Kia Ora and welcome to the Winter 2020 – and 16th – issue of Line of Defence.
Since we published our Autumn issue back in March, our world has undergone major disruption and despair with hundreds of thousands of deaths internationally from Covid-19, lockdown restrictions, faltering national economies, the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, and a widening geostrategic chasm between China and the Anglophonic states that comprise the Five Eyes grouping.
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We’re living and working in a new normal that defines every level of our participation as individuals engaging in socially-distanced spaces, as workers engaging in our roles remotely, as business owners fighting to adapt and stay afloat, and as citizens locked within our national borders and witnessing what some commentators are perhaps prematurely referring to as the last days of a US-led world order.
It’s these very themes that dominate the pages of this issue of Line of Defence. In his regular ‘column’, Dr Wayne Mapp gives his take on the challenges and opportunities for defence spending posed by Covid-19. In Defence, we also showcase the NZDIA’s trialling of a new virtual events platform aimed squarely and enabling Defence-Industry collaboration in the post-Covid new normal.
Among our sponsor and industry updates, we feature Tactical Solutions’ soon-to-be-opened Wellington innovation hub, GA-ASI’s new Operations Data Fusion Centre, Rheinmetall’s trusted network of New Zealand local partners, and the maritime patrol platform provided by Leonardo’s ATR 72MP. Defence Minister Hon Ron Mark elaborates on the confirmation of the C-130J as New Zealand’s new airlift capability, and Opposition Defence Spokesperson Hon Mark Mitchell bemoans continued delays to the Defence Estate upgrade.
In this issue we’re joined again by Dr John Battersby who explores the post-Covid deterioration in citizen-state relations across many Western democracies, most notably in the US; and I explore the technological challenges faced by aviation and border authorities in achieving Covid-safe air travel as they look to tackling the task of reopening their borders.
Also in this issue, tendering expert Jason Cooney provides some valuable tips on how to put together competitive Defence tender responses, and we look at the various grant schemes available to Australian SMEs through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC).
I commend the above articles to you, along with the many fine contributions inside.