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Australian Army Discussions and Updates

This is a discussion on Australian Army Discussions and Updates within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Aussie Digger I cannot EVER imagine the Australian Army acquiring a Russian made piece of equipment, let ...


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Old December 21st, 2006   #46
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I cannot EVER imagine the Australian Army acquiring a Russian made piece of equipment, let alone an armoured vehicle. If we needed to purchase an IFV for IMMEDIATE service, I'd imagine it would be Bradley or Warrior, depending on WHO could get us the vehicles and support us best, in terms of placement on courses for immediate type conversion, supply of materiel to support the capability etc.

I find it difficult to imagine the scenario where we'd NEED an IFV so immediately. If the threat level was too great for existing armoured vehicles OS, we'd probably not deploy at all, or at least only "specwarops" elements.

IF it was a DOA scenario that happened quickly (ie: literally overnight) there are so many flaws (hollowness) in our forces, that the lack of a proper IFV would not be the most serious problem we faced. The US would be able to assist us with VERY substantial air and maritime combat power in such an event anyway and would we then NEED an IFV or even a ground force at all?
And who would have thought in the 50s that Australian Army was going to be using German tanks in the 70s? IMHO 'never' is a big word.

I see a BMP-3 as a better vehicle then the Bradley or Warrior for Australia's purposes, and Russia is neither THE enemy not even an enemy any more.

Come to think of it, there is no reason 3RAR can not remain airbourne and mechanised IF they had a BMD-like vehicle. There is no equivalent in US or NATO for that matter.

The need in a hurry did not mean 'overnight'. In fact there are many scenarios where Australia would need to deploy substantial numbers on short notice (3-6 months) where US would be disenclined to even get involved, never mind offer substantial support to ADF.
It seems to me that reliance on US in strategic terms is not something Australia's defence policy should be anchored on. ADF needs a more self-reliant policy.
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Old December 21st, 2006   #47
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From my understanding of Russian equipment it does not meet ecological standards of many industrialized nations. Maintenance of such equipement to meet the high paced demands of active military operations is difficult and problamatic at best. To get spares outside of any fallout with the originator would deal with nations whose idealogical beliefs are outside that of Australias. Comms gear would have to be replaced as it is not compatible with any Joint action. Russian IFVs have shown little inovation and improvement over the Soviet era. With the scams they have pulled selling stock equipment instead of new platforms should make any potential buyer warry.

Not to mention the politics of the matter...
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Old December 21st, 2006   #48
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From my understanding of Russian equipment it does not meet ecological standards of many industrialized nations. Maintenance of such equipement to meet the high paced demands of active military operations is difficult and problamatic at best. To get spares outside of any fallout with the originator would deal with nations whose idealogical beliefs are outside that of Australias. Comms gear would have to be replaced as it is not compatible with any Joint action. Russian IFVs have shown little inovation and improvement over the Soviet era. With the scams they have pulled selling stock equipment instead of new platforms should make any potential buyer warry.

Not to mention the politics of the matter...
Hmmmm....Big-E, war doesn't meet ecological standards of any nation
I'm not sure what you mean by refering to maintenance and high paced demands. Soviet equipment is known to be fairly less dependent on maintenance compared to NATO designs.
I think this is why Indians are doing license builds of T-90s, to enable sustained spares availability. Australia could do it also. Same for comms where ADF would put in its own package anyway (as it did with M1 in part I think).
Is there a need for innovation and improvement in Russian AFVs since Soviet era? What innovation and improvement has been made in other AFVs that has not in Russian AFVs?
As for selling scams, that is entirely a commercial issue I think. ADF has structures and procedures to ensure this doesn't happen with any supplier.

Politics?
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Old December 22nd, 2006   #49
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Hmmmm....Big-E, war doesn't meet ecological standards of any nation
I'm not sure what you mean by refering to maintenance and high paced demands. Soviet equipment is known to be fairly less dependent on maintenance compared to NATO designs.
I think this is why Indians are doing license builds of T-90s, to enable sustained spares availability. Australia could do it also. Same for comms where ADF would put in its own package anyway (as it did with M1 in part I think).
Is there a need for innovation and improvement in Russian AFVs since Soviet era? What innovation and improvement has been made in other AFVs that has not in Russian AFVs?
As for selling scams, that is entirely a commercial issue I think. ADF has structures and procedures to ensure this doesn't happen with any supplier.

Politics?
Many here in the USA see Russia as the major threat to USA as a nation. So Politics would be a large issue here with a proposed BMD buy by a minor, but politically important ally.

You would get some talk on the floor in congress about canning the Australian JSF order, no more M1A1 deals, etc, etc. Whether it would amount to something is another thing, but in my humble opinion, Australia should avoid having their name said in vain on the floor of congress.

The reason Australia enjoys a relationship with the USA (as it does) is that it's integrity is rock solid. A BMD purchase would jeopardize that integrity.

Anyway very few nations (if any) can support an airborne mechanized unit if they deployed it from the air. That is not to say you cannot do it, but the question remains, why would you need to?

The USA has lately demonstrated "force de maneuver" that decreases any usefulness of deploying armor from the air by several orders of magnitude, so tell me where Australia could make use of, or even need such an expensive and rarely used capability?

I am serious. I would honestly and genuinely like to know as I cannot see it.

cheers

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Old December 22nd, 2006   #50
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Hmmmm....Big-E, war doesn't meet ecological standards of any nation
Their carbon monoxide rating is ecologically harmful... they would not pass the safety standards of the US or many of her developed allies. Ecology is a factor to environmentally aware nations.... of which Australia is the BIGGEST.

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I'm not sure what you mean by refering to maintenance and high paced demands. Soviet equipment is known to be fairly less dependent on maintenance compared to NATO designs.
Just because they only service them once every ten years doesn't make them less dependent on maintenance.

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I think this is why Indians are doing license builds of T-90s, to enable sustained spares availability. Australia could do it also. Same for comms where ADF would put in its own package anyway (as it did with M1 in part I think).
Indians are building T-90s for mostly political reasons but that's not what we are discussing here. If they wanted spares for AFVs they would have to build them themselves if they ever had a falling out with the nation of origin. Australia could not do it without political and economic ramifications. Her trade relations with the US FAR outway any with Russia... she won't go out of her way to strain them. Comms gear could be ordered but it would up the price more than Americans would charge for the same.


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As for selling scams, that is entirely a commercial issue I think. ADF has structures and procedures to ensure this doesn't happen with any supplier.

Politics?
Actually it is a state issue. Those Russian companies are state holdings. They ripped off China on the Sukhois. Those weren't the new aircraft they were promised, they intentionally disasembled Soviet stocks when the president came to inspect the factory floor.

Politics? Everything is political... haven't you learned that yet?
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Old December 22nd, 2006   #51
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And who would have thought in the 50s that Australian Army was going to be using German tanks in the 70s? IMHO 'never' is a big word.

I see a BMP-3 as a better vehicle then the Bradley or Warrior for Australia's purposes, and Russia is neither THE enemy not even an enemy any more.

Come to think of it, there is no reason 3RAR can not remain airbourne and mechanised IF they had a BMD-like vehicle. There is no equivalent in US or NATO for that matter.

The need in a hurry did not mean 'overnight'. In fact there are many scenarios where Australia would need to deploy substantial numbers on short notice (3-6 months) where US would be disenclined to even get involved, never mind offer substantial support to ADF.
It seems to me that reliance on US in strategic terms is not something Australia's defence policy should be anchored on. ADF needs a more self-reliant policy.
Would Australia be more "self reliant" by using Russian equipment?

Seems to me then, the only way to increase self-reliance is to design, manufacture and support EVERY critical military capability for ourselves. Shouldn't be too expensive should it?

Also, what deployment has Australia EVER been involved with, that the US disagreed enough with, to fail to support the military equipment that IS operated by us, of US design?

There are a number of VERY good reasons why 3RAR is (for a short time) Airborne and yet not equipped with an armoured vehicle as part of it's CES.

One of the main reasons is airlift capacity. How do you propose we lift a battalion's worth of armoured vehicles, let alone the battalion itself? We don't currently have enough airlift to support the entire LIGHT INFANTRY battalion, which is WHY 3RAR was only ever directed to maintain a "ready company group" of airborne qualified soldiers. Where is the additional capacity to lift armoured vehicles coming from?

The idea of a Australian battalion level airborne insertion is a "pie in the sky" dream at best. 3RAR (to the best of my knowledge) has NEVER actually been capable of this. RAAF certainly hasn't been either.

The BMP-3 is an 18 ton armoured vehicle (roughly equal in weight to the M113AS3/4 we are about to buy for our "mechanised" brigade and too heavy for a Hercules to carry even 1 of) yet only has an armoured protection level capable of withstanding 12.7mm fire and that's IF applique armour kits are added (meaning also more weight). Add to this the fact that it only has a capacity for 9 soldiers in total (Australian APC's are required to carry at least 11 troops) and it doesn't quite seem like the vehicle for Australia to me...

You seem to have quite the interest in Russian kit. Tell me, ever hear the story about the fighter that Russia tried to take to the Avalon air show in the late 90's? EVERY single piece of Russian kit is the shiniest, most powerful, longest ranged, most reliable, easiest to maintain and the cheapest. Seems a bit incongruous doesn't it? Surely the rest of the world's designers could better Russia "somewhere" couldn't they?

As to our ability to deploy armour quickly, tell me, how long did it take B Sqn 3/4 Cav Regt and 5/7 RAR to deploy to Timor?

As to the idea's for Australia's recruiting. I think you are ALL missing the point about the "gap" soldiers to a LARGE degree. IF we keep doing what we've always done, our manning levels are going to continue to fall. Our current units are extremely hollow (ie: poorly manned). RAN is at a CRITICAL level for manning. Ships are about to get tied up at the dock for lack of sailors.

The POINT of it is to TRY and introduce another scheme to get more people interested in the military. If we don't have people ALL talk of various capabilities is irrelevant.

The "Gap" project is designed to attract persons who are NOT keen to sign up to a ROSO of 4 years. The thought is perhaps the 12 month exposure to military service will encourage some to continue. No matter how many sign up, any that sign up are better than none.

The term "gap" refers to the period of time (generally a year) between finishing high school and commencing University or other tertiary level studies that young people in Australia often "take off". The idea is to convince people to join the military for a year, instead of working other jobs or taking a years "holiday".

Wooki, My use of the term "gap soldiers" was merely designed to identify them specifically. I am convinced that by assigning these persons mere "observer" type roles and NOT giving them the full military experience, that the program is NOT going to work.

Virtually any ex-Australian soldier will tell you that mateship is THE most important part of their military service (it certainly was mine) and by deliberately excluding "gap soldiers" from the FULL military experience, I think they would wreck the mateship of persons involved.

Old Faithful, 12 months MAY indeed turn out to be WOFTAM, but at least they're trying to do something to increase our manning levels. The problem ADF sees is that "young people" don't want extended employment contracts they can't get out of these days.

12 months seems to be the compromise. As I said earlier, with sufficient resources and access to training facilities, Digs CAN become Private (P) in only 12 months service in total. THIS should be the aim of the program, with additional benefits of gaining additional reserve staff and personnel willing to go ARA.
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Old December 22nd, 2006   #52
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Wooki, My use of the term "gap soldiers" was merely designed to identify them specifically. I am convinced that by assigning these persons mere "observer" type roles and NOT giving them the full military experience, that the program is NOT going to work.

Virtually any ex-Australian soldier will tell you that mateship is THE most important part of their military service (it certainly was mine) and by deliberately excluding "gap soldiers" from the FULL military experience, I think they would wreck the mateship of persons involved.
Fair enough, I misunderstood.

I guess the person here, who could comment best on short term service, is Waylander.

But you point out a good reason in your reference to "mateship", as to how to make it work for Australia. I think mechanized forces (tanker wankers) world wide tend to be close knit groups of soldiers and that is where I would look to
place any short term servicemen and women.

cheers


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Old December 22nd, 2006   #53
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Hmm now you mention men and women how is Australia's and NZ's operational relationship affected with women now being in all roles of service in the NZ Army, for example in the most recent East Timor deployment NZ was under Australia op command, that was bound to if not on that occasion soon to be, have women infantry soldiers serving closely with Australian forces, could this cause any issues? Given that Aus has ruled out Women in direct combat just recently. Anybody know what the ADF has done in regards to this?
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #54
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Many here in the USA see Russia as the major threat to USA as a nation. So Politics would be a large issue here with a proposed BMD buy by a minor, but politically important ally.
Politics are always a large issue where power is concerned. At what stage is a nation NOT considered a threat by USA?

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You would get some talk on the floor in congress about canning the Australian JSF order, no more M1A1 deals, etc, etc. Whether it would amount to something is another thing, but in my humble opinion, Australia should avoid having their name said in vain on the floor of congress.
Well, it has had its name "said in vain", and US did take action in regards to AWB. However while I in no way condone what AWB did, it seems a bit hypocritical for US to take action on something like that considering US itself has often participated in similar deals, and the practice is standard fare in the region.

Quite frankly not everyone here thinks the Sun shines out of JSF program.

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The reason Australia enjoys a relationship with the USA (as it does) is that it's integrity is rock solid. A BMD purchase would jeopardize that integrity.
So you are saying that Australia's integrity was not questioned when it bought British or German tanks, or if it purchases French guns, but a Russian IFV....that's another matter! Whatever happened to the "free trade" mantra? Was that not what the Cold War was about?

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Anyway very few nations (if any) can support an airborne mechanized unit if they deployed it from the air. That is not to say you cannot do it, but the question remains, why would you need to?
If I was Minister of Defence, I would want to retain the parachute capability as part of the options available to Australian Army operations. However given the limited, very limited, supply of trained personnel for this type of operations, I would want to do everything possible to give them all available chance of success. This includes providing them with as much mobility, protection and firepower as possible to enable them to complete their mission while avoiding casualties as much as possible. Armoured vehicles do all that. It makes more sense for a small force of this type to have IFVs.

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The USA has lately demonstrated "force de maneuver" that decreases any usefulness of deploying armor from the air by several orders of magnitude, so tell me where Australia could make use of, or even need such an expensive and rarely used capability?
How has US demonstrated this "force de maneuver"? (Note: I haven't seen this term since Renaissance!)

From your profile I see you are a military professional, so do I really need to give you a lecture on the worth of surprise where the force is limited and the enemy knows it’s coming?! This would be the case in 99% of Australia's operations, so ADF needs all the 'edge' it can get. Are you saying Australia should leave its defence policy to US? Surely as a sovereign country we have the option of having options?
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #55
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Their carbon monoxide rating is ecologically harmful... they would not pass the safety standards of the US or many of her developed allies. Ecology is a factor to environmentally aware nations.... of which Australia is the BIGGEST.
I'm not sure what you are talking about here, but I'll leave ecology out of it unless you care to expand on the impact relevant to military operations.

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Just because they only service them once every ten years doesn't make them less dependent on maintenance.
Again not sure what you are talking about here.

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Indians are building T-90s for mostly political reasons but that's not what we are discussing here. If they wanted spares for AFVs they would have to build them themselves if they ever had a falling out with the nation of origin. Australia could not do it without political and economic ramifications. Her trade relations with the US FAR outway any with Russia... she won't go out of her way to strain them. Comms gear could be ordered but it would up the price more than Americans would charge for the same.
I think long term relations with Russia are part of the purchasing decision making - another strategic choice.
I would suggest that IF Australia chose to purchase BMDs, it would significantly modify them anyway. The purchase would not be worth establishing a production facility, but any one of Defence contractors could dot he work on the fleet of what would be only 40 or so vehicles.

Are you saying that trading with countries US doesn't like damages relations? That is a bit of a 'Ford' approach to foreign policy and trade, isn't it?

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Actually it is a state issue. Those Russian companies are state holdings. They ripped off China on the Sukhois. Those weren't the new aircraft they were promised, they intentionally disasembled Soviet stocks when the president came to inspect the factory floor.
I haven't seen the contract on Sukhos, and the M1s Australia is getting are not new either. Lots of countries have defence industry enterprises owned in part by their governments because they are a strategic resource. Sure GM is not owned by the US government, but there is no way the US governement would let the company go under if the crunch came to it. Nor would they allow Russian investors to purchase majority share in GM
Democracy is only skin deep mate

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Politics? Everything is political... haven't you learned that yet?
Yes, but you need to explain what you meant by the comment, and not just leave it hanging...
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #56
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I haven't seen the contract on Sukhos, and the M1s Australia is getting are not new either.
PLAAF was cheated, they were told they would be new. Australia knew exactly what they were getting.


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Yes, but you need to explain what you meant by the comment, and not just leave it hanging...
I'm not going to get banned...
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #57
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Would Australia be more "self reliant" by using Russian equipment?
In actual fact the best time to use anything, is when the opposition doesn't think you can
I can discuss with you in private how this can be achieved.
I do not 'sell' Russian designs. However in this case what I'm saying is that there is no equivalen design forthcoming from our 'traditional' suppliers, and it would be uneconomical for Australia to launch into such a small production run.

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As to the idea's for Australia's recruiting. I think you are ALL missing the point about the "gap" soldiers to a LARGE degree. IF we keep doing what we've always done, our manning levels are going to continue to fall. Our current units are extremely hollow (ie: poorly manned). RAN is at a CRITICAL level for manning. Ships are about to get tied up at the dock for lack of sailors.

The POINT of it is to TRY and introduce another scheme to get more people interested in the military. If we don't have people ALL talk of various capabilities is irrelevant.
I can not agree more. There needs to be a change, a drastic one, and one that would offer long term sustained results. In fact a major change in policy. I wrote a rather long piece on this in another thread, but got no comment...
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #58
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I'm not going to get banned...
Would you get banned by explaining how politics impacted on that particular decision to purchase by India?!

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From my understanding of Russian equipment it does not meet ecological standards of many industrialized nations. Maintenance of such equipement to meet the high paced demands of active military operations is difficult and problamatic at best. To get spares outside of any fallout with the originator would deal with nations whose idealogical beliefs are outside that of Australias. Comms gear would have to be replaced as it is not compatible with any Joint action. Russian IFVs have shown little inovation and improvement over the Soviet era. With the scams they have pulled selling stock equipment instead of new platforms should make any potential buyer warry.

Not to mention the politics of the matter....
What is your problem here?
Used military equipment sales are part and parcel of defence industry, and goes on all the time. Unless this is NOT what you were refering to
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #59
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PLAAF was cheated, they were told they would be new.
I don't know enough about the deal to question your assertions. I don't know what constitutes for 'new' in supplying defence platforms. Everything gets tested, and the planes would have been flown at least once. They would still have that new 'smell' about them
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #60
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So you are saying that Australia's integrity was not questioned when it bought British or German tanks, or if it purchases French guns, but a Russian IFV....that's another matter! Whatever happened to the "free trade" mantra? Was that not what the Cold War was about?
I can think of nothing but grief in purchasing russian kit - even if it was reliable (and I've yet to see decent build quality on russian kit that might be of Oz interest)

Why would you even consider jeopardising the current equipment, ISR and security access we have? (which is only challenged at some levels by the UK)

the current tech sharing arrangments are significant - and quite frankly, any Oz govt that seeks to jeopardise that deserves getting turfed from office at the next round.

There is an extraordinary amount of tech sharing and unofficial goodwill that results in Oz being able to fast track a number of tech issues - and vice versa. A high proportion of that cannot be measured, and is not in the public domain. Doors that in theory should be closed are opened for us - and I'd like to see that stay in place. If it shifted the other way you can expect to see far less money made available for the block obsolesence replacement projects that should have been dealt with 10-15 years ago.

I can think of no sound reason to jeopardise our levels of critical access to essential future gen platforms and tech.

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Surely as a sovereign country we have the option of having options?
We do, but that needs to be judged against a greater empirical benchmark than the cost effectiveness of a given widget.

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From your profile I see you are a military professional, so do I really need to give you a lecture on the worth of surprise where the force is limited and the enemy knows it’s coming?!
It would be a dangerous thing to do, to lecture someone who's actual background is an unknown quantity to you. You'd be surprised at what some members actually "do for their day job"
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