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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 FutureTank I think long term relations with Russia are part of the purchasing decision making - another ...


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Old December 23rd, 2006   #61
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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.
I think you should read up on Kinnaird requirments for defence acquisitions if you think it realistic that Australia would purchase a small fleet of vehicles for a very narrow role and then heavily modify them in this day and age, particularly off a supplier that has been judged un-reliable and of little benefit in the past.

Russian Companies have replied to request for tenders for Australian acquisition projects in the past (somewhat optimistically I guess) and have ALWAYS been found wanting.

The fact is the Cold War mentality exists in a lot of ways. Russian's ARE the "bad guys" in lot of peoples minds and their kit is not rated highly by Australian force planners.

The "enemy" vehicles we "trained" against in the late 90's during live fire battle runs were BRDM's and those figure 11's STILL look to me like they're carrying AK's...

IF an armoured vehicle is a necesity for our airborne troops (and I don't think it is because like it or not 3RAR IS losing the role) something like Weisel would suit ADF better, in my humble opinion. It can be airdropped for a start (no 18 ton vehicle is EVER going to be air-dropped) and the Government (of either persuasion) has no political hang-ups about buying German kit...

A PM on this subject would be welcome if you're keen to send it.

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Old December 23rd, 2006   #62
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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.
It would seem to me that this approach is exactly what has gotten us into so much grief in the past. Hence Kinnaird as AD mentioned.
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #63
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How has US demonstrated this "force de maneuver"? (Note: I haven't seen this term since Renaissance!)
ummm, Iraqi Freedom would be a good example.
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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?! 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?
"Military professional"... I design and make stuff, including the types of vehicles you are proposing. So your comments are of great interest to me, as you would be the only person in 1, 2, 3, seven years I have heard of seriously advocating an airborne armor capability.

In other words I am prepared to hear you out. "honest and genuine interest" is I think what I wrote.

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Old December 23rd, 2006   #64
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IF an armoured vehicle is a necesity for our airborne troops (and I don't think it is because like it or not 3RAR IS losing the role) something like Weisel would suit ADF better, in my humble opinion. It can be airdropped for a start (no 18 ton vehicle is EVER going to be air-dropped) and the Government (of either persuasion) has no political hang-ups about buying German kit...
Definitely, Wiesel would be the way to go, with the mix of TOW and 20mm equipped versions. It's really the only way to deliver enough vehicles at once to be any use.
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #65
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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.

You'd be surprised at what some members actually "do for their day job"
I don't accept this argument.
Consider Israel and what happened to it when it was denied tech sharing with UK and France in the 60s, and Israel had far fewer resources then Australia does.
It seems to me that whatever the opinion on Russian systems, it was their technology that NATO tried to counter for half a century. Even if it si as bad as you suggest, the challenge of making it suit Australian standards would be a far greater contribution to ADF and ADI knowledge and skill levels then its direct transfer from US.

I would not be surprised what some members do for their day jobs...even if they work at night Forums like this one usually have a smattering of ex-servicemen, current serving members of forces or civilian employees, not a few amateurs and a number of opinionated civilians. I have been in forums for at least a decade and have been put in my place more then once by professionals, but I have also learned that professionals often reflect thinking and views made all too narrow by their 'day jobs'. I'm here to learn, but I'm not too humble to say that I also have some ideas, unpopular though they may be.
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #66
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Doors that in theory should be closed are opened for us
Isn't there a Chines proverb about "not every door left open should be entered"? Or is that from a MOUT manual
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #67
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I don't accept this argument.
Consider Israel and what happened to it when it was denied tech sharing with UK and France in the 60s, and Israel had far fewer resources then Australia does.
Israel is in a state of war - and necessity is the mother of invention. There is no relationship to the evolution of self sufficiency that drove Israel towards her current capability and Oz. Australia granted has latent capability - but until the threat matrix shifts, there is no viable reason for Aust to go and imbalance the way she plays in the technology sharing field in a cost negative fashion. There is substantial Oz military technology sold to countries not on the "hostiles list" already - and probably 80% of it doesn't hit the public domain. We however, don't need a defence sector to help support the economy (unlike israel). The Israeli tech curve and development curve are inextricably linked to National Interest and existing threat matrices. We're nowhere near that requirement.


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It seems to me that whatever the opinion on Russian systems, it was their technology that NATO tried to counter for half a century. Even if it si as bad as you suggest, the challenge of making it suit Australian standards would be a far greater contribution to ADF and ADI knowledge and skill levels then its direct transfer from US.
I fail to see any merit in "modifying" russian kit to suit our needs. Its not just a hardware modification issue. hell, you can turn a dog kennel into an APC if you're motivated enough - that doesn't mean that there is a compelling need or technical sensibility in doing so. There are very very few russian systems that would be on my shopping list.

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I would not be surprised what some members do for their day jobs...even if they work at night Forums like this one usually have a smattering of ex-servicemen, current serving members of forces or civilian employees, not a few amateurs and a number of opinionated civilians. I have been in forums for at least a decade and have been put in my place more then once by professionals, but I have also learned that professionals often reflect thinking and views made all too narrow by their 'day jobs'. I'm here to learn, but I'm not too humble to say that I also have some ideas, unpopular though they may be.
Anyone is going respond to debate within the parameters of their experiences and comprehension. It doesn't matter whether we believe that we are right - its a matter of being able to support our positions in a coherent and seemingly astute/acute fashion. It will be rare even to get professionals completely agreeing with each other. Its the substance of argument that is critical.

Competency of debate for me is measured by the consistency of demonstrated logic and considered coherent statements submitted over time. Its pretty easy then to see whether people are thinkers or parroters - even if I might disagree with their position.
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #68
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Israel is in a state of war - and necessity is the mother of invention.
And Australia is not?!

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…until the threat matrix shifts, there is no viable reason for Aust to go and imbalance the way she plays in the technology sharing field in a cost negative fashion.
The suggestion is that ADF waits until this requirement materialises…which, given the technology advances, may be too late. Remember the lag?

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you can turn a dog kennel into an APC if you're motivated enough
That is an innovative description of the M113

I don’t think I have hidden the fact that I find much about AFV design philosophy in the FSU innovative and useful, particularly within the scope of ADF needs. US had, and continue to design for their own needs/wants rather then export needs. Much of US range of systems and platforms looses much of the functional advantage when not used within the integrated ‘system of systems’ and US DoD structures, and this is, or soon will become unaffordable for Australia. One way to negate this is to encourage, nay demand domestic capacity building within the industrial sectors. Is not the ‘underdeveloped manufacturing’ still the loudest ‘cry’ heard in the commercial sector? Its great to have mining, but we don't need to be dependant on that. Luckily it seems that the next generation of US Army platforms will be scaled down to more manageable specifications then the M1 and M2/3, but this should not lull ADF or ADI into a dependency posture. The technology transfer flow need not be unidirectional
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #69
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And Australia is not?!
Even a brief cursory look at the history of the middle east from 1948 would show that there is no parallel between the severity of threat that the israelis have been confronted with - and with the perception of threat towards australia. They have been under threat of absolute destruction from some neighbouring states for nigh on 60 years. The conviction and requirement to survive on their own terms is self evident.



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The suggestion is that ADF waits until this requirement materialises…which, given the technology advances, may be too late. Remember the lag?
when was the last time we needed to do a cradle to grave platform at short notice? the boomerang and wirriway?

New build requirements have gone through a procurement cycle which ranges from 5 years to 15 years for major capital assets. The last 6 years alone have shown a govt that is dramatically prepared to break that procurement cycle and fast track selection of essential or identified as essential assets. ie the procurement curve has been halved if not quartered in the decision making box.

Lag is equated to threat. lag is also governed by latency. I don't see an issue of excessive lag when all the other variables are included.


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That is an innovative description of the M113

I don’t think I have hidden the fact that I find much about AFV design philosophy in the FSU innovative and useful, particularly within the scope of ADF needs. US had, and continue to design for their own needs/wants rather then export needs. Much of US range of systems and platforms looses much of the functional advantage when not used within the integrated ‘system of systems’ and US DoD structures, and this is, or soon will become unaffordable for Australia. One way to negate this is to encourage, nay demand domestic capacity building within the industrial sectors. Is not the ‘underdeveloped manufacturing’ still the loudest ‘cry’ heard in the commercial sector? Its great to have mining, but we don't need to be dependant on that. Luckily it seems that the next generation of US Army platforms will be scaled down to more manageable specifications then the M1 and M2/3, but this should not lull ADF or ADI into a dependency posture. The technology transfer flow need not be unidirectional
The technology transfer is unidirectional. (there are more Bushmaster sales coming up - around 150 units). But why continue to support inefficient industry sectors under the noblesse oblige' of national interest?

We don't live in an antipodean version of the Monroe Doctrine. We should therefore continue to buy and build where appropriate. Creating jobs for the sake of supporting inefficiency is beyond the pale, developing jobs in niche areas where we demonstrate persistent competency seems far more logical.
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #70
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Even a brief cursory look at the history of the middle east from 1948 would show that there is no parallel between the severity of threat that the israelis have been confronted with - and with the perception of threat towards australia. They have been under threat of absolute destruction from some neighbouring states for nigh on 60 years. The conviction and requirement to survive on their own terms is self evident.





when was the last time we needed to do a cradle to grave platform at short notice? the boomerang and wirriway?

New build requirements have gone through a procurement cycle which ranges from 5 years to 15 years for major capital assets. The last 6 years alone have shown a govt that is dramatically prepared to break that procurement cycle and fast track selection of essential or identified as essential assets. ie the procurement curve has been halved if not quartered in the decision making box.

Lag is equated to threat. lag is also governed by latency. I don't see an issue of excessive lag when all the other variables are included.




The technology transfer is unidirectional. (there are more Bushmaster sales coming up - around 150 units). But why continue to support inefficient industry sectors under the noblesse oblige' of national interest?

We don't live in an antipodean version of the Monroe Doctrine. We should therefore continue to buy and build where appropriate. Creating jobs for the sake of supporting inefficiency is beyond the pale, developing jobs in niche areas where we demonstrate persistent competency seems far more logical.
So you are saying that we should wait and see a couple of decades to see if the threat gets worse, and pay no attention to other countries protecting their defence industry sectors?
I just cringe when I see headlines like "Slovenian Army's New APCs: Patria's AMVs"
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #71
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I don't accept this argument.
Consider Israel and what happened to it when it was denied tech sharing with UK and France in the 60s, and Israel had far fewer resources then Australia does.
It seems to me that whatever the opinion on Russian systems, it was their technology that NATO tried to counter for half a century. Even if it si as bad as you suggest, the challenge of making it suit Australian standards would be a far greater contribution to ADF and ADI knowledge and skill levels then its direct transfer from US.
I hardly think that we are soley reliant on the US in ANY case. A cursory inspection of the acquisition projects over the last 20 or so years shows we tend to split around 50:50 between Europe and the USA for ADF acquisitions (MRH-90, Tiger, Squirrels, A330, Hawk Mk 127, Collins, ANZAC's, Huon's, Hamels, Steyrs, Minimi's, MAG-58's, 12.7mm HMG's, RBS-70 versus F/A-18's, Wedgetails, Abrams, M198's, Javelin's, FFG's, Manoora/Kanimbla, Blackhawk/Sea Hawk, Chinooks) with the odd "Australian platforms" (Bushmaster, Armidal)e, Canadian ASLAV's, Israeli TUAV's and the list goes on.

The list may appear distorted because a few of the biggest projects in the last FEW years are of US design (JSF/Super Hornet, Abrams, Wedgetail, AWD's, C-17's, C-130J's etc), but our acquisitions are REALLY spread out over the WHOLE of ADF. We'll be choosing a French or Spanish LPD, quite possibly German SPG's for Land 17...
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Old December 23rd, 2006   #72
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So you are saying that we should wait and see a couple of decades to see if the threat gets worse, and pay no attention to other countries protecting their defence industry sectors?
The inference is that we are completely oblivious to the changing landscape of the defence industry sector. I'd argue that the Govt is not.

I'd also argue that some of the bleatings I've seen from some of the SME's as well as the primes are driven and governed by self interest.

eg, I was unfortunate enough to have to sit in an AIDN Vic meeting "twixt" DMO, defence industry mermbers and a Federal Minister about extracting as much JSF work as possible before signing off. some members were indignantly broadcasting to all and sundry that we should demand a specific percentile of work, and that AustGov should ask for all tail plane, all main wing spar and all landing gear work (for USAF/USMC as well as internationals) or we'd refuse to sign. As an example of the stellar naivete of some in australian business - thats hard to beat. Should they be "pandas"? (Pandas being the euphemisim for a "protected species"). As a form of industrial natural selection, they'd be the last companies that you'd seek to protect. Meanwhile, other australian companies had quietly backdoored work without any fanfare - and had been successful.

To give another example. The USN, State Dept and US Dept of Commerce came out one year and offered to assist australian industry along the lines of the USN BMP programme - To the extent that they would have co-funded their contribution at no cost to Oz industry. This was at a time when the Oz maritime industry was floundering, and when you had stellar performances by such contributors as Forgacs and Tenix hitting the broadsheets. 95% of industry participants in that room failed to grasp the concepts of what was being offered. Again, a room full of self proclaimed (by association) "'Pandas"

You protect and assist what is worthy - you don't protect it just because it says it needs protection.

We read the US Dept Commerce report into US shipbuilding so were well aware of the problems they had. We were also aware of the USN report into UK shipbuilding as a legacy of the USN assist on the Astutes. However, neither are necessarily reflective or transferable to an Oz context.

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I just cringe when I see headlines like "Slovenian Army's New APCs: Patria's AMVs"
Is the issue one of platform envy or asset vacuum against a visible requirement?
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Old December 24th, 2006   #73
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The inference is that we are completely oblivious to the changing landscape of the defence industry sector. I'd argue that the Govt is not.

Is the issue one of platform envy or asset vacuum against a visible requirement?
gf...I'm a bit busy tonight to answer your post, but in the case of the last question it goes deeper then either. Is there any reason Australia (and New Zealand) can not manufacture the sort of vehicle Slovenia is manufacturing (albeit with Finland's help)? Instead we bought the LAVs. Not saying the LAV is not what we were looking for, but it leaves my pride somewhat brused considering Slovakia wasn't even a nation until a decade ago.
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Old December 24th, 2006   #74
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gf...I'm a bit busy tonight to answer your post, but in the case of the last question it goes deeper then either. Is there any reason Australia (and New Zealand) can not manufacture the sort of vehicle Slovenia is manufacturing (albeit with Finland's help)? Instead we bought the LAVs. Not saying the LAV is not what we were looking for, but it leaves my pride somewhat brused considering Slovakia wasn't even a nation until a decade ago.
General Dynamics Australia manufactures the LAV series 25mm turrets, wholly in Australia. In my view it's pointless manufacturing a new vehicle when we don't have the industry to provide modern engines, tranmissions and drive line systems. Bushmaster is an obvious exceptio, we make the hulls and screw everything else together AFTER we've imported it from somewhere else.

Is this worthwhile doing on MORE vehicles? I doubt it. The cost of implementing production lines for such small vehicle fleets is not worth it. They found a (sort of) niche market with Bushmaster. With IFV/APC type vehicles? I think that market is pretty well covered...

As to having a new IFV designed here, Tenix and ADI are probably theonly 2 companies in Australia that could do it and would you WANT them to? I wouldn't trust them to upgrade the tyres on my car. Look at the utter abortion that is the M113 upgrade program...
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Old December 24th, 2006   #75
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Is there any reason Australia (and New Zealand) can not manufacture the sort of vehicle Slovenia is manufacturing (albeit with Finland's help)? Instead we bought the LAVs. Not saying the LAV is not what we were looking for, but it leaves my pride somewhat brused considering Slovakia wasn't even a nation until a decade ago.

But we do make the ASLAVs!
The turrets are/were fabricated in Adelaide.
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