ADF General discussion thread

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Is it? :rolleyes:

That’s possibly why we send training teams. Why these platforms come with a full collection of spares, tools, training systems and so forth, To enable the capability to be employed, not just photo-graphed.
I don't disagree.
Supplied kit needs support, be it parts and spares or knowledge.
It's the photo that government thumps their chest with and the opposition play games with.
The war has gone long enough for both sides of our government to wear the government and opposition hat.


Post 2907 was not one so much of despair, but rather one of opportunity.

The defence Sales catalogue was a good example of opportunity.
I'm sure there's more in a warehouse somewhere or manufacturing opportunity that could be ramped up and supported.
I think there is a lot of civilian support that could be supplied as well.


Just a thought


Cheers S
 

MickB

Active Member
I don't disagree.
Supplied kit needs support, be it parts and spares or knowledge.
It's the photo that government thumps their chest with and the opposition play games with.
The war has gone long enough for both sides of our government to wear the government and opposition hat.


Post 2907 was not one so much of despair, but rather one of opportunity.

The defence Sales catalogue was a good example of opportunity.
I'm sure there's more in a warehouse somewhere or manufacturing opportunity that could be ramped up and supported.
I think there is a lot of civilian support that could be supplied as well.


Just a thought


Cheers S
It is my understanding that the cost of equipment sent to Ukraine is to come out of the Aust (already limited) defence budget.
I support aid to Ukraine but not to the extent of crippling our own military.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
It is my understanding that the cost of equipment sent to Ukraine is to come out of the Aust (already limited) defence budget.
I support aid to Ukraine but not to the extent of crippling our own military.
My expectation would be government fund this not at the expense of the defence department budget.
If your correct and I believe you are, then that's disappointing.

Regards S
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
My expectation would be government fund this not at the expense of the defence department budget.
If your correct and I believe you are, then that's disappointing.

Regards S
My understanding from various Marles media comments is that Mick is correct, all coming from DoD budget.
This probably explains the Hawkei reluctance and the M113 clean out.
 

Bob53

Well-Known Member
Did anyone get to read Greg Sheridans article in the Australian yesterday. It’s here if you have Apple News. It fills me with pain to write these words ... defence is in a desperate crisis — The Australian

The crux of the article is that funds are quietly being stripped out of the ADF a budget either directly to other departments or indirectly via inflation and that basically the ADF procurement is grinding to a standstill.

EXTRACT
It fills me with pain to write these words. Anthony Albanese promised so much in defence. But this column has a simple policy. It pays on delivery. And the Albanese government, like the Morrison government before it, is so far delivering photo-ops, over-the-horizon vision statements, deft and praiseworthy alliance diplomacy and absolutely no consequential defence capabilities.


Consider the both parlous and chaotic state of defence spending. The budget generally compensates Defence for movements in foreign exchange rates but not for inflation. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s budget analysis concludes that the Albanese government, by this mechanism alone, has taken $1.5bn from Defence over the forward estimates, the next four years. In fact it’s worse than that because while the budget was framed at a higher inflation rate than the previous estimates, the actual inflation rate we’ve experienced is higher still, so the real loss to Defence is more than ASPI’s $1.5bn.


Not only that, hundreds of millions of dollars have been reallocated from Defence to other departments, especially the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to compensate it for helping to negotiate AUKUS and the like.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Well I hope we never have to put a call out for help in future. Ukraine might send this stuff back and then do a media release stating the Ukraine punches above its weight in assisting Australia!
Interestingly, so far Australia's given or pledged to Ukraine less in absolute terms than the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Czechia, Austria, Slovakia, Lithuania, Belgium & Estonia, all of which have smaller populations & GDP than Australia. The EU members have also given money via the EU, which isn't counted in country totals. Above listed in descending order.

As a share of GDP (including their share of aid via the EU where relevant) Australia's given or pledged less than S. Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, Japan, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Romania, Hungary, France, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, Greece, Portugal, Spain, UK, Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Croatia, Czechia, Bulgaria, Finland, Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia (in ascending order).

I think the Baltic states are definitely punching above their weight. :D

Ukraine Support Tracker - A Database of Military, Financial and Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine
 

phreeky

Active Member
I noticed that there have been a lot of ADF budget posts lately (from multiple people). It's easy to talk about them all collectively, however the issues really should be discussed separately IMO.

The budget generally compensates Defence for movements in foreign exchange rates but not for inflation.
I've worked with gov budgets before but never had the privilege of having them adjusted for either exchange rates or inflation. I don't know if it's standard practice or not for defence, but I'm fairly certain that it's not for all/some other departments.

The article states that inflation estimates were factored in - and ultimately the reality was worse. I think it's just the reality that defence doesn't live in its own little bubble and is impacted by global economics. I don't think that anyone is getting a free ride here - I know my salary hasn't magically gone up to compensate for inflation!

Not only that, hundreds of millions of dollars have been reallocated from Defence to other departments, especially the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to compensate it for helping to negotiate AUKUS and the like.
This is a different matter entirely, and this in fact should be broken down further. You could argue either way whether AUKUS-related costs should or shouldn't affect defence, and budget reallocation to completely unrelated departments should be called out separately.

I'm not trying to defend the government, I don't really have a leaning either way, however these kind of articles (and this one is pay-walled so I cannot see it itself) really don't go into enough depth. Either because they were lazy, or they have an agenda. I expect it's the latter.
 

Bob53

Well-Known Member
A few articles of interest to the broader ADF from ASPI I thought with sharing.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Did anyone get to read Greg Sheridans article in the Australian yesterday. It’s here if you have Apple News. It fills me with pain to write these words ... defence is in a desperate crisis — The Australian

The crux of the article is that funds are quietly being stripped out of the ADF a budget either directly to other departments or indirectly via inflation and that basically the ADF procurement is grinding to a standstill.

EXTRACT
It fills me with pain to write these words. Anthony Albanese promised so much in defence. But this column has a simple policy. It pays on delivery. And the Albanese government, like the Morrison government before it, is so far delivering photo-ops, over-the-horizon vision statements, deft and praiseworthy alliance diplomacy and absolutely no consequential defence capabilities.


Consider the both parlous and chaotic state of defence spending. The budget generally compensates Defence for movements in foreign exchange rates but not for inflation. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s budget analysis concludes that the Albanese government, by this mechanism alone, has taken $1.5bn from Defence over the forward estimates, the next four years. In fact it’s worse than that because while the budget was framed at a higher inflation rate than the previous estimates, the actual inflation rate we’ve experienced is higher still, so the real loss to Defence is more than ASPI’s $1.5bn.


Not only that, hundreds of millions of dollars have been reallocated from Defence to other departments, especially the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to compensate it for helping to negotiate AUKUS and the like.
I said it from the moment Labor "won" the election that it would be a disaster for Defence as it always is !! And when the DSR was announced, again a veiled excuse for Labor to gut Defence spending, programs and cut the hell out of it !
All coming to bear again, reductions in programs being blamed for saving money for the SSN's, they will be forever pushed into the never never, cut backs to all 3 services, all the while pretending they are doing the right thing, because their 2 experts for the DSR that they have not released said so :rolleyes:
Now they are hinting at an overseas buy for the AFV's after cutting number to the point of being pointless, funny how it is always OK for Labor to go overseas, but when the LNP offer up the option, oh no, can't send jobs offshore !!
Anyway political rant over !!
The sad thing is, and concede, the LNP have not been much better, and Defence just continues to be screwed all over again !!
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
I said it from the moment Labor "won" the election that it would be a disaster for Defence as it always is !! And when the DSR was announced, again a veiled excuse for Labor to gut Defence spending, programs and cut the hell out of it !
All coming to bear again, reductions in programs being blamed for saving money for the SSN's, they will be forever pushed into the never never, cut backs to all 3 services, all the while pretending they are doing the right thing, because their 2 experts for the DSR that they have not released said so :rolleyes:
Now they are hinting at an overseas buy for the AFV's after cutting number to the point of being pointless, funny how it is always OK for Labor to go overseas, but when the LNP offer up the option, oh no, can't send jobs offshore !!
Anyway political rant over !!
The sad thing is, and concede, the LNP have not been much better, and Defence just continues to be screwed all over again !!
I can see this as one potential interpretation but I don’t its the most likely one. As others have said it seems more likely that LAND 400 ends up being a deferral for budget optics and to reduce inflation, and the necessary hulls for a full armoured brigade end up ordered later.

The real test will be the surface fleet review. If they order some proper tier 2 MFUs that’d be great. If it’s tinnies and some bricks to throw from them not so much.

Other than that I think it’s a continuation of the path set out by the previous government, which was itself a positive one.

I agree with your last statement - both sides have made stupid decisions over the past 30 years - but there’s bipartisan support for investment now.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I think before there is too much Labor always / Liberal always people need to have a serious look at 1996 to 2001/2 and 2013 to 2015. They were every bit as bad for defence as the early years of any Labor government and arguably worse than under Rudd (Gillard was another matter).

Then look at the years Beazley was Defmin, things didn't get bad until Ray under Keating, then worse again under Howard.

People remember the funding increases and adoption of the Beazley defence policies (interim fighter to replace F-111, extra infantry battalions and a coast guard/ boarder force) in Howard's latter years, but conveniently forget the economy reviews and out sourcing that further gutted defence and defence industry in the first two terms. This was the period I and many of my friends were forced out of the reserves and away from full time defence careers as we were caught between a rock and a hard place with the government's changes to defence and industrial relations. Basically my employer was able to refuse to grant me defence leave, just as many units were ramping up the service requirements.

This is not a party political thing, with the possible exception of Rudd, pretty much every change in government has seen defence and many other portfolios face reviews, cuts and change in direction and priorities. There is always good and bad, winners and losers.
 

Aardvark144

Active Member
I noticed that there have been a lot of ADF budget posts lately (from multiple people). It's easy to talk about them all collectively, however the issues really should be discussed separately IMO.

phreeky - Defence acquisition is based on a 'No Win No Loss' cost basis hence Sheridan's comment re adjustments not occurring for Inflation / exchange rates.

Whilst I do not necessarily agree with everything Sheridan has written, I would argue that he is certainly not a 'lazy' journalist. As for having an 'agenda' he certainly has - that is for Governments to following up talk with action. He references Defence funding being moved to compensate DFAT etc - this may very well be fine in a more benign geopolitical environment; however, referencing the current Government's own words - 'we are in a very uncertain environment and we must have the best Defence Force for Australia's security' - I would think milking the Defence Budget under the excuse of AUKUS is certainly not following rhetoric with action. AUKUS and the SSNs are a very convenient headline for the Government to use when questioned on Defence.

This Government has been in power now for 14 going on 15 months and there has been nothing of real consequence from them. AUKUS, Blackhawks, Apaches additional C130 etc were all from the previous Government. Nothing of real consequence from the DSR, yes I am aware it was a Strategic document; however, as the Government keeps reminding us, the time for action is now not 3, 5 7 or 10 years time.
Whilst the article is paywalled, see if you can access this interview with Sheridan -

 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
Whilst the article is paywalled, see if you can access this interview with Sheridan -

Recap - He goes on about ADF not spending all its money last year over confusion with the DSR, Money being pulled out of defence, About the 28 F-35's not ordered, nothing was done on the navy surface fleet, personnel leaving the army in droves, no Tomahawks for the Collins, Aukus being used as a publicity stunt and that both sides of politics had done nothing for a long long time.

My take - Without my self seeing the numbers on finances and personnel both in past spending/forward estimates and current retention/recruitment levels I will be taking that as an allegation.
Not doing anything for the surface fleet well that is both sides of politics going back till prior to WW1 which was the only time imo that we had a suitable sized force for our geopolitical situation.
Tomahawk's on collins... well that one was always going to be tricky so not surprised.
F-35's - Well those 28 not ordered have always been an option, By definition an option is not a sure thing, It means we had been thinking of replacing the original F-111's with the F-35 and had the F-35;s been in its present day capability and costing a decade ago likely would have exercised that option but time lines don't stay fixed, options don't stay fixed and geopolitics don't stay fixed. Took longer then intended so we ended up with an interim fighter which as a benefit justified acquiring and expanding our ISR/EW capabilities and for relatively low expenditure on continued operating expenses (Acquisition is already spent, that price is fixed no matter how many years you have it) we could safely operate them till 1. Production slots in the F-35 become available or B. one of the 6th gen options potentially becomes available. That's just logical.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I must admit that there is always the risk big cost capabilities will become opportunity costs for defence as a whole.

BUT!

When governments cut defence, or more to the point, under invest, it is easier to do so on lower capability quality, greater quantity capabilities than lower quantity, higher quality ones.
For example, major combatants, nine to six, to four in a decade, finally getting only three replacements. When it was nine for nine going for an FFG was a no brainer, but getting only three, well they should have been as individually capable as possible.

When you go lower individual capability, expressly to increase numbers, you can guarantee those numbers will be cut by successive governments, to or below, the numbers originally planned for the alternate, higher capability, option.

In a nut shell two light fleet carriers, two cruisers, eight destroyers and twelve frigates seemed like a really effective, minimum, post war fleet. There was no justification for new cruisers, or for a single fleet carrier, though more capable, because there were greater numbers of less capable ships acquired/in service, instead.

We ended up with one carrier, no cruisers and escort numbers were whittled down to about a dozen destroyers and frigates instead of twenty. i.e. greater numbers gave government room to cut numbers while still claiming to maintain capability.

How much better if the one carrier we ended up with had been an Essex, or even a Centaur/Hermes? If the Darings had been the desired new cruisers, actually large enough for guided missile and helicopter conversions? How about if the three Perth Class DDGs had been Belknap instead of Adams? Their eventual replacements Burke's instead of F100s?

How about the ANZACs, maybe six Type 23 or even Type 22 instead of eight MEKOs, maybe even just four additional FFG-7s?

Cheaper upfront to acquire than the greater numbers we failed to maintain, but cheaper and less wasteful than the lower capability we ended up with.

Heres another, how about 75 Phantoms instead of 116 Mirages? We got Abrams at a time when some were pushing for greater numbers of lighter vehicles, i.e. LAVs with 105mm guns. I wonder how that would have gone?

Im glad we are getting a minimal number of IFVs and SPGs, I'm glad the new M-1s are still being acquired. Yes there are too few, but it's far better too few of them than too few of something less capable.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Recap - He goes on about ADF not spending all its money last year over confusion with the DSR, Money being pulled out of defence, About the 28 F-35's not ordered, nothing was done on the navy surface fleet, personnel leaving the army in droves, no Tomahawks for the Collins, Aukus being used as a publicity stunt and that both sides of politics had done nothing for a long long time.

My take - Without my self seeing the numbers on finances and personnel both in past spending/forward estimates and current retention/recruitment levels I will be taking that as an allegation.
Not doing anything for the surface fleet well that is both sides of politics going back till prior to WW1 which was the only time imo that we had a suitable sized force for our geopolitical situation.
Tomahawk's on collins... well that one was always going to be tricky so not surprised.
F-35's - Well those 28 not ordered have always been an option, By definition an option is not a sure thing, It means we had been thinking of replacing the original F-111's with the F-35 and had the F-35;s been in its present day capability and costing a decade ago likely would have exercised that option but time lines don't stay fixed, options don't stay fixed and geopolitics don't stay fixed. Took longer then intended so we ended up with an interim fighter which as a benefit justified acquiring and expanding our ISR/EW capabilities and for relatively low expenditure on continued operating expenses (Acquisition is already spent, that price is fixed no matter how many years you have it) we could safely operate them till 1. Production slots in the F-35 become available or B. one of the 6th gen options potentially becomes available. That's just logical.
Yes there are/was no firm order/option for the potential additional 28 x F-35A, agree, all true.

But....

That project wasn’t just a figment of someone’s imagination, there is actually a project with a budget allocation of up to $6.7b to be spent between 2026-2031.

Now before anything else, here’s a bit of ‘Budget 101’

Each year the Government fills the big Defence bucket with $XX billions, and inside that big bucket is lots and lots of smaller buckets, $1 billion here, $2 billion there, $5 billion somewhere else, etc, etc, all allocated to specific Defence projects.

In the forward estimates, for the following three years, there is planned overall future Defence budgets of $XX+ billions, and again a lot of smaller buckets.

This happens year in, year out.

So here’s the problem, projects are delayed, some cancelled, and some new ones too.

Which brings us to now, today, it has recently been reported that the F/A-18F fleet will continue through to approx 2035, eg, the 28 x F-35A won’t be proceeded with.

So what happens to that up to $6.7b?

Does it just disappear from the overall Defence budget? Or be allocated somewhere else within Defence, and specifically the RAAF budget? Who knows? Maybe it will disappear from Defence and end up in some other Green/Left project of the Governments choosing.

I have no idea, do you?

And that’s the problem with the 2023 Albo DSR, it was not accompanied with an update of the 2020 ScoMo Force Structure Plan.

The 2020 FSP listed Defence projects across the whole ADF, it listed start and end dates, it listed how many billions of dollars are planned to be allocated to each project, current and future out to around 2040 and beyond.


The problem isn’t so much that projects get delayed, deferred or deleted.

The problem is the Government hasn’t been transparent regarding those changes.

How many other projects are going to disappear that we don’t know about yet?

If a Government hides something, there’s usually a reason why, usually a not too good reason.
 

MARKMILES77

Active Member
Local manufacture of missiles is to start within 2 years.
And Australian produced missiles will be exported to the U.S.A.
Exactly which missiles is not specified. Probably for the HIMARS first of all.
Interestingly the Minister refers to missile factories plural.
So more than one type of missile.
Will be announced formally on Saturday.

 

Bob53

Well-Known Member
Local manufacture of missiles is to start within 2 years.
And Australian produced missiles will be exported to the U.S.A.
Exactly which missiles is not specified. Probably for the HIMARS first of all.
Interestingly the Minister refers to missile factories plural.
So more than one type of missile.
Will be announced formally on Saturday.

While that’s good is coming up to 3 years since announced. 2 years is optimistic in my view.
 
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