Australian ‘Defence White Paper’
Reflects International Influences
By AMI INTERNATIONAL INC.
The Australian Department of Defence has released its
“Defence White Paper 2013,”
which addresses the new international setting that influences
Australia’s national security and
defense environment, including
their impact on force posture,
future force structure and defense
budget. These include the ongoing
economic shift to the Indian
Ocean/Pacific region and Australia’s
operational drawdown from
Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and the
The document also outlines the
capabilities the Australian Defence
Force will need in the coming
years to address the strategic challenges. Highlights of the white
paper that pertain to the Royal
Australian Navy (RAN) include the
■ A commitment to replace the six
Collins-class submarines with an
expanded fleet of 12 new diesel-electric boats. The first unit is
scheduled to be ordered in 2017.
■ Continue developing options to
replace the eight Anzac-class frigates.
■ A modular multirole vessel to
conduct patrol, mine-hunting and
hydrographic services. In the short
term, the RAN will seek to replace
the Armidale-class patrol boats,
plus additional units for the Pacific
Maritime Security Program, with a
■ Plans to replace six Huon-class
mine countermeasure vessels and
two Leeuwin-class hydrographic
survey ships have now been pushed
■ New Helicopter Landing Ships
(LHD) HMAS Canberra and HMAS
Adelaide to provide capability for
advance amphibious operations.
HMAS Choules will be retained and
supplement the amphibious capa-
bilities of the two LHDs.
■ The program to replace HMAS
Success and HMAS Sirius has
moved forward as the white paper
recommend they be replaced “at
the first possible opportunity.”
They initially were scheduled to be
replaced in 2023 and 2024.
■ Commitment to acquire the 24
MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to
replace the S70B helicopters.
The key to the success of the
recapitalization rests with the
Australian government’s long-term
commitment to maintain a defense
budget at 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product. And it is based on
the premise that economic growth
will be sustained with no major
downturns over the recapitalization period. It also assumes that
the next government retains the
same security priorities and recapitalization efforts.
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY
The Royal Australian Navy Armidale-class patrol boats HMAS Larrakia and
HMAS Pirie lay at anchor at Smith Point, Christmas Island, in May. The boats
were participating in the Australian Defence Force’s Operation Resolute maritime border security effort.
Thai Navy Selects
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has
chosen South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering
(DSME) to build a new class of
frigates for the sea service with construction commencing immediately.
The RTN reportedly has selected
the DSME DW3000H frigate design
that includes an eight-cell Lockheed
Martin Vertical Launch System and
vertical launch anti-submarine
rocket, Raytheon Evolved Sea
Sparrow Missile, Saab 9LV Mk4
combat management system and
Giraffe AMB3D air defense radar.
In 2012, the RTN budgeted 30
billion baht ($972 million) for the
two-ship program. However, the
$500 million price tag per unit will
force the RTN to hold off ordering
the second frigate until 2014.
Prior to the selection, the RTN
also evaluated offers from Spain,
Italy and China, with DSME and
South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy
Industries being the last two entrants
for the bid. According to RTN officials, the DSME offering met the proposed specifications for the frigate
that were in line with the navy’s