Zoe Glasson, Sophie Qin, Madeleine Nyst and Patrick Kennedy
US Senator John McCain has made waves around DC with his recently released defence budget white paper, ‘Restoring American Power’. In it, McCain argues for a diversified US military, as opposed to just buying ‘more of the same’. Enter, the much-maligned Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). McCain’s plan calls for the LCS program to be truncated this year and succeeded by a replacement frigate by 2022. To make the move quickly, affordably and at scale, McCain advocates for an acquisition ‘bridge’ until 2022 for the two shipyards building LCSs, allowing them to then compete for the follow-on frigate—with the added benefit of lowering costs and increasing productivity.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned its fifth Luyang III-class (Type 052D) destroyer, the Xining, on 22 January. While the PLAN has four Type 052D vessels currently assigned to its South Sea Fleet, this one’s the first to be allocated to the North Sea Fleet. Aside from the geographical distinction, the Type 052D distinguishes itself in other ways: its anti-submarine warfare capabilities are superior to previous classes. Read more about the improvements here.
And closer to home, Adelaide’s Flinders University has signed a memorandum of understanding with four top French engineering schools for academic and research cooperation relating to Australia’s Future Submarine Program.