SingaporeThe culture of secrecy is starting to crack with the Senate ordering Defence to release VIP flight details.

Next, the main Australian supporters of nuclear powered submarines – the Prime Minister and his Deputy – could both lose their jobs, and that’s not a joke. In the US, legislation necessary for the sale of submarines is stuck in the Senate for the good reason that US needs come first.

Next, some analysis of the recent 60 Minutes segment about the Virginia class – and while not bad it still left out very significant matters, such as why were are getting second hand platforms.

Finally, a plug for conventional submarines equipped with air independent propulsion – we could have 12 of those built in Australia and a Brisbane-Sydney- Melbourne very fast train for $368 billion with work starting in 2025, not 2040.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.


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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. On an unrelated but equally significant note, Avalon Airshow 1st of March, 2023, Lockheed Martin’s (LM) head of international business Steve Over declared LM was on track to complete Australia’s order of 72 F-35A Lightning II fighters by the end of 2023.
    “As of today, they have 59 airplanes, here in Australia,” noting that a 60th jet is complete and “waiting on the ramp” at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas production facility.
    “We’ll deliver the remaining 12 aircraft before the end of this year,”
    Since then, the only reported deliveries of aircraft from LM have been 3 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters for Army. After years of F-35 delays, performance short-comings & grotesque cost blowouts, can APDR shed any light on when Australia’s only frontline defence asset ordered in semi credible numbers, might be delivered in full ? Can’t see 13 airframes arriving before years end considering the trickle down rate of delivery to date.

    • From memory you are correct about the delivery schedule. Let me see if I can shed any light on what is happening. I’m aware that the USAF has full mission availability of less than 30% for their F-35A fleet, which they say is unacceptable.

  2. Thanks Kym, appreciate your efforts to date underlining the AUKUS travesty, Australia’s Lord & Masters at Lockheed Martin deserve identical scrutiny.


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