The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) surface combatant force is about to get a major boost. After an extensive upgrade, Australia's Adelaide-class frigates are planned to re-enter operational service over the next 12-18 months. In an upgrade that has taken more than 15 years from concept to operational service, they will bring an advanced level of combat capability unprecedented in the RAN.
The FFG Upgrade Project (Project SEA 1390) reflects the outcomes of indecisive defense policy and low levels of investment over several decades.1 This has had a detrimental impact on the surface combatant force along with other areas of defense. Procrastination and time and cost overruns have largely been the characteristics of defense procurement.