BLUF

Defence could be faced with stranded assets* as a range of disruptive innovations become a reality in the near future.

Summary

In a previous article, Marcus Hellyer wrote about the 'disruptive innovation' occurring in Australia's electricity sector, where companies realised their core assets had become 'stranded'* and couldn't be sold. He now asks whether Defence is also likely to have a problem because of stranded assets*. Hellyer says these disruptions include:

  • Lethal threats to crewed platforms.
  • Transitioning away from liquid fuels.
  • More use of robotic and autonomous systems.

The ADF still considers that recent acquisitions such as expensive crewed platforms still have value. However, Hellyer questions whether Australia will be able to sell recently acquired assets when the ADF no longer requires them. He argues that this is something that Defence should consider now.

* 'A stranded asset is something — a piece of equipment or a resource, for example — that once had value or produced income but no longer does, usually due to some kind of external change, including changes in technology, markets and societal habits.' (The growing concern over stranded assets)