Articles on Submarines

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Defence Minister Marise Payne inherited a draft of the defence white paper last year, but wanted to put her own stamp on it. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Defence white paper: an extra $29.9 billion spending over a decade

The defence white paper will pledge an additional $29.9 billion in defence spending over the coming decade and support for businesses to innovate in areas such as cyber security and aeronautics.
Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull’s predecessor as prime minister, enjoyed a close relationship with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. AAP/Ian Waldie

Turnbull aims to retain ‘closest friend’ tag in first Japan visit

Australia looks set to continue to confront its core foreign policy dilemma: balancing relations between its largest trading partner, China, and its key security partners, the US and Japan.
A submarine missile-launching capacity brings the threat closer to the shores of the target country. Flickr/Marion Doss

North Korea’s submarine missile firing raises the nuclear stakes

North Korea does not yet have the capacity to launch a nuclear missile from a submarine. Its recent test, however, suggests it is making progress to a game-changing second-strike capability.
The National Civic Council, a Christian lobby group, orchestrated a massive email campaign before the spill motion to pressure MPs to support Tony Abbott’s leadership. AAP/Jane Dempster

Cabinet committee favoured foreign construction of subs: Four Corners

Cabinet's national security committee last October favoured Australia's new submarine fleet being mostly constructed overseas with the ASC having only limited work.
The government’s political play on submarines could backfire. Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Tender doublespeak adds risk to submarine decision

Days after announcing Australia’s largest ever defence contract will be awarded via a “competitive evaluation process”, the government is still scrambling for a sensible definition of what such a process…
AAP/Tony Phillips

Substandard strategic thinking

Of all the questions that have emerged about the future make-up of Australia’s new submarine fleet, one has been conspicuous by its absence: do we actually need them in the first place? No doubt strategic…
Defence Minister Kevin Andrews has stood by the term “competitive evaluation process” despite many questioning what it means. Nikki Short/AAP

Too much at stake for weasel words on submarines

It appeared to be the announcement Australian industry had been waiting for. Finally, political pressure on prime minister Tony Abbott’s leadership had forced a “fair go” for Australian shipbuilding. On…
If Tony Abbott loses office in the near future, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will suffer a not-inconsiderable setback. EPA/Barbara Walton

Why Japan has a big stake in the fate of Tony Abbott’s leadership

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott dusts himself down after what might be the first of a number of challenges to his leadership, interest in Japan about Australian politics is acute. Japanese political elites…
Defence’s year in 2015 will be defined primarily by its response to the forthcoming white paper. AAP/Hugh Peterswald

Shaping 2015: Andrews must show $30b defence budget is well spent

Australia has decisively responded to the strategic uncertainty of contemporary East Asia by forming committees and undertaking reviews. 2015 brings with it Australia’s third defence white paper in six…
Defence Minister David Johnston has offshore-produced submarines in his sights. Lukas Coch/AAP

Government in a rush to make the wrong decision on submarines

In the last week, Defence Minister David Johnston has flagged a “capability gap” if the next fleet of submarines is designed and built in Australia. “We are under such time constraints to avoid a capability…
Oh hey, just picking up a few Kanelbulle on the way home. Victor Ochieng

Why would a Russian submarine be lurking in waters off Sweden?

Rumours of a Russian submarine hanging around off the coast of Sweden have inspired much Cold War nostalgia. But while there is of course the chance that something fishy is going on, there are many plausible…

Defence: sub-optimal naval gazing

Rumour has it Australia is about to spend an awful lot of money buying some new submarines. This may not be the sort of thing to get the pulses of the casual reader racing, but it ought to be, not least…
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…

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