Australia’s G550 AISREW Program Will Require a World’s Worth of Electronics, But So Far, None from Australia

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Australia’s new AISREW platform based on the Gulfstream G550, will likely resemble this artist impression. (Image: Gulfstream)

The U.S. State Department recently approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Australia of five Gulfstream G550 Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) aircraft, worth an estimated $1.3 billion. Continue reading

Australia Opts for French Design in Future Submarine Competition

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Shortfin Barracuda. Source: DCNS

Shortfin Barracuda. Source: DCNS

In a highly anticipated decision, Australia’s center-right government opted for a French design to meet its Sea 1000 Future Submarine requirement. The project involves the construction of 12 submarines that will serve as a successor class to the Royal Australian Navy’s current Collins class fleet.  French shipbuilder DCNS offered up a diesel-electric variant – the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A – of its nuclear-powered Barracuda attack submarine built for the French Navy. Continue reading

Australians Go French for New Submarine

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Shortfin Barracuda. Source: DCNS

Shortfin Barracuda. Source: DCNS

The French DCNS Group has beaten competitors from Germany and Japan to secure the contract to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines.  DCNS offered the Shortfin Barracuda, which is a modified version of the French Navy’s nuclear submarine.  The much anticipated $38.5 billion contract ensures that the 12 new submarines will be built at Adelaide’s Osborne shipyards.

Continue reading

Australian Government Unveils 2015-2016 Defense Budget Amidst Economic Uncertainty

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

australia flag

The center-right Australian government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott unveiled its latest budget on May 12. The budget, delivered by Treasurer Joe Hockey, nixes the austerity approach undertaken by the government in its first budget (2014-15) in favor of tax cuts for small businesses and higher spending on child care and infrastructure as the government seeks to ease passage of its latest budget through the upper chamber of Australia’s bicameral parliament, the Senate.

Continue reading

Three Nations Bidding for $38.8B Australian Submarine Program

By Stuart Slade, Forecast International.

HMAS Collins diesel-electric submarine SSK Australian Navy

HMAS Collins diesel-electric submarine SSK Australian Navy

Australia has invited France, Germany and Japan to bid for SEA-1000, its ambitious Collins-class submarine replacement program. The program, for 12 long-range, ocean-going, diesel-electric submarines, is valued at AUD50 billion ($38.8 billion). Competitive evaluation of the quotations is expected to take at least 10 months, after which the Defence Department will advise the government on the proposal most suited to Australia’s needs.

Continue reading