April 19, 2016

Submarine Winner or Two May Be Announced Before May 4, 2016

Forced by steadily sinking popularity into an early (July 2, 2016) Election, Turnbull may be desperate enough to announce a submarine Winner (or 2 Finalists) early.

The run-up to the Australia Election on July 2, 2016 is a highly fluid, complex time regarding any submarine Winner decision. The CEP process is much more fluid, open to political priorities, than a formal Tender process.

"The [Australian Government's] National Security Committee will today consider the navy’s recommendations on which of the contending [submarine] designers from Japan, France and Germany to choose."

The advice may be for one Winner or a shortlist of Two Finalists. If two there may be a more formal selection process until 2017 to decide the final Winner.

As the Winner or Two Finalists of the submarine contest is a high cost matter and important policy decision Australian electoral conventions would mean any announcement on the Winner would be before May 4, 2016 (or alternatively beforethe traditional Sunday election calling day (making it May 8). These are the likely dates the Election will be called (marking the beginning of the Caretaker Period). If not before the Caretaker Period any submarine Winner announcement would be after the Election Date of July 2, 2016.

The Turnbull Government (which may lose the Election) appears desperate enough to take the political gamble of announcing the submarine Winner or Two so early.

Once a final Winner is declared the Winner would be on firmer ground to negotiate contracts with Australian companies for joint ventures in what parts of Australia, contractors and sub-contractor/suppliers.



Ztev Konrad said...

So the Governments Expert Advisory Panel which was appointed late last year to ensure the selection process from the 3 contenders was all above board and legally sound, will be backing the decision?
Here are its terms of reference (before they disappear!)
"The role of the Panel will be to formally report to Government on the soundness of the
process, whether the conduct of the process is defensible from a probity and accountability
perspective and whether the Participants have been treated fairly and equitably in accordance
with applicable Commonwealth legislative and policy requirements (as advised by Defence). "

So a rushed process for election purposes will be all OK, considering there will be 10 years before construction starts?

The only possible outcome , is that there be 3 winners for final selection process.

MHalblaub said...

Like in any bad TV show they will eliminate just one candidate.
I guess (hope) France. Japan is a no go to eliminate right now.


Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

There's a very bad Australian "reality" TV show called, The Biggest Loser https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Biggest_Loser_(Australian_TV_series) :)

You might be glad to see todays newspaper http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/visiting-japanese-navy-flotilla-not-related-to-submarine-bid-admiral-says-20160419-goa21q.html says:

"However sentiment in Canberra seems to be leaning towards one of the European contenders, with the Germans tipped to have the edge."

Who knows - the favourite seems to change from minute to minute.



Peter Coates said...

Hi Ztev

I would guess that the Expert Advisory Panel would have probably monitored progress of the CEP as the process occured/occurs from day to day - rather than the whole process being served up to the Expert Advisory Panel for extended viewing and its Big Tick.

At the same time briefers who work in the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet would have been simultaneously seeking input from the CEP assessors, Defence, RAN, DFAT, Finance and many other Departments and agencies and the US. That's how things work - I think.

Now the matter is with Cabinet, apparently, for the big tick.



MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
Believe it or not:

That trash is located close to you (far away from me:)

I would recommend Collins-class to visit the first show...


imacca said...


Interesting. Seems to me the decision (whatever it is) has been made and they are just awaiting a politicly advantageous time to announce. They had better hope they aren't leaking too badly.

Anyone running a book with odds on this? I'll put my 2c up and call it for TKMS as that will keep Lucy happy. :)

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at 20/4/16 1:33 AM]

Naturally I don't watch such trashy shows. There seems to be world wide franchises on the worst, like "Big Brother".

I watch documentaries, police thriller series, historical and war documentaries and series.

This includes:

- Vikings (Canadian, Irish) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikings_(TV_series)

- Borgen (from Denmark) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borgen_(TV_series)

- "Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_War

- and many more US, UK and Australian shows: "Homeland" "Janet King" "George Gently" "Vera" "The Good



Peter Coates said...

Hi imacca [at 20/4/16 11:00 AM]

Yes a "politicly advantageous time to announce" a submarine decision is key in the runup to the July 2, 2016 election.

1. If the Japanese flotilla (Soryu + 2 destroyers) leaving Sydney is a consideration then an announcement after Tuesday 26 April (on 26 the flotilla is due to leave) is likely. A decision 27-29 April would mean less embarrassment/snub for Japan and less embarrasment for the Turnbull Government/Australia.

If the Japanese flotilla leaving is a consideration this suggests Japan has not won. I was so organised for a Japan win :( But, who knows, Japan still might win.

2. Fridays for announcements are usually considered politicly advantageous here in Aus - so a Friday 29 April submarine announcement might be the most probable day.

3. The announcement (if made) would very likely be before Budget Day (3 May) and before Caretaker Period (with Caretaker probably 4 May onward).

The lack of genuine leaks or PM's Office engineered leaks is (so far) a compliment to Australia's security system.

I'll do a post on a circumstantial indicator later today.



ONeil Padilla said...

Hi Pete,
The ABC alleges in regards to the CEP 'has all but eliminated the Japanese bid to build a fleet of 12 submarines to replace the Royal Australian Navy's ageing Collins Class subs'.

Do they know something?



imacca said...

" I was so organised for a Japan win :( "

Sad :) But will keep you an your toes. :)

But, will be interesting to see if more detailed info comes out quickly on the U Boat IF TKMS gets it. :)

Much to discuss about combat systems, power needs, and the politics of American interactions.

"2. Fridays for announcements are usually considered politicly advantageous here in Aus - so a Friday 29 April submarine announcement might be the most probable day."

Trash Day?? Interesting one here will be if they try to shove any of the work to Victoria? From what i gather sharing the work around different sites (like the block construction of a surface warship) is not as doable for submarine construction. Although that said there seems to be a W.A. firm Civmec in the running for some if TKMS get it??

But W.A. already has the PPB and most OPV construction, the Libs are not in as much bother in W.A. as elsewhere seats wise, and more of the shipbuilding stuff for W.A. may be a bit rude in the current context?

"3. The announcement (if made) would very likely be before Budget Day (3 May) and before Caretaker Period (with Caretaker probably 4 May onward). "

Those dates will get interesting. Malcolm needs Supply passed before he can go to the GG since if he doesn't have that the AEC has no funding after June 30. There may be a bit of playing around and head games in the Senate over that if the ALP and X benchers want to make the PM look like a dork. Hopefully the Govt wont try and include ANYTHING remotely controversial in the supply bill to keep it straightforward.

We live in interesting times.......

Peter Coates said...

Hi ONeil Padilla (Oppy?)

I saw earlier versions of the article http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-20/submarines-announcement-expected-next-week/7340996 but the reworded article unequivocally eliminates Japan. It doesn't point to any evidence. ABC hasn't revealed how much it knows.

One indicator though may be that Aus Defence Minister and the Chief of Navy have seemingly ignored the presence of the Japanese (almost an ally) flotilla in Sydney Harbour. Instead Defence Minister has Media Released on some pretty minor things http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/marise-media-releases-archive/
So why the non-recognition?