Some in Australian home industry are making outrageous unqualified statements that off-the-shelf equipment is bad. Yet there are some other things to think about with this article from the Canberra Times.
The real problem is the entrenched Defence bureaucracy including the failed experiment known as the DMO.
How can any home industry survive in such a hostile environment? The answer is: it is not.
And, even when Australian home industry does get some important work, there aren't enough skills to manage it and see the project through. For instance, there was a time when the troubled Air Warfare Destroyer project was quoted to come in at $6B. Later it was marketed as an $8B dollar project. Now it is in trouble and will cost more. All the while when we could have had 3 off-the-ships for much less. Oh wait; there is no capability need for such ships. They will consume too much manpower and get sunk in any real shooting war. Kind of like this.
All that, and Australia does not have the skill at home to bring in a much more complex 12 sub project at an unthinkable figure beyond $36B.
Some ignore the fact that the goal of Defence is for defence of the country and not an exercise in burning up taxpayer cash on poorly thought out project management disasters.
The home industry goals of the rent-seekers are beyond unrealistic.
When someone quotes the joke of the 2009 Defence White Paper as if it has worth, then you know they are from an alternate reality; are mentally affected or suffer from recreational substance abuse.
It is time to understand that Australia does not have realistic defence project management skills; has no credible long-range strategic thinking in government; and can only fall back on the tried and true destructive methods of institutional group-think.
Today, trying to decide what weapon system needs to be procured is all cart-before-the-horse until there is real change in the Defence bureaucracy. In addition, that change has to address sound strategic thinking of our defence needs.