Australian Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


noticed (dated December 15, 2017)
China has warned Australia to keep out of the South China Sea dispute
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CHINA’S naval chief has told his Australian counterpart that his country’s actions on the South China Sea run counter to the ‘general trend of peace and stability’ in the disputed waterway.

This is despite Beijing last year having been judged in contravention of international law over its assertive moves to build artificial islands well within waters claimed by neighbours including the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Australia, a close ally of the United States, has repeatedly expressed concern over the disputed South China Sea, where China continues to expand and arm its outposts.

Australia has previously drawn criticism from China for running surveillance flights over the South China Sea and supporting US freedom of navigation exercises there.

However, Australia has not conducted a unilateral freedom of navigation voyage of its own.

China claims most of the South China Sea, a strategic waterway where $A4.2 trillion worth of goods passes every year. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have overlapping claims.

Meeting in Beijing, China’s navy commander Shen Jinlong told Australian Vice Admiral Tim Barrett that at present the situation in the South China Sea was “steady and good”, China’s Defence Ministry said in a statement late yesterday.

“But in the last year the Australian military’s series of actions in the South China Sea have run counter to the general trend of peace and stability,” the ministry cited Shen as saying, without pointing to any specific examples.

“This does not accord with the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries nor the atmosphere of the forward steps in co-operation in all areas between the two countries,” Shen added.

“This also is not beneficial to the overall picture of regional peace and stability.”

Over the past week or so China and Australia have also traded barbs over Canberra’s allegation that Beijing had sought to interfere in Australian politics, with China summoning Australia’s ambassador to complain last week.

China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a US think tank said on Thursday.

In August, Australia, Japan and the United States urged Southeast Asia and China to ensure that a South China Sea code of conduct they have committed to draw up will be legally binding and said they strongly opposed “coercive unilateral actions”.

While the diplomatic stoush over China’s construction of artificial islands, airfields and military bases in theSouth China Sea has quietened in the past year, Beijing’s building activity has not.

According to
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, substantial structures have continued to be erected at Fiery Cross, Subi, and Mischief Reefs in the Spratlys, and North, Tree, and Triton Islands in the Paracels.

While dredging and land reclamation work appears to have paused, work continues on turning the artificial islands into heavily defended naval and air bases.

“These include buildings ranging from underground storage areas and administrative buildings to large radar and sensor arrays,” the report reads.

FIERY CROSS REEF: Large hangars have been completed alongside its airstrip, and work continues on large underground structures likely designed to house ammunition and fuel. There is also a large new sensor tower, a high-frequency radar array and various communications facilities scattered about the island. Hardened shelters have also been completed for missile launchers.

SUBI REEF: Buried ammunition storage facilities have been observed to be completed, along with ongoing construction work on its hangars, missile shelters and radar infrastructure. Among its more unusual features is two ‘elephant’s cage’ arrays of towers for signals intelligence.

MISCHIEF REEF: Underground facilities for ammunition have been finished, as have hardened hangars and missile shelters. New radar and communications arrays have been observed.

TREE ISLAND: Dreging and land reclamation work continued until midyear. A helipad has been built, and solar and wind generators added to existing facilities on the island.

NORTH ISLAND: An intense storm washed away a land bridge China was attempting to build between North Island and Middle Island. Work on the project appears to have been abandoned. But a retaining wall has been around surviving reclaimed land housing an administrative building.

TRITON ISLAND: Two new radar domes have been added, along with a scattering of buildings. The waters around this island have seen several incidents involving US and Vietnam.

WOODY ISLAND: Already established as China’s South China Sea Headquarters, Woody Island has not seen any new construction work. It has, however, hosted several deployments of military aircraft.


in case you didn't know Australian Destroyer Will be First Foreign Warship to Install Raytheon’s Cooperative Engagement Capability
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The Royal Australian Navy is set to become the first foreign force using Raytheon’s sensor-netting system that creates a real-time composite network picture for operators at sea.

Raytheon’s Cooperative Engagement Capability system – a key enabler of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) construct – will be certified by the U.S. Navy for its first international installation aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s guided-missile cruiser HMAS Hobart (DDG-39), Raytheon recently announced. The company has completed its design, development and testing and is awaiting Navy certification before delivering the system to Australia in the coming months, according to a company news release.

“The addition of CEC is a major building block for Australia in their defense against anti-air warfare threats in the Pacific Region,” U.S. Navy Capt. Jonathan Garcia, CEC major program manager within the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, said in the Raytheon news release.
“This delivery to Australia marks a significant first – expanding the CEC network globally and increasing the U.S. Navy interoperability with a valued, strategic ally.”

Hobart, commissioned in September, is equipped with the Aegis Combat System and its AN/SPY 1D(V) phased array radar. When used in combination with the SM-2 missile, Hobart can provide an advanced air defense system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles more than 90 miles away, according to the Australian Navy.

CEC will expand the ship’s battle space awareness by sharing sensor data among a network of other Australian and allied CEC-equipped ships and aircraft and pulling all that real-time data into a single integrated picture for operators aboard the destroyer, according to a statement released by Raytheon.

Australia is one of three Pacific allies — along with Japan and South Korea —
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. The addition of CEC further increases the ability for the Royal Australian Navy to operate alongside the U.S. and allied navies, giving the ships the ability to share targeting and other data in real time with ships and planes operating in the Pacific.

Starting in early 2018, Raytheon will begin transferring certified hardware and software for installation aboard Hobart and sister ship Brisbane (DDG-41). Raytheon will provide support throughout the integration, testing and sea trials.


now noticed the photo-ops
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by Leading Seaman Imagery Specialist Helen Frank HMA Ships Canberra, Anzac, Sirius, Parramatta and Melbourne operate together off the Australian East Coast during Exercise Ocean Raider
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Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Australia to assist NZDF with refuelling services

The New Zealand Defence Force’s decommissioning of replenishment tanker vessel HMNZS Endeavour on Friday has left the country relying on Australia for refuelling services until 2020.

The tanker ship had been in service for 30 years, returning from its last deployment in June. Its replacement, HMNZS Aotearoa, will not be in service until January 2020.

A Defence Force spokesperson told Radio New Zealand the Australian Navy would assist with refueling until HMNZS Aotearoa is in service.

"The Royal New Zealand Navy works on a reciprocal basis with the Royal Australian Navy and other allied navies when it comes to providing fleet fuelling services and other operational requirements in circumstances such as this," the spokesperson said.
"This shared resourcing is very common amongst partner navies."

The co-operation between both nation's navies is not unusual, with Australia and New Zealand previously forming a joint task force for disaster relief operations, headed up by HMNZS Canterbury, which was, at the time, the only suitable vessel available to both navies.

HMNZS Aotearoa, a 24,000-tonne vessel, will accommodate 64 crew and will be the largest ship ever operated by the New Zealand Navy. The vessel will have twice the displacement of HMNZS Endeavour and will carry 30 per cent more fuel.

South Korean firm Hyundai Heavy Industries is building Aotearoa.

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just web browsing on the train:
Message from Head JSF Division – AVM Leigh Gordon AM, CSM
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The operational tempo of the Joint Strike Fighter Division remains high as we approach the end of what has been an incredibly busy year. I would like to thank everyone involved in the F-35 enterprise – both Defence and industry – for their efforts to ensure the Australian F-35A Project remains on schedule for First Aircraft Arrival (FAA) in December 2018 and Initial Operating Capability (IOC) by the end of 2020.

In early November I was pleased to represent the Chief of Air Force at the
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where I met with Ms Ellen Lord (United States [US] Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) and Ms Heidi Grant (US Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs). During these bilateral meetings I reinforced the benefits of cooperative programs like the F-35 Program, including: supporting interoperability with Partner nations; more diversity of thinking and therefore better problem solving and project outcomes; and material contributions by Partners to projects, including funding. Ms Lord recognised that cooperative programs support the three priorities of US Secretary for Defense James Mattis, specifically in the areas of delivering military capability to the warfighter, engagement and reducing cost.

During my brief visit to the Middle East I also took time to meet with Royal Australian Air Force personnel deployed to Australia’s main logistics base in the region. I passed on my thanks for their efforts in helping to sustain Australian Defence Force operations in the Middle East and answered questions about the Australian F-35A Project.

Last month
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at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, marking another major milestone in Australia’s F-35A Project. No. 3 Squadron markings were applied to the aircraft in early November – this was the final stage in the production process before the aircraft undergoes several weeks of ground and flight testing at Fort Worth. We are planning to accept A35-003 and our fourth aircraft, A35-004, in January and I am looking forward to this positive start to 2018. Both aircraft will join A35-001 and A35-002 in the training pool at the international F-35A Pilot Training Centre (PTC) at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. More than 270 F-35 aircraft have now been delivered to Partner Nations in the F-35 Program, operating from bases in the US, Italy, Norway, Japan and Israel. The F-35 Program is a truly global enterprise and Australia is proud to be a Partner Nation.

As part of the F-35A reprogramming solution, JSF Division is executing
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. This project will upgrade the mission data capability of Defence’s Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support to meet the requirements of modern fifth-generation combat systems. In September, SRC Australia was awarded a $17 million Defence contract to help deliver the Ghosthawk mission support system. This partnership with SRC Australia highlights the continued opportunities being presented to Australian industry as a result of the Australian F-35A Project and I look forward to developments in that important capability next year as we move towards FAA.

On the topic of FAA, there is a buzz in the air at RAAF Base Williamtown as personnel prepare for the arrival of the first two F-35A aircraft for permanent basing in Australia. During October,
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were successfully tested at the recently commissioned
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, while the fourth and final annual
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in September brought together personnel from Defence, industry, the US F-35 Joint Program Office, and Prime Contractors Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney to assess the base’s readiness to support critical F-35A air operations. Monthly reviews have now commenced in the lead-up to FAA.

Of course, none of this can happen without the commitment of our people. In November I had the pleasure of presenting a bronze commendation to the JSF Division finance team, members of which have continued to demonstrate their personal drive and resilience in an ever-changing environment. This small team actively participates in the F-35A Project’s business, while ensuring the reforms of the finance shared services arrangement are implemented. I greatly appreciate the financial support provided by Leanne Connor and her team. I was also very glad to recently approve a silver commendation for our Information Manager, Alistair Dally, who has served in the JSF Division for four years. Alistair and his team have made a significant contribution to the effectiveness of the Integrated Project Team by delivering a number of efficiency enhancements to the SharePoint system, which have saved an estimated 3,000 working hours annually. I know I can speak on behalf of all members of the Division when I say this work has been greatly appreciated. I would also like to congratulate Flight Lieutenant Mitchel Heming on his Defence Support Services Silver Commendation, which Director-General JSF Acquisition and Sustainment (DGJAS), Air Commodore Terry Saunder, presented to him during the Site Activation Task Force Activity at Williamtown in September. Flight Lieutenant Heming was instrumental as the Facilities Support Officer during his posting to JSF Division from 2014-16, playing a key role in the design, delivery and commissioning of critical F-35A facilities at RAAF Bases Tindal and Williamtown.

We also had the pleasure of hosting the first two Australian F-35A pilots at our offices at Brindabella Park in Canberra during November. Wing Commander Andrew Jackson and Squadron Leader David Bell are based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, instructing at the international PTC. The pilots were in Australia to help members of the Air Combat Transition Office and JSF Division develop the Verification & Validation plan for when the first F-35A aircraft begin arriving at Williamtown. This is extremely important work and I thank everyone for their efforts in this process.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank the outgoing DGJAS, Air Commodore Terry Saunder, for his commitment and critical work during his three years with JSF Division. On 11 December, Terry passed the baton on to his replacement, Air Commodore Damien Keddie, and will retire from the Royal Australian Air Force at the end of February 2018 after more than 38 years of dedicated service. He achieved much success during his career and has been instrumental in driving the Australian F-35A Project forward. Terry will be sorely missed and I wish him and his family well as they enter this new stage of life. With this, I formally welcome Air Commodore Damien Keddie as the new DGJAS. Damien has a wealth of acquisition and sustainment experience and I have no doubt he will continue Terry’s efforts in ensuring the Division works hard to deliver the F-35A capability as we move towards FAA and IOC in the years to come.

It has been an incredibly busy year and next year will be no different – in fact, the tempo will only increase. I ask for the same high level of commitment displayed thus far as we work hard in the lead-up to FAA and IOC. Success will depend on the combined efforts of the entire F-35 enterprise and I look forward to continuing our work as we lead the introduction of this transformational capability on behalf of Defence.

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
in case you didn't know Australian Destroyer Will be First Foreign Warship to Install Raytheon’s Cooperative Engagement Capability
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Excellent...this is an important capability.

If they could also get the Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFCA-CA) capability that would be great...but I do not believe that capability is available for the version of AEGIS on these smaller vessels. Only Flight IIA and Flight II vessels will have that capability.

But CEC is VERY good!

asif iqbal

Aussies going down under

Hopefully they should avoid getting to annoying to Chinese

This will effect trade in the long term


now I read this Australian viewpoint:
The old order ends
January 7, 2018
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In 2017, Australians had to acknowledge that the global order that had shaped the world since the end of World War II was over. Not challenged. Not changing. Over. The old order never functioned perfectly but its central objectives were always clear. Its normative values, set out in documents such as the preamble to the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, were economically open and politically liberal. Effective multilateral institutions with universal membership would knit closer ties. And security would be underpinned by US leadership and a network of American alliances. That world’s no longer there.

The year began, appropriately enough, with the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January. The new administration’s early and easily disprovable claims that this event had been witnessed by record crowds suggested that we were dealing with a different sort of American president. If Australians harboured any residual doubt, it was banished a week or so later when, in an unprecedented leak, we learned the details of the first telephone call between President Trump and Malcolm Turnbull. The familiar, comfortable conventions of such conversations between close allies were spectacularly absent.

Twelve months later, we’re in danger of normalising Trump’s approach and behaviour. We really shouldn’t. When the US president is admonished by a spokesman for the Conservative prime minister of the United Kingdom for tweeting fake anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right fringe group, you know something serious has happened to the Western alliance.

Australian and American interests have often differed before, but what’s new this time is the divergence of values. President Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, designed to support the open trading system which the US itself created. His support for the rule of law has been ambiguous at best. He has criticised close allies and failed to defend the values of democracy.

The US State Department has been drained of people and is led by a secretary of state who looks as though he would rather be anywhere else. In multilateral institutions, the United States is simply abandoning the field. The administration has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement and from UNESCO. It is bringing the dispute resolution system of the World Trade Organization to its knees by vetoing appointments of new judges.

No doubt a more familiar sort of American government will take office in three or seven years, but the United States has been fundamentally altered by this experience. The high water mark of American liberal internationalism has passed.

Equally significant changes took place in China. The Communist Party Congress in October cemented Xi Jinping’s position as the party-state’s strongest leader since Mao. The year marked the clear end of China’s cautious policy, formulated by Deng Xiaoping, of “hiding its brightness and biding its time”. You can’t do that when, by some measures, you are already the largest economy in the world.

China moved out to shape the world, establishing new institutions like the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and promoting its geo-economic plans through the Belt and Road Initiative. President Xi asserted Chinese leadership on climate change and, less plausibly, open trade. This was also the year we had to abandon any expectations that, as it grew, China would gradually democratise and become more like us.

One of the areas where Chinese influence was growing fastest was Southeast Asia. New challenges were thrown up in our immediate region as several Southeast Asian governments, including the Philippines and Cambodia, took on unpleasantly authoritarian aspects. Even in Indonesia, the Chinese-Christian former governor of Jakarta was jailed for two years for blasphemy.

The year 2017 was also the year in which North Korea became a fully fledged nuclear power and no one knew what to do about it. Twenty rocket tests, including of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and new nuclear warheads, brought Pyongyang close to having the capability to threaten the continental United States. The strongest ever UN sanctions and provocative tweets from President Trump did nothing to reduce Kim Jong-un’s dangerous potential to spark a war.

In Europe, Britain finally triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and began the painful process of disengaging from the Continent. The negotiations were led by a Prime Minister Theresa May, who had sought a new electoral mandate but instead ended up with a hung parliament. Simultaneously weakening the European Union, the United Kingdom and the trans-Atlantic relationship, Brexit will lastingly damage Western institutions.

Everywhere, it seemed, conventional politics were being tested. In Europe, the French election was won by an insurgent outsider, Emmanuel Macron, in a run-off contest with the previously marginal National Front. Secessionist forces in Catalonia threatened the unity of Spain, the Eurozone’s fourth-largest economy. Even Germany, the sober centre of the European Union, was without a government at the end of the year, a sign of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s diminished authority.

In the Middle East, there was some good news as Islamic State (IS) forces were pushed back in Iraq and Syria. But the new 32-year-old Saudi Crown Prince sharpened divisions by asserting Sunni interests against Iran and Shi’a forces in Yemen, Lebanon and Qatar. In December, President Trump abandoned long-standing international policy to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Hopes that the new US administration might be able to bring off a ‘Nixon to China’ moment on Israel-Palestine peace seemed fanciful.

The struggle against terrorism continued with Australia providing training and intelligence support to Philippine forces fighting IS-aligned insurgents in southern Mindanao. But overwhelmingly the victims of terrorism were in the Middle East; in Tehran, Baghdad, Kabul, Syria and Egypt, where 305 worshippers were murdered in an IS attack on a mosque in Sinai in November.

Too often out of sight in Australia were the 135 million people the United Nations reported to be in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in places like East Africa, Lake Chad, Yemen and Syria. Closer to Australia, 600,000 Rohingya Moslem refugees from Myanmar sought sanctuary in Bangladesh.

No wonder, then, that the Australian Foreign Policy White Paper which came out at the end of the year described a contested and uncertain world in which the stakes have never been higher for Australia.

Australia itself was changing, too. Census data released in July showed that 28 per cent of the Australian population had been born overseas, a figure higher than at any point in the past 120 years. After English, the languages most frequently spoken in Australian homes were Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese and Vietnamese.

And we learned something else important about Australia during the year. In July, the journal Nature reported that luminescence dating studies of artefacts found in a rock shelter near Kakadu had pushed back the date of human settlement in Australia to an astonishing 65,000 years.

That’s enough to put even Donald Trump into perspective.