April 14, 2015

Australian government sends ASC confusing instructions

Adelaide's Independent News (IN)Daily, April 14, 2015 reported on the confusing instructions the Federal Government has been sending government owned Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC). The relevant parts of the article http://indaily.com.au/news/2015/04/14/asc-agnostic-on-subs-contract/

"ASC “agnostic” on subs contract


ADELAIDE | The Defence Department has issued an edict to Government-owned shipbuilder ASC that it must deal “fairly and equally” with all prospective international contractors for the lucrative future submarines project.

The missive, revealed today by SA Senator Nick Xenophon during a Senate committee hearing in Adelaide, belies the Abbott Government’s public rhetoric that the Osborne-based shipbuilder should pick an international partner with which to put forward a joint bid.

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews announced in February that the contract would be determined by a “competitive evaluation process”, saying “for the best opportunity to maximise their involvement in the program (ASC) needs to work with an international partner”.

Just last week, SA-based Liberal heavyweight Christopher Pyne urged Xenophon to “assist ASC in putting together a competitive bid for the new submarine project as part of a joint venture with another submarine builder”.

Xenophon today quizzed ASC representatives to the Senate inquiry into the future submarine project whether such a joint venture was actually allowed, “given your instruction from defence”.

“You can’t act on that on the basis that you’ve received quite reasonable instructions from defence to deal with prospective international bidders in an even-handed manner,” asserted Xenophon.

ASC’s chief operating officer Martin Edwards said the company’s “role at the moment is to help those potential partners understand the skills capability and where we can assist, particularly because we’ve had many decades of shipbuilding in Australia”.

He said a potential design partner would not be known until the evaluation process was completed.

“From as ASC perspective, we’re agnostic in relation to whether it’s Japan or Germany or France – we’ll work with any one of those,” Edwards said." See WHOLE ARTICLE.


It appears that as the German (TKMS) and French (DCNS) competitors have much greater experience than Japan in participating in major defence consortiums the Australian Government does not want to put Japan at the disadvantage of facing actual competition. Put another way the Government does not want ASC to choose an international partner on that partner's merits. The Government wants Japan's special position in the so-called "competitive" evaluation maintained.

Of course the Australia Government's hands are tied. The US has already selected Japan to win the "competitive evaluation process" and what the US says goes.



Anonymous said...

TKMS/DCNS and Japan are victims of fixed match and bad managed ACS, respectively. USA and China may be temporal and final winners, respectively.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

You may be suffering from poor translation software into English.

I take it by "ACS" you mean ASC?

By "temporal" you don't mean "non-spiritual" but real winner?

Yes China may indeed be the final winner from Australia's so far unfair "competitive evaluation process".



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

1) I used “temporal” as transitory.
USA will successfully persuade Australia to adopt Soryu platform, and USA-AUS-JPN submarine defence system will effectively work for a while. According to Soryu submariners, Soryu is so silent that US Navy cannot detect her and that she can easily attack and sink any warship including aegis destroyer and aircraft carrier. If enemy copies such technology, all the warships of USA-AUS-JPN will be seriously endangered and we can not maintain current naval superiority.

2) I mistyped ACS for ASC.

Anonymous (April 14, 2015 at 7:23 PM)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

the Soryu is not the only submarine US Navy cannot detect. Swedish Gotland-class, South Korean (and soon Indonesia) Chang Bogo-class (Type 209) or German Type 212 are a few to name. Even Chinese diesel-electric submarines already surprised US carriers (with Aegis destroyer nearby as always).

Check RIMPAC exercises for Type 209 and http://seefahrer.blog.de/tags/westlant-deployment/ for Type 212.