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This is a discussion on ADF General discussion thread within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Hill used to refer to himself as the Minister Assisting the Prime minister of Defence, i.e. Howard had a very ...


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Old October 15th, 2013   #76
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Hill used to refer to himself as the Minister Assisting the Prime minister of Defence, i.e. Howard had a very firm grip on the portfolio and basically micro managed him.

This is understandable as by the time Hill took over their had been a succession of seat warmers through the portfolio who looked at defence as a personal plaything or even a convenient device to bludgeon Beazley with by attacking everything that was done other Labor, irrespective of its merit. By the time Hill took over Howard had been burnt by the lack of attention afforded defence, the inability to do things he wanted to do, as well international events forced a changing of priorities on the governments part as defence was now seen as important, it was a potential vote winner and a vote loser if not seen to be done well.
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Old October 15th, 2013   #77
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On to the nuts and bolts of Beazleys presentation, the mention of 17 majors is interesting, I had always been under the impression that it was to have been 16 plus a dozen or so corvettes. My understanding was that the DDGs (3) and FFGs (6) were to have been replaced by a class of (8) FFG/DDGs to form the Tier 1 element while the ANZACs (8) were to have been Tier 2. Beazley seems to be suggesting that the existing Tier 1 ships were planned to be replaced one for one. The mention of NZs contribution of 4 Anzacs brings the total of majors up to 21, only 2 short of the 23 Frazer (as defence minister in the late 60s early 70s) stated that we needed.

All of this leads my to wonder if we would be better off had we not wasted so much time on the failed ANZAC WIP and just built modern replacements for the 3 DDGs before replacing the 6 FFGs with something suitable.

All irrelevant now, I seriously doubt, considering the political climate and the reductions in number to date that we will ever see such a plan realised.

3 Flight IIA Burkes would have been good especially if followed by 6 FFGs (F-100s or maybe even F124 with SPY-1F), complementing the ANZACs and Corvettes. N
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Old October 23rd, 2013   #78
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IT is a pity the C.F.Adams were not replaced one for one when they were retired. Maybe we could of got from the Yanks three Ticonderosa destroyers. Although they may have been a bit man-power heavy for the R.A.N.
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Old October 23rd, 2013   #79
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IT is a pity the C.F.Adams were not replaced one for one when they were retired. Maybe we could of got from the Yanks three Ticonderosa destroyers. Although they may have been a bit man-power heavy for the R.A.N.
Actually we had the opportunity to take up the 4 Kidd class DDG's, but that offer was declined, supposedly because of the bad taste left in our mouths from the problems associated with the two second hand Newport LST's which became Manoora and Kanimbla.

See the link below about the Kidd Class:

Kidd-class destroyer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old October 23rd, 2013   #80
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Actually we had the opportunity to take up the 4 Kidd class DDG's, but that offer was declined, supposedly because of the bad taste left in our mouths from the problems associated with the two second hand Newport LST's which became Manoora and Kanimbla.

See the link below about the Kidd Class:

Kidd-class destroyer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
3 x Tico cruisers (Block 1's) were also an option - but deemed US for our needs. Too much effort required to make them competitive
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Old November 7th, 2013   #81
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Saw an article in The Australian today about a report released by the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in the US.

The report is called: Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defense Strategy and the Future of the Australia-U.S. Alliance

Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defense Strategy and the Future of the Australia-U.S. Alliance | CSBA

There is a 52 page PDF that you can download to read, haven't had a chance to read it thoroughly yet myself, certainly not enough to make any comments yet, but I thought it might be of interest to the rest of you here on DT.

Cheers,
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Old November 9th, 2013   #82
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Saw an article in The Australian today about a report released by the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in the US.

The report is called: Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defense Strategy and the Future of the Australia-U.S. Alliance

Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defense Strategy and the Future of the Australia-U.S. Alliance | CSBA

There is a 52 page PDF that you can download to read, haven't had a chance to read it thoroughly yet myself, certainly not enough to make any comments yet, but I thought it might be of interest to the rest of you here on DT.

Cheers,
Yes having just read it, it makes for interesting reading. Fundamentally I think the paper is on the right track in regards in regards to long range interdiction/strike, we just dont have enough tanker aircraft for the RAAF to make a difference in controlling the air-sea gap and maintaining a CAP plus maritime interdiction at the same time. Its interesting that it says with only 5 AAR refueling aircraft the RAAF will be unable to capitalize on the long range nature of E7A & P8A.

An interesting take on long range strike/interdiction may be solved with the introduction of the B1 Lancer to replace the F-111 instead F35 which would rely on the AAR fleet, B1s would give the RAAF a level of endurance which the RAAF has never had before and can conduct a variety of missions in the maritime domain as well as conventional bombing missions, but unfortunately operating cost would rule out the aircraft on that basis alone, it may time for AusGov to get involved in the LRS-B program.

Question is what would the cost associated with 42 aircraft (24xB, 6x RF, 12x training aircraft) and getting involved with the LRS-B program be compared to either 2x light carrier(Cavour) or a single QEC with 36 F35B and supporting assets or how many KC-30A/F-35A would be needed to fulfill long range strike/interdiction and CAP for the AEW aircraft on a simulations mission.
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Old November 10th, 2013   #83
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Yes having just read it, it makes for interesting reading.
I also read the paper and there were many discussions that were interesting re the RAN force structure however, once we delve into the RAAF force structures the authors started quoting Dr Carlo and co and decrying the loss of the F-111 strike capability.

This set the alarm tentacles twitching and I hoisted it in with a fair dose of scepticism, particularly re the B1's
I am not an expert on air warfare capabilities (apart from the usual internet tosh) and would like an opinion from those who are before passing final judgement.

Cheers
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Old November 10th, 2013   #84
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I also read the paper and there were many discussions that were interesting re the RAN force structure however, once we delve into the RAAF force structures the authors started quoting Dr Carlo and co and decrying the loss of the F-111 strike capability.

This set the alarm tentacles twitching and I hoisted it in with a fair dose of scepticism, particularly re the B1's
I am not an expert on air warfare capabilities (apart from the usual internet tosh) and would like an opinion from those who are before passing final judgement.

Cheers
Chris
Yes I did think of that at the time I saw his name crop up, but realistically we have just about always had dedicated bomber on the flight line, all I taken from it is that the retirement of our F-111 is they came to the conclusion that we lack the assets that can exploit our long range AEW assets and cover the air-sea gap adequately to support not only ourselves but the US. As it rightly explains depending on the situation the US support assets may not be available.

As it points out that the US may downsize their fleet of B1 Lancer but will still have effective aircraft out to the mid-2030 when hopefully LRS-B program might be operational and gives as it describes “The mere possession of such a long-range strike capability could help compensate for the loss of long-range air strike capability incurred by Canberra’s decision to phase out the F-111. It would also send out a powerful signal to potential adversaries and strengthen Australia’s conventional deterrent”

Since the only other way we could have that type of flexibility without staging from another friendly nation is by aircraft carrier, on that basis I whole heartily agree with that sentiment that our AAR fleet while modern is inadequate in numbers and without other means our long range strike/interdiction and CAP is severely limited.

B-1 goes to sea for testing, evaluation

“On 4 September 2013, a B-1B Lancer participated in a maritime tactics development and evaluation with other bomber and fighter aircraft with the goal of improving and better understanding the aircraft's capabilities in the naval environment. During the evaluations, the B-1 dropped a total of six munitions, including a laser-guided 500 lb. GBU-54 bomb, 500 lb. and 2,000 lb. Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), and Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) test munitions. The B-1's role in the exercise was to detect, target, and engage small boats using currently fielded and available weapons, which were released in all weather conditions. Many of the dynamic targeting skills refined over the past decade on land are directly applicable in the maritime environment. The B-1's versatility allows it perform missions in future conflicts at sea, including protecting assets at sea and using its speed and endurance to patrol allied shipping lanes”

And a possible upgrade,
The B-1R is a proposed upgrade of existing B-1B aircraft. The B-1R (R for "regional") would be fitted with advanced radars, air-to-air missiles, and new Pratt & Whitney F119 engines. This variant would have a top speed of Mach 2.2, but with 20% less range.

Existing external hard points would be modified to allow multiple conventional weapons to be carried, increasing overall load out. For air-to-air defense, an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar would be added and some existing hard points modified to carry air-to-air missiles. If needed the B-1R could escape from unfavorable air-to-air encounters with its Mach 2+ speed. Few aircraft are currently capable of sustained speeds over Mach 2.


By all means I’m not for or against the idea and not totally convinced either way, one just has to look at the RAF Black Buck raid in the Falkland’s at the time and energy put in to it for the result and the aircrafts role in Afghanistan, but with the aircraft being able to push the envelope in the maritime environment it surely has to be debated on its merits.
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Old November 10th, 2013   #85
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The B-1R sounds well and good but when it comes down to it why not wait for the LRS-B and buy them instead of the final lot of F-35As if that sort of capability is deemed necessary?

If it is an urgent requirement, that requires the B1-B to be transferred to a maritime strike role, then the US can raise the capability themselves and negotiate to transfer it to the RAAF at their expense.

Same with the SSN proposal, Australia is planning a conventional fleet, if the US requires Australia to operate SSNs then they can fund the acquisition and support the establishment of the required support capabilities in Australia.
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Old November 11th, 2013   #86
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I would contend that a SSN purchase would be a better fit if we are serious about long-range strike. A few Virginia's with Tomahawks would provide a very strong deterrent affect which is primarily what all this is for.

Plus, it would save the RAN a bucket load when they figured how to run an extension lead from the docked boats and power their bases for free.
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Old November 12th, 2013   #87
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Hmmm...
I've heard we are already buying a long ranged maritime and land strike capable platform in the P-8A so, er, why don't we just use that?

Apparently the non-supersonic H-6 Badgers are a strategic bringer of doom according to some quarters, so how much less capable could a P-8A be?

Both feature similar combat radius, similar cruise speeds, similar altitude capability and similar payloads in terms of missile capability...

Oh of course. H-6's are flown by China. P-8's can't do what an F-22A can as only an F-22A could outmatch a H-6. Therefore the H-6 is clearly much superior...

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Old November 12th, 2013   #88
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And a possible upgrade,
The B-1R is a proposed upgrade of existing B-1B aircraft. The B-1R (R for "regional") would be fitted with advanced radars, air-to-air missiles, and new Pratt & Whitney F119 engines. This variant would have a top speed of Mach 2.2, but with 20% less range.
The B-1R isn't going to happen - consider that the United States military already has the most comprehensive and dominant air to air capability on the planet, without the B-1R. In contrast its bomber fleet is growing in age and is limited to its current inventory count, and will remain that way for a number of years before the USAF can deploy ANY new dedicated bomber aircraft. Which capability do you think requires airframes more urgently?

I'm pretty certain that the existing B-1Bs will be retained in their present role and configuration, and I very much doubt any of them will be leaving USAF service for any reason besides cannibalising older aircraft to maintain the fleet, if it's necessary.

If a decision to maintain a strategic strike capability for the RAAF had been made years ago, maybe things would be different and maybe Australia could have bought and sustained an appropriate platform - but the time for that decision has well and truly passed and I don't expect that to change in the foreseeable future, except in a bizzaro world where an Australian government might actually agree to substantial increases in military spending and capability....
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Old January 30th, 2014   #89
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There are some reports that Australia Network will be cut in the upcoming budget.
Abbott to kill ABC’s Australia Network | | MacroBusiness

On the surface it would seem that this is a major blow to Australian "soft power" in the region. Especially on the back of foreign aid cuts late last year.

One would think a nation that is geographically situated in a region that has vastly different cultural and social values to our own would want to maximize soft power, not degrade it.

Can anyone else make sense of this?

I would suggest that "soft power" is an essential supporting element of Information Warfare (IW) and more broadly 5th generation warfare in general.

Seems rather odd to me.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Bluey 006; January 30th, 2014 at 06:36 AM.
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Old January 30th, 2014   #90
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3 x Tico cruisers (Block 1's) were also an option - but deemed US for our needs. Too much effort required to make them competitive
We (RN) had a look at them post Falklands as well but they came attached to a requirement to use Standard missiles etc. That plus the extra sea sickness tablets required would have pushed running costs up for the RN.
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