Australia this week announced it is planning to spend $A3.5bn on long-range strike missiles years ahead of schedule because of growing threats posed by Russia and China, Associated Press has reported..
Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the accelerated re-arming would increase Australia’s deterrence to potential adversaries.
Meanwhile there is no sign of the Ardern government considering increasing defence spending, although Defence Minister Peeni Henare did say this week the government had considered sending weapons – such as the Javelin missile launchers – as part of the government’s support of Ukraine in fighting off the Russian invasion.
“That’s been in front of Cabinet for consideration. To date, Cabinet hasn’t agreed.”
Point of Order would like to think the NZ Defence Force has its own stock of Javelin missiles, but there is little evidence of that. The US has already supplied thousands of the anti-tank missiles and hundreds of launchers to Ukraine’s forces.
A Javelin missile, a modern successor to the Bazooka, costs around $US1m. Continue reading “Missiles that loiter (with intent to do mischief) – Australia is re-arming but NZ is still considering modern munitions” →
On his first mission abroad as Defence Minister, Peeni Henare says he is seeking to “regenerate New Zealand’s defence force readiness and capability in a post-Covid world”.
In that phrase he (in effect) underlines how heavily committed defence elements have been in their various roles during the prolonged pandemic. It will be with relief that those forces can now get back to what they enlisted to be.
But Henare now has to get to grips with the vital role of securing NZ’s defences – as NZ always has done – with its allies and partners, particularly with his Pacific focus.
After talks in Fiji on how best to support Pacific partners to work together to provide solutions to the region’s challenges, he goes on to Australia which is New Zealand’s only formal defence ally and one of its closest security and bilateral partners.
There he is to hold talks with the formidable Peter Dutton. Continue reading “What should Peeni Henare wear for Defence talks with Peter Dutton? A flak jacket, perhaps” →
What do you do when your neighbour goes nuclear?
The Ardern government will be tackling that question after being taken aback by news the Australians are to buy US nuclear attack submarines and will form a new trilateral security partnership to be called AUKUS.
Our Beehive connections tell us PM Jacinda Ardern was briefed by Australian PM Scott Morrison last night.
We are tempted to say these developments confirm how far NZ has slipped off the map in terms of a regional defence power. Our contacts say the Beehive is still grappling with how come NZ wasn’t consulted about the new security partnership – or even invited.
Canberra will acquire several Virginia Class nuclear attack submarines. A $A90 billion plan to buy French nuclear submarines and convert them to diesel-electric power will be abandoned. Continue reading “Ardern govt surprised by news of Aussie decision to buy nuclear subs and form new security partnership” →