Porritt

Take out the pilot from Australia’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Prime Minister Tony Abbott sat in the pilot seat of a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the time he announced his government will buy an additional 58 planes at a cost of at least A$12.4 billion. But imagine…
The F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. Flickr/Lockheed Martin

Australia’s jump jet strike fighter option: lessons from the UK

If Australia is serious about buying the jump jet version of the Joint Strike Fighter it would be wise to look at why the UK is the only country to change its mind on which version of the aircraft to buy…
Could the jump version of the Joint Strike Fighter be heading for Australia? Flickr/Lockheed Martin

Jump jet strike fighters for Australia would come at a cost

Senior Australian Defence Force (ADF) officers confirmed during Senate estimates this week that Prime Minister Tony Abbott had ordered Defence to examine options for Australia to acquire the jump jet version…
The three variants of the F-35 Joinst Strike Fighter described as fifth-generation aircraft. Joint Strike Fighter

The F-35 JSF: what is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft?

Any conversation about Australia’s commitment to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter refers to it as a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. But what exactly is a fifth-generation aircraft, and why is it important…
Two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in action. AAP Image/Department of Defence, Lockheed Martin

What do we need of a military fighter aircraft?

Now the Australian Government has committed to a further 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft it is time to ask whether this is a good idea, will we be getting value for money – and will the JSF…
Australia now plans to have 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin. AAP/Lockheed Martin, Matthew Short

The Joint Strike Fighter: is it the right aircraft for Australia?

The Australian Government’s mission to upgrade the defence force fleet of ageing aircraft with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been controversial since it began more than a decade ago. Australia formally…
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The best security money can buy?

The news that Australia is about to spend $24 billion on a new generation of fighter aircraft has been greeted with remarkably little critical comment or analysis. It is hard to imagine that any other…
Made in the UK: nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard and Type 45 frigate HMS Dragon. MOD/Tam McDonald

Costly to keep afloat: Britain’s waning warship industry

The controversy over the BAE Systems decision on warship building has been dominated by myth, emotion and pleading. Arguments are raging about English versus Scottish jobs, about shipbuilding as a key…
Does Australia really need 12 Joint Strike Fighters? U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago

Preparing for peace: it’s time to rethink defence spending

The most interesting question relating to the cuts in defence spending announced in the budget is whether they signify the early stages of rethinking security strategy. Of course they should, because there…
Are Australia’s Collins class a feat of engineering genius or an expensive boondoggle? iStock

In deep water: where now for the Collins class submarines?

In 2011 Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announced a review on the Sustainment of Australia’s Collins Class submarines. The review is led by John Coles, an independent expert from BMT Defence Services…

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