The Western Lines

September 10, 2008

Rudd talks sense on defence

Filed under: Uncategorized — ralphbuttigieg @ 9:09 am
My mind is a bit more at ease today after reading Prime Minister’s speech on defence. He has the good sense to reject the isolationist Fortress Australia mentality and accept the need for us to have a forward looking defence:

Mr Rudd said Australia must therefore look to its own military resources and maintain a flexible land force able to contribute to “high-end military engagements”.

“We need an advanced naval capability that can protect our sea lanes of communication and support our land forces as they deploy,” he said. “And we need an air force that can fill support and combat roles and can deter, defeat and provide assistance to land and maritime forces.”

As to what this will really lead to we have to wait for the white paper and the government’s response but here are my suggestions.

1) Order the fourth Air Warfare Destroyer. The four AWDs would replace the four Adelaide class frigates with a much greater capability. Install the SM-3 missiles too so we can have an ABM capability.

3) Order a third Landing Helicopter Dock. As well as replacing the two Kanimbla class LPAs the LHDs would replace the other aging amphibious ship, HMAS Tobruk.

4) From the F-35s to be ordered have a squadron of STOVL F-35Bs. A small squadran of 12 or so F-3bs would be a great asset for the ADF. It would give the RAAF the ability to operate from bombed air fields and just about anywhere in the outback. As well they could fly of the LHD’s giving the RAN a fixed wing capability. The F-35B would allow us to provide our troops with air cover anywhere in the world, similar to what the US Marine Corps can do with their Harriers. If cost is an issue keep the Super Hornets, which are excellent planes, and order 70 or so F-35s not a hundred.


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