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Tag Archives: jet fighters

Budget emergency?

Six months of Abbott’s idea of belt-tightening …

February 25

The Abbott government has spent $2.5 million on lifeboats to send asylum seekers intercepted at sea back to Indonesia.

The figure, revealed in letters tabled in the Senate by Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash, indicates the government is paying more than $200,000 per lifeboat, each of which is understood to be used only once.

Fairfax Media understands the government has so far bought about 12 of the boats.

March 13

The Abbott government has confirmed plans to buy Triton surveillance drones that can watch vast stretches of the seas to Australia’s north.

The program would mean about $100 million in new facilities and infrastructure in South Australia as well as about $20 million a year in ongoing work.

The 2012 Defence Capability plan flagged the purchase of up to seven Tritons at a cost of between $2 billion and $3 billion.

April 22

Australia will make one of its biggest ever military purchases with a $12 billion order for 58 Joint Strike Fighters in a move that will lift the nation’s air combat power to among the world’s most advanced.

May 13

The Government will provide Defence with $29.2 billion in 2014-15 and $122.7 billion over the Forward Estimates – up $9.6 billion increase on the figure provided by the previous Government.

Reinstatement of the ADF Gap Year Programme will cost $18.3 million in 2014-15 and $191.8 million across the Forward Estimates.

June 7

Two new Navy supply ships will be built overseas, sparking a political fight over the Federal Government’s commitment to local manufacturing.

The Federal Government says Spain’s Navantia and South Korea’s Daewoo will compete for the tenders to replace HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius.

However, the union has welcomed the Government’s decision to build 20 new Pacific Class patrol boats at home.

Senator Johnston says he wants the local industry to build the next fleet of frigates and has allocated $78.2 million for design work.

But he says he will send the work offshore if the local industry does not lift its game.

June 10

The Australian government has set aside almost $90 million for the search for missing flight MH370— expected to be the most expensive in aviation history — but it’s possible that figure could increase.

“The government has allocated $89.9 million. I think about $25 million of that is to go the defence force for the visual search they conducted,’’ former defence force chief Air Chief Marshal Houston told the ABC.

“There’s another $60 million that’s been allocated for the underwater search.

August 4

Australia’s spy and counter-terror agencies will receive a $630 million funding boost to fight the threat of home-grown terrorism, which Prime Minister Tony Abbott says ”has not changed” and is still ”as high as it has ever been”.

August 14

HUNDREDS of millions of dollars will be spent bolstering the RAAF’s fleet — and the prime minister is in line for a new long-range jet, promising uninterrupted global travel.

The government plan — scheduled to be delivered as part of next year’s Defence White Paper — includes the purchase of up to four new aircraft: an additional two Airbus tanker-transport planes and one or two Boeing C-17 heavy lift aircraft.

August 15

THE nation’s most troubled defence project — the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer — is now running $500 million over budget and will be delivered at least two years late.

It is understood that the latest cost increase — estimated at $150 million — has only just been revealed by the alliance building the three warships — Adelaide-based government owned shipbuilder ASC, US giant Raytheon and Federal Government’s Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).

September 1

The Australia Prime Minister has ordered a fleet of bombproof BMWs to protect leaders during the G20 summit this year.

BMW Group Australia confirmed the Government purchased nine BMW 7 Series 760Li security vehicles. The vehicles are BMW armoured security vehicles with identical engineering and performance specifications.

The $6.2 million fleet can withstand AK47 fire, attacks with explosive devices or armour-piercing weapons.

September 7

A local consortium is preparing to tender for the 20-plus vessels to be built for the $2 billion Pacific Patrol Boat Program

September 8

In one of the biggest and most contentious defence equipment decisions in decades, the Abbott Government will select the Japanese-built Soryu Class submarine to replace locally built Collins Class boats as the navy’s key strike weapon beyond 2030.

A decision to spend more than $20 billion on up to 10 of the Japanese vessels will be announced before the end of the year.

September 16

Australia’s military involvement in Iraq is likely to cost half a billion dollars each year, Tony Abbott has revealed

In contrast …

September 17

The Federal Government has been embarrassed over its $7 million response to the Ebola virus with an international medical group rejecting the money and demanding Australian doctors be sent to Africa instead.

“We have been very clear with the government for two weeks now we are not asking for financial support, we are asking the government to evaluate Australia’s emergency medical capacity and mobilise it on the ground in West Africa.”

At least 2,630 people have died in the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history, which has so far infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Despite this, our government could only come up with the same amount it spent on Tony’s new car.

 

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War games

From the very beginning, Tony Abbott has been even worse on the world stage than we could have possibly imagined.

Everyone is our bestest friend ever.

Stick to the economy saying how bad the previous government was but avoid discussing any action with anyone other than the Murdoch press.

Small talk is excruciating. Body language is just wrong.

Trying so hard to take a stand then quickly changing as he looks over at what the other guy is doing, unless it’s about climate change, in which case we can’t see you.

And my personal favourite, though it was hard to choose what with climbing mountains and scaring French children, only agreeing to talk about climate change if it’s called “energy efficiency” instead.

But as he barrels around the world having his photo taken with his “best friends”, what is Tony actually doing, other than scoping out new casino sites for James Packer, since he doesn’t bother taking any expert advisers with him?

In the latest news, it appears we are going to become arms dealers for Stephen Harper.

Reading an ABC article I came across this line

“Canada wants Australia to help it engage in security issues in Asia.”

In trying to find out more about this I came across this article from 2011.

“Finally the government released its latest deeply-flawed report on Canada’s military exports between 2007 and 2009.

According to the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) — a government-funded lobby group representing 860 member companies — Canada now exports $5 Billion to $7.5 Billion in military and so-called “security” products per year.

Despite massive loopholes in the government’s report, their data does reveal that almost all of Canada’s military exports went straight into the arsenals of about 40 belligerent nations fighting in the Iraq and/or Afghan wars, which have killed over 1.5 million people.

Few know that in 2009, Canada was virtually tied in a three-way race for sixth place among the world’s top arms exporters, right behind the U.S., Russia, Germany, the UK and China.

Nowadays, with $4 billion a year in military products streaming stateside, Canada is America’s top military supplier, and their hardware is deeply embedded in U.S. weapons fighting on three important war fronts: North Africa (Libya), the Middle East (Iraq and Israel) and Central Asia (Afghanistan). Such U.S.-led invasions, occupations, proxy wars and regime changes have long enforced unjust structures of economic control over resources in the Third World. Canadian complicity in manufacturing, exporting and deploying the instruments of war, has helped maintain their high-rank among the world’s most prosperous nations.”

Perhaps we are going to pay Canadian security firms to house refugees on an island in the Arctic Ocean. Who knows?

Reporting about Tony’s trip to China in April, the Australian said:

“Earlier, the Prime Minister declared Australia’s “trust in China” as he outlined plans for greater defence links including joint military exercises, days after tightening alliances with Japan and South Korea.

Countering the “strategic pessimism” about security in Asia, Mr Abbott assured 1800 government and business officials in Shanghai that the rise of China could bring prosperity for all, including an Australian economy that already receives $60 billion in annual Chinese ­investment.

But in an apparent warning on China’s territorial claims, Mr Abbott said it would be “unthinkable” to put everything at risk by failing to settle disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law.”

Abbott declared at the East Asia Summit leaders’ meeting last year that Japan was Australia’s “best friend in Asia”. Abe’s cabinet has already increased defence spending and eased restrictions on arms exports. An expert review panel is expected to recommend that Japan can exercise its right to participate in collective self-defence with its allies.

While this constitutional change is generally assumed to be referring to the US – Japan’s key ally – it could also involve Australia. Since 2002, Australia, Japan and the US have occasionally held the Trilateral Security Dialogue meetings between their defence and foreign ministers. The ADF and the JSDF could therefore conceivably conduct combined combat operations with the US in future.

So we are forming defence links and having military exercises with China, who are in a dispute with Japan, whose side we have openly defended, even castigating the Chinese Ambassador, whilst brokering arms deals for Harper, presumably to both sides since we are ON both sides, but we are warning them to be peaceful. But what of the US?

Just to make sure that everyone is being peaceful, we are going to send $12 billion into the US economy to keep their armament industry thriving in the hope that ten years down the track they will have worked out how to make those 72 planes fly.

In the meantime we’ll spend $4 billion buying eight highly-sophisticated P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes for the Royal Australian Air Force. The US-built aircraft will be delivered in 2017 to replace the Cold War-era P3 Orion aircraft. The Poseidon will come equipped with torpedoes and harpoon missiles to destroy submarines and warships.

And just to make sure American arms manufacturers have enough of our money, a report in February said seven US-made drones would be purchased for Aus$3 billion ($2.7 billion), but Abbott said the details of how many and when had yet to be finalized.

And why should South Korea be left out. After admonishing Tony about a Gillard decision to cancel a gun order, he appears to have promised the South Koreans that we will buy guns from them too because Lord knows, we need more guns.

The Navy’s two supply ships, HMAS Sirius and HMAS Success need replacing, so the Government is buying two new ships but only two firms, one Spanish, and one South Korean, will get the chance to tender for the job.

I think that Tony is getting a tad too much of his advice from the military who seem to have an endless budget in these days of belt-tightening. The other smarter leaders are taking advantage of Tony’s enthusiasm to make friends, sign free trade agreements, and play with army stuff. That’s not fair, guys, picking on the dumb new kid.

 

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