PAGC2301 Asia Pacific DefenceIn this episode we have a quick look at the perils of helicopter operations, particularly at low level and at night. Then there was the next round of AUSMIN talks and the usual Australian forelock tugging.

If the US was really our friend they would offer several things: new Virginia class submarines instead of used; a refund of our $3 billion subsidy to their shipbuilding sector; and an agreement to take submarines back for disposal at the end of their lives.

We also have a look at the future of SEA 1100 and the suggestion from prime contractor Luerssen to transition from building Arafura class offshore patrol vessels to heavily armed corvettes – something that could be managed quickly and with relative ease.

To listen to the podcast, click here.


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Kym Bergmann
Kym Bergmann is the editor for Asia Pacific Defence Reporter (APDR) and Defence Review Asia (DRA). He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and the defence industry. After graduating with honours from the Australian National University, he joined Capital 7 television, holding several positions including foreign news editor and chief political correspondent. During that time he also wrote for Business Review Weekly, undertaking analysis of various defence matters.After two years on the staff of a federal minister, he moved to the defence industry and held senior positions in several companies, including Blohm+Voss, Thales, Celsius and Saab. In 1997 he was one of two Australians selected for the Thomson CSF 'Preparation for Senior Management' MBA course. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of companies including Raytheon, Tenix and others. He has served on the boards of Thomson Sintra Pacific and Saab Pacific.


  1. First of all Welcome Back. Finally someone has stated the obvious about the Australian U.S. Alliance, we are just one of many and we don’t get special treatment unless it’s in the U.S. best interests, As for the AUKUS Deals, I’m over it, Blind Freddy can see we’re being taken for a ride. The Luerssen idea seems like a great fit, The only concern I have is, all the info I have been able to glean says the MMPV , which I believe is the Parent Design of the C90, is designed for a much smaller Helicopter than the RAN use, will Luerssen be able to integrate the MH-60R into the layout without compromising the basic design or will the RAN need to introduce a lighter Helicopter ?. Other than that, I can’t see why this isn’t a good idea.

    • Thank you.

      We specifically asked Luerssen about the MH-60R and they are confident it can be done. In their opinion, lengthening the hull to accommodate a larger helicopter is not a major technical issue. Whenever anyone mentions lengthening a hull it seems to totally freak out the RAN – unlike, say, the USN which state their decision to add an extra 7 meters to the FREMM design to make it into a Constellation class is low risk and the sensible thing to do. The USN argues that rather than trying to stuff too much equipment into an existing hull, the best and easiest solution is to lengthen the ship. Sounds like they might be talking about the Hunter class frigate with that assessment. In terms of managing risk, if I had to choose between the USN + Luerssen versus the RAN/CASG, I’m going to put my money on the former every single time.

  2. Thank you , I totally agree about the CASG and the RAN Head Brass. Unfortunately far to many have forgotten they are Sailors.


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