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Why no helo transport? Are we condemning our diggers to an easy victimology?

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Why no helo transport? Are we condemning our diggers to an easy victimology?

Old 25th Oct 2010, 21:16
  #121 (permalink)  
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TBM-Legend, the AWD keel disaster wasn't foreseen. If what I've heard is even halfway true, there are a lot more big dollar disasters to come with that particular project that have been.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 22:28
  #122 (permalink)  
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ADF Deployability of Armoured Elements

Hello all; new thread up now on the armour bit.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 22:29
  #123 (permalink)  
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Ignore and it will go away.......

Senator Fielding's impassioned plea in the Upper House yesterday for helicopter support for our troops in Afghanistan (point 2 of 3 points that he made - stemming from his visit there and discussions with troops and their commanders) HAS BEEN TOTALLY IGNORED by press coverage of the debate.
For an example, see this article from the Australian:

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Old 27th Oct 2010, 22:59
  #124 (permalink)  
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Two links for those who, earlier in the thread, dismissed concerns expressed by Bushranger 71 and others about the high prices and high operating costs of the rotary wing (non)assets the ADFs is(n't) currently employing.

Defence outlines worries over dwindling budget at a time forces are in demand | The Australian

The department, set a long-term capped budget, remains concerned the government will look for further savings. "Defence consumes approximately 9 per cent of government outlays and is typically seen either as largely discretionary spending or at least more capable of being financially reshaped than other government agencies," the briefs state.

"Indeed, there still exists a view that . . . there is still 'plenty of fat' within Defence. These views, although ill-conceived, render Defence an obvious target for any major budget reshaping."
Diggers exposed as costs blow out | The Australian

ALMOST a third of the weaponry, armour, system and support upgrades promised to Australian troops in Afghanistan have encountered problems.
The Gillard government has been warned that these issues could result in delays or cost blowouts.

As parliament continues to debate Australia's role in Afghanistan, amid expectations of a greater number of casualties, it appears those on the front line remain dangerously over-exposed. In the middle of last year, after visiting Afghanistan for the first time, then defence minister John Faulkner ordered a force protection review, which was completed later last year and led to a $1.1 billion package of budget initiatives.
Did anyone else read the Defence Supplement in 'The Australian' a few days ago? ('The Weekend Australian', I think it was.) Lazy journalism at its worst, and the journalists at 'The Australian' should be ashamed of themselves - the so-called 'articles' on the current state of our defence forces were nothing but a series of press releases taken directly from defence industry handouts. Everything is 'on track' and hunky dory, with ships and helicopters all to be on line and working wonderfully well 'soon'.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 23:41
  #125 (permalink)  
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I agree with you re the newspapers getting lazy. The first thing I do is look at the defence web site to see if they have released a press release. Soon shows if the newspapers have just copy and pasted it.

Re "hunky dory" - which as shown it is obviously not, lucky the ADF and other PS components are not a private company as heads would roll - like BHP's building cock ups in the last 15 years.

Although in some ways maybe it needs to run along the lines of a company.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 02:25
  #126 (permalink)  
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See the link at post #85 this thread for some reasonable commentary re helicopters.

There are a few journalists who have the scent that defence is a mess; but just as business heads have publicly stated they were threatened by some federal government ministers over the past year, so it seems that some newspaper editors also come under such pressure and their staff might be a bit restricted in what they can ferret.

What is needed now is a storm of letters to MinDef Stephen Smith highlighting how a flawed defence policy is withering ADF capabilities. We must maintain continuous adequate and credible combat readiness by optimizing in-service hardware, where cost-effective, and should not be religiously pursuing some conceptual capabilities plan toward a Force 2030 structure which might not be appropriate 2 decades hence.

The whole plot has been orchestrated to channel taxpayer funding into the major arms corporations who now largely parent defence industry in Australia. The dots are easily connected between some former high profile politicians and military leaders now connected with the arms industry. This is the murky aspect that the media probably would not be brave enough to tackle.
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Old 1st Nov 2010, 07:35
  #127 (permalink)  
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Article from today's WA Newspaper.Buying high-tech defence kit always risky Max Blenkin

November 1, 2010 - 11:59AM
Buying high-tech defence equipment is always risky, and attempts to eliminate that risk could result in Australian forces going to war with obsolete weapons, a new study says.
The study says despite many inquiries defence procurement projects continue to experience cost overruns, delays and shortfalls in performance, such as the plan to acquire Seasprite helicopters, which was dumped at vast cost.
In the paper, published in the latest edition of the Kokoda Foundation journal Security Challenges, former senior defence official Fred Bennett said there was always some risk, particularly in acquiring advanced high-tech equipment.
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"Problematic as it is, experimental risk cannot be avoided," Mr Bennett said.
"Attempting to do so involves a greater risk - that of going into battle with obsolete weapons systems."
Australia's succession of high-profile defence headaches has included projects to acquire the Seasprites, Collins submarines and Wedgetail early warning aircraft.
To avoid problems, countries can buy proven equipment already in service with other nations, a practice known as military off-the-shelf (MOTS).
Mr Bennett said such strategies created only an illusion of lower risk.
"But by precluding innovation or changes to meet Australia's unique needs and circumstances, those strategies expose future military operations to higher risk," he said.
Australia's relatively small defence force depended on the highest quality of personnel and the best and most suitable equipment.
"But a MOTS-based procurement strategy risks sending our forces into battle with yesterday's weapons designed to meet the needs of a different defence force in a different theatre of operations and unsupported by in-country capability for repair or adaptation to changing operational conditions," he said.
Mr Bennett said the first step was to openly acknowledge that advanced, technologically complex defence equipment projects featured high levels of uncertainty.
It could then be accepted that the schedule and cost of such projects could not be forecast in any meaningful way in the early stages.
"Perhaps the key to successful defence project outcomes is higher quality, better educated and more experienced project managers," he said.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 09:19
  #128 (permalink)  
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From Senator Fielding

As you would be aware, Parliament has recently been debating Australia’s commitment to Afghanistan.

You may be interested in the speech I recently delivered on this issue.


Steve F.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Speech by Senator Steve FIELDING

Leader of Family First


Firstly, I support our troops in Afghanistan because I believe it is still possible to ensure Afghanistan does not once again become a safe haven for terrorists. I believe that to pull our troops out of Afghanistan now would be an act of great betrayal. It would betray the lives of the 21 soldiers who have been killed in action. It would betray all those diggers who have been injured in action. It would betray the families and friends of those 21 soldiers who have been killed in action. It would betray the people of Afghanistan, who we have made a commitment to—to help them govern their country on their own. It would betray our close ally the United States, who we have committed to stand beside.

Does this mean that we can never withdraw our troops from Afghanistan? No. What is does mean is that we should be very careful about what we promise and about the scope of our commitment.
Currently, we have committed to help the people in Afghanistan by strengthening their security and defence forces in Oruzgan province so eventually the Afghans can look after themselves. Yes, I know there are other commitments but that is the one that I will focus on.

Obviously, we cannot stay in Afghanistan forever, but to walk out now while the job is half done would be crazy. It would be an act of great betrayal. But obviously all Australians are concerned about the casualties arising from this war. Losing one Australian soldier is horrific and hard to take, and as the death toll rises, more and more Australians are becoming uneasy about our involvement in Afghanistan.
In fact, as the death toll of Australian soldiers rises, along with the government stating it is only going to get worse, more and more Australians continue to question: ‘Why don’t we just pull out?’
especially when there is also a growing feeling we just cannot win this war.

I admit that I too had started to grow more and more uneasy with our involvement in Afghanistan. That was when I decided it was time to do what I have always done before reaching a conclusion on a significant
issue: get out of my office and go to the coalface and find out firsthand what is going on. So I requested a trip to Afghanistan. Even though I was very unhappy about how long it took the government to arrange for me to visit Afghanistan, I am thankful to the government for finally arranging a visit for me three months ago.

My objective for the visit was to see firsthand the conditions and hear from soldiers and their commanders their views on two big questions. The first question was: is it realistic to expect that once Australia completes its training and mentoring role that the Afghan army and security forces will be capable of operating effectively on their own? The second big question is: are we supporting our soldiers enough and ensuring we are not putting their lives at risk unnecessarily?

With regard to the first question, after talking with our soldiers, the Australian command, the US command, the Dutch command and the Afghan command, I do believe it is still realistic to conclude that our efforts in the training and mentoring of the Afghan army and security forces will allow the Afghan army and security forces eventually to operate effectively on their own. But I also acknowledge that the next two years is critical in determining whether Afghan army and security forces will eventually be able to operate effectively on their own. I believe they will, but the next two years is absolutely critical, and to pull out now would be crazy and a gross act of betrayal.

The second question, about support for our soldiers, is very tough because I was only with our troops in Afghanistan for a few days, but I do believe we can and should do more to support our soldiers and I will outline some specific recommendations that I hope the government will action with some priority. I am mindful that some may say it is inappropriate for me to make recommendations as I am not a defence expert and I have never served in the defence forces. I can understand those views. However, I make these recommendations based on personal observations, along with discussions with our soldiers and others.
Before moving onto my recommendations, I would like to emphasise how impressed I was with the professionalism and commitment our soldiers have towards their task—especially given the extremely tough environment and the life-threatening intensity of operations.

My first recommendation is that the government should implement a comprehensive, ongoing plan that engages and informs the general public on why Australia needs to be involved in Afghanistan. I will say that again: the government should implement a comprehensive, ongoing plan that engages and informs the general public on why Australia needs to be involved in Afghanistan. The rationale for this recommendation is that our soldiers on the front line are burdened by the growing sentiment from the public that they should not be in Afghanistan. I feel the government could do more to keep the public more supportive of our involvement in Afghanistan. It is heart wrenching to think what it would be like to be on that front line. I know we pay them, but it causes them heartache to know that back in Australia there is growing public sentiment that does not support what they are doing there.

Even back in July this year the government conceded they did need to do more when they stated:

… 55 per cent of Australians were “not confident Australia has clear aims in Afghanistan”.

How can the Australian public be supportive of what our troops are doing if 55 per cent of Australians are not confident Australia has clear aims in Afghanistan? How could it be that 90 per cent of politicians are out of step with the community? Because what I have heard throughout this debate is, I would estimate, 90 per cent of MPs saying, without a doubt, ‘We’re doing the right thing,’ but in the community we have allowed it to prevail that 55 per cent of Australians are not confident Australia has clear aims in Afghanistan.
That clearly is a responsibility of the government and it is very important. I know the government is doing a lot, but I make this first recommendation because I am burdened from what I saw over there talking to some of our soldiers.

Recommendation 2 is that the government should secure additional rotary wing capacity to adequately support our troops in Oruzgan province. The rationale for this recommendation is that we are placing our soldiers’ lives at an unnecessarily greater risk because tasks that should be performed by rotary wing support are being carried out by road or delayed because of lack of rotary wing support.

My final recommendation, recommendation 3, is that the government should implement a 12-month trial appointment of an independent soldiers advocate that has the responsibility to make direct recommendations to the regional commander of the operations. The rationale for this recommendation is that I detected that some soldiers felt that their concerns were not taken seriously or actioned adequately or in a timely manner. The soldiers advocate would ensure confidentiality for soldiers at all times as they work with the command on resolutions. I am not saying that the command has to do what is recommended by the soldiers advocate, but it would at least assure our soldiers on the front line that the top level has heard directly from them about significant issues. I think it is worth a pilot. I detected quite seriously that some soldiers felt their concerns were not taken seriously enough, and that burdens me greatly.

So where to from here? This Afghanistan debate is important, but its value will be short-lived unless the government is prepared to take action on these and other worthy recommendations. It is worth stressing that again: this Afghanistan debate is important, but its value will be short-lived unless the government is prepared to take action on these and other worthy recommendations from this debate.

I conclude by sharing how much admiration I have for our soldiers, especially those who work outside the wire. We have seen the pictures, we have seen the conditions and we know what it is like to have a 40-plus degree day, but I did not realise how harsh the conditions are in Afghanistan. Your body has to operate in stinking hot temperatures of 40-plus degrees and a dusty environment not just for a few days but for months. Your life is at risk not just for a few days but for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for months. You are always on the edge and alert, not just while you are awake but also while you sleep. You are subconsciously aware that it is not safe and your life is still at risk.

Your emotions are numb. Death and injury are all around you, no matter where you look. You hear that another one of your fellow diggers has lost their life or been injured. This tugs at every human’s heart, and I cannot say how humbling it was to talk to our soldiers on the front line. I thank them for allowing me into their world. I remember standing on the training ground where the combat engineers train the troops in the finding of improvised explosive devices, and I was nearly in tears—one step and you are gone.

People in this Senate know me. I have not made these recommendations lightly, and I urge the government to think about whether we can support our troops more. I believe that we can, and I have made these three recommendations because my heart was torn. We need to do more and we should do more. I do not want to take anything away from the support that the government gives our defence forces, but there are questions that have to be answered, and the implementation of the three recommendations I have made would go a long way with our defence forces.

There is one other issue that I will raise. When you come back to civilian life after months outside the wire, it must be nearly impossible to feel like a human being again. From what I understand from talking to people, some soldiers would probably use some of the services that we offer a lot more, but they are worried about what would go on their record if they used some of those services. I do not know how to solve that one, and that is why I have not put a recommendation down, but it is something that I think the government also needs to look at. I thank the Senate.

Question agreed to.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 21:50
  #129 (permalink)  
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For those who’ve taken apparent glee on this and earlier threads in shooting down Bushranger 71 and others who’ve decried the massive waste and lack of a timely operational product in the succession of gold-plated ‘Ferrari/Rolls Royce’ buys the ADF has made over the last few decades, here’s a book you really should take the time to read: ‘Boyd: the Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War”. ( boyd. the fighter pilot who changed the art of war - AbeBooks )

This book should be a must read for any officer and NCO in any of the three services, particularly those with aspirations of making a career in the service – and perhaps, in particular, every one of the currently under-employed AAVn Tiger and MRH-90 pilots sitting around their crewrooms waiting for their shiny super steeds to come on line.

For those non-fighter jocks among you who might, (as I was), be initially dismissive of the seemingly typical fighter pilot hyperbole contained in the title of the book, don’t be. This was the man responsible - against massive resistance from his superiors - for the F15, the F18, and most importantly, the F16, and who, through one of his ‘acolytes’, (see the Wikipedia link), had much to do with the creation and introduction to service of the A10 despite the USAF hierarchy doing everything in their power to kill the project.

However, the fighter stuff is only part of the story. Boyd’s real influence didn’t come to bear until after he quit flying, where he developed the concept of ‘manoeuvre warfare’, a (for the US military, at least), radically novel concept of warfare that changed the way of fighting a modern war – at least by the US Marines.


John R. Boyd, Colonel, United States Air Force

John Boyd - USAF, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of Air Warfare

There should be a copy of this book in every crewroom – and every politician even likely to become Minister for Defence should be locked in a room and not allowed out until he’s read it from cover to cover.
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Old 22nd Nov 2010, 05:42
  #130 (permalink)  
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Wiley, you can rest assurred that Boyd and decision making cycles are taught at RMC and the University Regiments. However I think in the last couple of years the ASDA model has replaced Boyd's OODA loop, but that's by-the-by.

Maneouvre theory ditto, it's taught extensively.

Can't speak for Sandbags or West Point or RMC in Canada, but I would be surprised if those establishments were all that different in this regard.
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Old 22nd Nov 2010, 06:04
  #131 (permalink)  
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LT-DT, they might be be teaching Boyd's theories at RMC, but judging by the overly expensive 'gold-plated' (to borrow Boyd's own phrase) equipment purchases made for the ADF over the last few decades, those theories haven't permeated into the upper ranks, both military and civilian, at Russell Hill (very much like they didn't in the Pentagon, with the notable exception of the USMC, or parts of it).

I loved his comment to the Joint Chiefs about the F-111 (then the Pentagon's absolute top pet project) when he was asked about its performance when pitted against the then current Soviet fighters (which was absolutely woeful in all aspects). Something along the lines of "paint it yellow, put seats in the bomb bay and turn it into a high speed base taxi. That's about all it's good for." (Tact and diplomacy were definitely not among Boyd's strong suites.)

The USAF to this day goes out of its way to ignore Boyd, to the point of not giving him credit when they do use his briefings, but the USMC has his portrait hanging on the wall at Quantico among their Leatherneck luminaries. For those not aware of the very wide gulf that exists between the USMC and the USAF, that's about on a par with Australian AAvn acknowledging that the RAAF might have actually known what they were doing when they operated choppers pre-1988.
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Old 26th Nov 2010, 22:58
  #132 (permalink)  
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In today's paper. Seems to be a few like this lately in The Australian and The Age.
Minister attacks defence

Dan Oakes

November 27, 2010

DEFENCE Minister Stephen Smith has demanded better communication and accountability from defence bureaucrats.
In an unusually frank and hard-hitting speech to senior defence officials, Mr Smith said major projects were being poorly handled and that government was being deprived of vital information by the sprawling organisation.
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Since he began in the role 10 weeks ago, Mr Smith has made defence accountability a strong theme. It has been reported that he has directed senior defence personnel to show advance copies of any speeches to him or his aides.
Mr Smith also announced that the $355 million Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile, which is fitted to fighter planes, is the latest project to be added to the notorious ''projects of concern'' list. ''This listing is not primarily because of industry delays or cost increases. It is because of our poor management, our failure to keep government properly and fully informed about the project and its difficulties,'' he said.
The Defence Materiel Organisation, which procures everything from socks to fighter planes, has become synonymous with cost blowouts and schedule overruns, and now faces a ruthless cost-cutting program. The organisation's annual report, released this week, shows that of the top 30 projects on its books, only eight are on time.
The most troubled project is the navy's $4 billion multi-role helicopter, which has been dogged by engine problems. Mr Smith said there was a lack of communication between various areas of defence, meaning he received information from individual ''silos'' rather than from defence as a whole.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 05:19
  #133 (permalink)  
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I'm not sure how Dan Oakes has managed to identify AIR 9000 as the 'most troubled project'. It isn't even on the list published by the minister on 26 Nov:

26 Nov 2010

Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence

Projects of concern - Update

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today released an update to the Projects of Concern list.

Project AIR 5418 Phase 1 – the acquisition of Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) – has been added to this list.

This project, approved in 2004, is acquiring JASSM for deployment on F/A-18A/B aircraft to improve aircraft survivability and weapon effectiveness.

The project is running late and risks to capability remain.

In a speech today to the Department of Defence Senior Leadership Group, Mr Smith drew attention to concerns around AIR 5418 project management.

“Government has not been kept properly and fully informed as to the progress with respect to this major project” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said “It is essential for Government to be appropriately informed about the delivery of complex and important capabilities so that appropriate steps can be taken to manage issues that emerge in relation to cost, capability or schedule.”

The next major stage in this project is a live firing from an Australian F/A-18A/B in the United States in late 2010 or early 2011. Defence will provide the Government with a full report on the effectiveness of this test to inform the Government’s consideration on the way forward with respect to this project.

Mr Smith said “Defence will ensure that this project now receives additional scrutiny and senior officer oversight in the lead up to the test firing and in the development of subsequent advice to Government.”

This brings the total number of projects placed on the list since 2008 to 18, with six removed – five due to remediation and one due to cancellation.

The Projects of Concern list was established by the Government in 2008 to focus the attention of Defence and industry senior management on remediating listed projects.

This process has been successful in remediating a number of key complex and challenging projects.

Projects are put on the list when, for example, there are significant challenges with scheduling, cost, capability delivery or project management.

The current complete list of projects is below.

CN10: Collins Class Submarine Sustainment and Projects
AIR 5077 Phase 3: ‘Wedgetail’ Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft
SEA 1448 Phase 2B: Anti-Ship Missile Defence radar upgrades for ANZAC Class Frigates
JOINT 2043 Phase 3A: High Frequency Modernisation (HFMOD) – communications and data exchange capability for sea, air and land forces
AIR 5333: ‘Vigilare’ – Aerospace surveillance and command and control system
JOINT 129 Phase 2: Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – airborne surveillance for land forces
LAND 121 Phase 3: ‘Overlander’ replacement field vehicles, trailers and modules for land forces (‘Medium Heavy’ class of vehicles only)
JOINT 2070: Lightweight torpedo replacement for ANZAC and ADELAIDE Class Frigates
AIR 5402: Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft – Air to Air Refuelling Capability
JOINT 2048 Phase 1A: LCM2000 Watercraft for Landing Platform Amphibious ships
AIR 5276 Phase 8B: Electronic Support Measures upgrade for AP-3C Orion aircraft
AIR 5418 Phase 1: Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 20:23
  #134 (permalink)  
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emergov, you’ll see that in my post #129, I recommended a book that I thought was pertinent to this debate. Below are two extracts from that book. The first cites the situation in the US military in 1978 and the second, in 1982.

The question that comes to mind after reading them is: “Does this sound like anywhere you know of in 2010?”

There is nothing in the past to compare with the Spinney Report. For that reason alone, it is arguably one of the most important documents ever to come out of the Pentagon.

Spinney's basic point was that the unnecessary complexity of major weapons systems was wrecking the military budget. He made public what only a few people in the Air Force knew: throughout the 1970s much of the Air Force budget went toward procuring tactical air fighters and weapons while nearly all other areas suffered. So much money was being spent on overly complex weapons such as the F-15 and the F-111D that there was little money to operate and maintain the aircraft. Training flights for pilots were being replaced by simulators. Maintenance skills required to keep the F-15 flying were so high that civilian contractors had to be hired. Electronics systems failed far more often and took far longer to repair than predicted. Spinney showed that supporting the F-15 was more expensive than supporting the ancient B-52. He showed that readiness was at an all-time low; in a full-scale war, supplies of the Air Force's favorite munitions would last only a few days.

But the most significant part of the Spinney Report was that readiness problems were not caused by lack of funds; they were caused by Air Force leaders who deliberately bought such expensive and overly complex weapons that fewer and fewer of each model could be purchased. The leaders' incentive was to force increases in their budget and to funnel more money to defense contractors, and they said whatever they needed to achieve that goal. Spinney proved that virtually everything the Air Force had promised the American people about the F-I5 and the F-I I ID was false.
In this following extract, you could be forgiven for asking if you couldn’t delete ‘Pentagon’ and insert ‘Russell Hill’ and likewise replace ‘America’ with ‘Australia’.
Civilians unacquainted with the ways of the Building have only vague ideas about what it is the Pentagon does. They think the real business of the Pentagon has something to do with defending America. But it does not. The real business of the Pentagon is buying weapons. And the military has a pathological aversion to rigorous testing procedures because in almost every instance the performance of the weapon or weapons system is far below what it is advertised to be and, thus, far below the performance used to sell Congress on the idea in the first place. Weapons development is inherently risky and the costs can be difficult to predict. But the big problem is what Spinney calls "front-loading," the practice of deliberately underestimating the costs in order for Congress to fund the program. The weapons-buying business has few checks and balances; from beginning to end it is an advocacy proceeding. Not only do military rewards and promotions go to the officer in charge of a major program but he almost always finds a high-level job in the defense industry upon retirement, often with the company whose project he ushered through the Pentagon. This is the true nature of the Building. And this is why Air Force generals did not want an unbending and rectitudinous man such as Jim Burton in charge of testing weapons.

Burton arrived at the OSD testing office in June 1982. From the time he walked in the door, Pierre Sprey besieged him to conduct tests showing how vulnerable American aircraft and armored vehicles were to Soviet weapons. Sprey was one of the most vocal critics of the Army's new Abrams Tank, and especially of how the vulnerability testing of tanks and armored vehicles was done largely by computer modeling. And the models were never verified by field tests. Thus, to Sprey, the model-based tests had no validity. Subject our tanks and our infantry carriers to realistic battlefield tests, he said. The lives of American soldiers are at stake.

Burton, with Sprey in the background, came up with the idea for a live-fire test program — that is, actually shoot live Soviet rockets and cannons at U.S. tanks to test their vulnerability. Such a program seems to be common sense, but in fact it was a radical departure from current practice. Boyd predicted that the Army would rise up in opposition.

For a year Burton briefed his ideas on live-fire testing to low-level Pentagon staffers and junior officers. After laying the groundwork and receiving the unanimous support of all branches of the services, Burton chose the first weapon he wanted to test: the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle. He could not have picked a weapon closer to the heart of the Army. The Bradley was supposed to be an advance over the traditional armored personnel carrier, which is just an armored box used to transport troops safely. The Bradley added a light turret to the armored box to allow it, in theory, to both carry troops and "fight." But the Bradley was too lightly armored to fight tanks: what it was supposed to fight had never been precisely detailed by the Army.

The Bradley was of crucial importance. First, it was the weapon whose safety affected the greatest number of soldiers; if America went to war, as many as seventy thousand soldiers might ride this vehicle into combat. Second, the Bradley program was in early production. This meant any problems could be corrected before thousands of the vehicles were sent to troops in the field. And third, the Bradley had never been tested for vulnerability to enemy weapons.

The Bradley was a tragedy waiting to happen. It was packed with ammunition, fuel, and people. The thinnest of aluminum armor surrounded it. So Burton sent the Army's ballistic research laboratory $500,000 to test the Bradley, and he insisted the testing use real Soviet weapons.

The Army agreed. But the first of the "realistic" tests consisted of firing Rumanian-made rockets at the Bradley rather than Soviet- made ones. The Army buried the fact that the Rumanian weapons had warheads far smaller than those used by the Soviets. To further insure that the Bradley appeared impregnable, the Army filled the internal fuel tanks with water rather than with diesel fuel. This guaranteed that even if the underpowered Rumanian warheads penetrated the Bradley's protective armor, no explosion would result.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 23:06
  #135 (permalink)  
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Periodic reports by DMO detailing 'Projects of Concern' are quite worthless unless positive leadership is shown by politicians in holding to account high-ranking Defence bureaucrats and military officers who have been complicit in the origination and management of flawed hardware acquisition strategies.

The question 'Why no helo transport?' relates directly to support of defence industry being the central plank of Australian defence policy in lieu of adequate and credible combat readiness being continuously maintained. Had combat-proven in-service helicopter types been progressively optimized through manufacturer programs instead of hugely costly projects (Seasprite, Tiger, MRH90) being generated to materially benefit the major international arms peddlers who now largely parent Australian defence industry, the ADF would now have more cost-effective operational capacity.

Perhaps $5billion has hitherto been squandered on flawed helo projects but the architects are not being held accountable, whether they be the Defence executives who generated the acquisition strategies (like Projects Air 87 and Air 9000) and/or those within the Helicopter Systems Division of DMO responsible for project co-ordination and management.

Digressing a tad, the goal of creating 'a hardened and networked Army' as the central core of a mythical ADF Force 2030 structure is also questionable as who can predict how military engagements might be conducted 2 decades hence? Do our defence planners envisage the ADF playing Rommel across northern Australia or in other arid areas of the world rather than being more adequately equipped for operations in our regional wet tropics archipelago?

Last edited by Bushranger 71; 29th Nov 2010 at 01:32.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 23:16
  #136 (permalink)  
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Re "
the ADF would now have more cost-effective operational capacity." relating to " (Seasprite, Tiger, MRH90)".

What about ANY operational capacity ?

Are any of the above are at "
operational capacity" ?

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Old 14th Dec 2010, 04:15
  #137 (permalink)  
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The latest Wikileak leak has the Americans worrying about how Australia is going to pay for all the top shelf military kit it has ordered.

They're not alone in this...

It would be even nicer if it worked.
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 04:32
  #138 (permalink)  
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I liked this from the same article which is what everyone has been saying.

"The cable, sent in August last year, also reveals US diplomats believe Australia should stop awarding contracts to domestic defence companies - an act that may lead to their collapse and big job losses - and procure more equipment from American companies to achieve greater value for money."


"However, US diplomats reported to Washington their belief that the Australian military is beset with ''ingrained problems'' involving ''poor budgeting, cost overruns and delays in delivering new equipment exacerbated by efforts to prop up local defence industries''

''While the defence white paper presents a bold force upgrade, funding is uncertain … if Defence can find the political will to reform inefficient budgeting and programming, particularly by procuring from the US rather than domestically, it will be able to achieve the needed savings to pursue its ambitious plans.'' The cable quoted a unnamed senior Treasury official saying the Defence's ''budgeting and execution is the worst in the federal government''."
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Old 14th Dec 2010, 22:29
  #139 (permalink)  
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Whilst the American diplomat's comments may be seen as self-serving for American interests, it makes what he says no less accurate. Bushranger 71's earlier comment that we don't have a defence policy, but more a defence industry policy, is sadly true - which would be a very good thing for all concerned if such a policy was able to deliver viable, operational products on time and as cheaply as buying off the shelf from elsewhere.

Unfortunately, it doesn't, and is proving to be very, very expensive not just in monetary cost - some would say, (me among them), most unfortunately in that most precious currency of all, our soldiers' lives.
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 07:43
  #140 (permalink)  
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Yet another OZ Defence Procurement Fiasco

Bugs hamper patrol vehicle's combat role
December 29, 2010 - 12:34AM


New British-built army patrol vehicles for Australian special forces troops are plagued with problems and have not been deployed in Afghanistan two years after they were purchased.

The federal government bought 31 of the Nary patrol vehicles for almost $50 million in August 2008 under former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

They were bought without going to tender because of "operational urgency".

But Fairfax newspapers say the vehicles, named Nary after SAS Warrant Officer David Nary, who died in 2005, have electronics problems and are too heavy to be carried on cargo helicopters.

They were set to replace armoured Land Rover and Bushmaster vehicles at the beginning of 2009.

Hundreds of the same vehicles are operational in Afghanistan with the British Army.

Australia's Defence Department said the Nary's introduction was set for the second half of 2011.

But a Defence source with knowledge of the project said: "One would like to think that this is a capability that should have been (in Afghanistan) by now".

Industry sources say the Defence Materiel (Materiel) Organisation has failed to merge the British vehicles with US-designed electronics and communications used by the Australian Army.

This may affect systems for secret communications designed to prevent the enemy from listening in.

from link
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