I want to apologize. My comments on home defence industry in yesterday's post were too harsh.
Again, I am usually the optimistic guy on the team; yet for the current Defence situation there really are a lot of problems.
First, how do we keep and bring new engineers to Defence industry? They can find stable and predictable work almost anywhere else.
Like it or not, the current Defence/DMO situation is still hostile to the Defence industry. The Defence bureaucracy has over the years signed a deal with the devil. It has allowed foreign industry to heavily influence too much workshare that would normally be done by Australians. The end goal seems to be that large portions of our industry are to shut-up while Defence/DMO sign up for an off-the-shelf item and we end up doing warehousing and screw-driver turning labelled as "sustainment".
While there could be many inquiries, we need real ones of why Defence Ministers are so poorly advised and why are there so many civilians in Defence?
Also needed: real punishment for lying to elected officials in hearings dealing with Defence issues.
I like off-the-shelf purchases when they make sense. Yet, I don't see much of anything in the current Defence/DMO management trends that make sense.
Consider what we get in return with the following platform decisions.
-There is no direct replacement for the Caribou. Defence is in absolute fear of refurbishment and upgrades of old platforms.
-The F-111 which offered great capability to be upgraded (JDAM, JSOW, JASSM, SDB and a future super-sonic stand-off cruise missile) is now gone. The range capability was a great loss.
-Defence buying a more expensive U.S. made combat system for the Collins-class when a cheaper and better alternative made here in Australia was minimised.
-The F-35 and the Super Hornet can in no way achieve air superiority in the region over the time span of their service. Money spent in this area is all wasted.
-If we need to keep our warship-building industry healthy with stable contracts over time there is plenty to do. That is: move up the Frigate replacement and build other small warships that are more scalable to our defence needs.
-Prove that we can effectively repair what we have. For example the recent amphibious ship maintenance disaster and the Collins class submarine situation.
I do not know where all this will lead. I do know that things are getting worse. We continue to pay more for less... real defensive capability.
What, if anything, will change that negative trend? I do know that keeping our home industry in bondage will not help.