|Considering our bad record with behind schedule, over budget and below expected capability MLU's are they really worth doing or should we, case by case be looking to replace or supplement the ADF's frontline combat equipment rather than automatically upgrading it?
A good example that comes to mind it the M-113, there were proven, affordable upgrades available but the decision was made to gold plate what should have been a straight forward phased upgrade resulting in massive delays and cost increases. Would it not have been better to have run an obsolescence program incorporating some basic improvements while at the same time acquiring a modern AIFV to supplement the APC's in the Mech INF.
With the FFG's would it not have made more sense to have bought and upgraded all 4 Kidd class DDG's as replacements for the DDG's and then retiring the four original FFG's without replacement and providing MELBOURNE and NEWCASTLE with minimal upgrades to allow them to serve until the AWD's became available.
Something that is often forgotten is heavily utilised platforms get tired and will be less suitable for upgrade. i.e. the ASLAV's have had a very busy life and replacement may make more sense than a MLU, where the Abrams we bought, though older than the ASLAV's, had spent most of their lives in storage making then good value to upgrade.