FEATURE | Is this the near future of Australian naval shipbuilding?

This is an exciting time for Australian naval shipbuilding. Two patrol vessel programs are underway, the Anzac-class frigate midlife capability assurance program (AMCAP) is completing the first of eight ships, and Hunter-class future frigates are to start construction in 2020, running into the 2030s for nine frigates. The air warfare destroyers are joining the fleet, while in the submarine world both the Collins-class life extension and the Shortfin Barracuda projects are generating a lot of commentary but no construction contracts yet.

OPINION | What war will we need Manus for?

The recent announcements about Australian and US investment in a base at Lombrum on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea has elicited positive, yet guarded, support. Putting aside the real value to PNG of being able to deploy patrol boats there to police its territorial waters, the acceptance of the strategic value to Australia and the opportunity costs of building a major facility suited to military operations in a conflict in the Asia–Pacific seem largely unexamined.

FEATURE | The risk of a strategic sham on Manus

Much has been written recently about the decision to redevelop the naval base at Lombrum on Manus Island. Initially it was to be a joint Australia–PNG facility, but American vice president Mike Pence has announced that the US will partner with Australia and PNG on the redevelopment project.

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