ADF General discussion thread

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
A new, interesting Twitter thread by Mick Ryan.


Some key points: Deterring Chinese attack on Taiwan should be a high priority and driver for future military strategy. However, he is also pointing out the importance of the army and the need for balanced armed forces. "Wars are fought in the air and on sea but won on land. This won’t be possible if soldiers are denied core capabilities like tanks, long range strike, air defence & loitering munition swarms."

He suggests a high-tech, balanced military that can handle surprises (in the past Australian armed forces have had to handle a number of surprises).

No doubt Australia also needs more surface vessels, more munitions for the F-35s, etc. etc. However, according to Ryan, Australia also need to strengthen the army considerably.

Seems to me Australia should significantly increase the defense budget.

(And I still am surprised at the low number of Australian OPVs... :) )
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
(And I still am surprised at the low number of Australian OPVs... :) )
Some of these low numbers might be at least partially due to the authorized strengths for the various services, but I also suspect that at least part of the reasoning has to due to some of the other Australian (non-mil) services and overall capabilities. Whilst having a vast area to keep track of, Australia has also spent significant coin and decades of time in developing wide area sensor coverage, as well as systems which as supposed to collect and collate sensor data for a number of different sources.

As an example, if there are perhaps 1,000 vessels of one kind or another in the EEZ waters along Australia's northern/northwestern approaches that Australia has been able to detect and track for several days, some of these capabilities could potential enable the ADF and AusGov to winnow 1,000 vessels into a much more manageable number of 'suspect' vessels. If there are perhaps only 50 such vessels that are suspicious, that is a much more feasible number to send out Australian aircraft or vessels to investigate. In addition to RAN vessels, there are RAAF aircraft as well as civilian agencies like the ABF and contractors for those agencies like Surveillance Australia, which flies a fleet of Dash 8 prop airliners configured for MPS. If memory serves, there also had been several helicopters configured for MPS which were also operated by agencies from facilities around northern Queensland and NT.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
I agree.

And to me this suggests investing in inventory before additional F-35 etc.

More broadly I feel that more P-8s would make sense before more F-35 given the expanses involved.

Regards,

Massive
Additional P-8s would serve us well.
Suggest a priority acquisition.

Cheers S
 

Lolcake

Member
Agree with not aquiring b-21s, money better spent on local manufacturing and stockpiles of the new CPS equipped on our subs.
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
Two idle thoughts...

Can anyone suggesting strikes on dams (and there was more than one to quote) please first have a read of Rule 42 of the International Humanitarian Law and then paragraph 5.59 of ADDP 06.4 - Law of Armed Conflict. Then can we discuss force design without assuming that the ADF will deliberately commit breaches of domestic and international law?

For those saying we should by additional x or a squadron of y, you need to understand that there are two factors that need to be addressed. First, you need money at the right time and second you need a slot in the production line. Some of these desires don't have slots, some don't have slots until the late 20s and some aren't produced anymore. There is one particular option that keeps coming up where there simply aren't slots available - and we looked for months to find the slots... In addition, some of the enablers aren't as good as they appear. If, for instance, you want to maintain a Sqn of F-35 operating to our north, KC-30As are not necessarily your best option to make this / improve this. There are many people here looking at kit in isolation and not the force of FIC as a whole.

Seriously, war crimes as a force design determinant....:eek:
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
Can anyone suggesting strikes on dams (and there was more than one to quote) please first have a read of Rule 42 of the International Humanitarian Law and then paragraph 5.59 of ADDP 06.4 - Law of Armed Conflict. Then can we discuss force design without assuming that the ADF will deliberately commit breaches of domestic and international law?
For absolute crystal clarity, my point (if you’re referring to me) was not either that we should buy B21s or blow up dams - we shouldn’t do either - it was in response to a comment that there’s no point in having the capability to reach out and touch the Chinese mainland.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Two idle thoughts...

Can anyone suggesting strikes on dams (and there was more than one to quote) please first have a read of Rule 42 of the International Humanitarian Law and then paragraph 5.59 of ADDP 06.4 - Law of Armed Conflict. Then can we discuss force design without assuming that the ADF will deliberately commit breaches of domestic and international law?

For those saying we should by additional x or a squadron of y, you need to understand that there are two factors that need to be addressed. First, you need money at the right time and second you need a slot in the production line. Some of these desires don't have slots, some don't have slots until the late 20s and some aren't produced anymore. There is one particular option that keeps coming up where there simply aren't slots available - and we looked for months to find the slots... In addition, some of the enablers aren't as good as they appear. If, for instance, you want to maintain a Sqn of F-35 operating to our north, KC-30As are not necessarily your best option to make this / improve this. There are many people here looking at kit in isolation and not the force of FIC as a whole.

Seriously, war crimes as a force design determinant....:eek:
Relating to the above, can we also have people focus less on the kit itself, and more on what effects or capabilities are desired AND in what time frame is it expected that the effects/capabilities would be wanted/needed?

In effect, looking at the overall force structure and what outputs are likely needed or desired, versus getting bogged down in details on specific kit. Going into detail on specific kit might be able to address needs/wants for specific vignettes, but could have SFA relevance to others. By looking at the overall force structure, then we might be able to get a sense of what potential scenarios are covered, as well as which likely scenarios would expose or involve vulnerable areas.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Relating to the above, can we also have people focus less on the kit itself, and more on what effects or capabilities are desired AND in what time frame is it expected that the effects/capabilities would be wanted/needed?

In effect, looking at the overall force structure and what outputs are likely needed or desired, versus getting bogged down in details on specific kit. Going into detail on specific kit might be able to address needs/wants for specific vignettes, but could have SFA relevance to others. By looking at the overall force structure, then we might be able to get a sense of what potential scenarios are covered, as well as which likely scenarios would expose or involve vulnerable areas.
Do we need a LR strike capability? yes. Do we need to necessarily purchase B-21s to fill that mission? no. Can we do this mission with current and planned future platforms that are far more flexible than a B-21? yes.
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
The Russia Contingency: Revisiting Russian Air Performance in Ukraine - War on the Rocks

Very interesting discussion between Michael Kofman and a couple of RUSI analysts about lessons from the performance of the Russian Air Force to date (paywalled unfortunately).

One of the key takeaways for me that’s relevant for the ADF was more on the Ukranian side. Apparently the footage of Bayraktar TB2 kills was largely taken in the first week and a half, and then drip fed out over the subsequent weeks to give the impression of ongoing effectiveness. Their view is that since the Russian IADS got their act together TB2s are no longer particularly useful in a strike role. This is certainly news to me (perhaps not others on here more knowledgeable than I) and from a very credible source.

It certainly has significant implications for the “we don’t need manned aircraft and armour, just drones and missiles” crowd. I presume (hope?) that this is well known to Houston and Smith as they are learning from Ukraine when making their recommendations.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I'm not sure I agree with you on this particular point. It depends where the bombs land.

I’d wager that putting 10x strikes at various points along each of the four main oil and gas pipelines (see here) and then the remaining 60 into the three gorges dam might be a little more inconvenient for the Chinese.

But the gist of your point remains 100% valid, as it’d be far more cost effective to do this with Tomahawks than manned aircraft.
A strike against dams is against international law and regarded as a war crime.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The PRC industrial capability is greater than the US industrial capability and it's pumping out naval vessels, aircraft, AFVs, guns, weapons etc., at high rates. During WW2 the US industrial capability was responsible for winning the war against both Nazi Germany in the west and the Japanese Empire. Today the US cannot repeat that same output because it just doesn't have anywhere near the same industrial mass to start with.

So I certainly believe that a problem exists and it may mean that people may have to change how they think about capability acquisitions in this case. Whilst the F-35, Hunter Class FFG, and other platforms maybe the best on the market, they also require extensive time and resources to build, plus treasure to acquire. Quality, especially high quality, is great however it comes at a cost and if you are required to increase numbers rapidly, that cost may be prohibitive not only in treasure, but more importantly in time and quantities deliverable. Maybe the quality level of good is more appropriate and advisable here, with such platforms and manufacturers needing to be identified. You should be prepared to look at non traditional suppliers.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
It's mind boggling that B-21s are being mentioned when IFVs and MBTs are seen as too specialised and unnecessary. You don't get much more specialised than a low observable medium bomber.
That is in development.
Bonkers.

F-111 first flight was 1964. Arrived in Australia in 1973.
B1 first flight first flight was 1974. In service 1986.
B2 first flight was 1989. Entered service 1997.

B21 First flight 2023? Entering service, in the US perhaps 2034? Integration of maritime strike? Typically not a priority for the USAF, as they have the USN for that. Even if we want it, the first batch will be for the USAF.

Super expensive, super specialized, quick better disband the tanks! Bombers are pretty cool, not sure worth giving up every other unit, army and navy for it.
 

Lolcake

Member
I cannot agree with prioritising land 400 over additional air and naval assets in the current circumstance. If not the B-21 then a local manufacturing of CPS hypersonic missiles should be developed.

18 to 27bn is an enormous amount of money. Do we really have to have the best of the best ifvs? Are there not some upgradable but wanted cv90s that would make do?

Slovakia signed a deal for 152 CV90 mk4 for 1.7bn euro just recently and that included infrastructure. The Dutch version also has alot of the features of the redback.

 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The PRC industrial capability is greater than the US industrial capability and it's pumping out naval vessels, aircraft, AFVs, guns, weapons etc., at high rates. During WW2 the US industrial capability was responsible for winning the war against both Nazi Germany in the west and the Japanese Empire. Today the US cannot repeat that same output because it just doesn't have anywhere near the same industrial mass to start with.

So I certainly believe that a problem exists and it may mean that people may have to change how they think about capability acquisitions in this case. Whilst the F-35, Hunter Class FFG, and other platforms maybe the best on the market, they also require extensive time and resources to build, plus treasure to acquire. Quality, especially high quality, is great however it comes at a cost and if you are required to increase numbers rapidly, that cost may be prohibitive not only in treasure, but more importantly in time and quantities deliverable. Maybe the quality level of good is more appropriate and advisable here, with such platforms and manufacturers needing to be identified. You should be prepared to look at non traditional suppliers.
The industrial capacity of the NATO block, Japan, SKorea, and Australia working together on basic military kit certainly would counter China’s industrial capacity. The “together “ part is the big obstacle.
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
I cannot agree with prioritising land 400 over additional air and naval assets in the current circumstance. If not the B-21 then a local manufacturing of CPS hypersonic missiles should be developed.

18 to 27bn is an enormous amount of money. Do we really have to have the best of the best ifvs? Are there not some upgradable but wanted cv90s that would make do?

Slovakia signed a deal for 152 CV90 mk4 for 1.7bn euro just recently and that included infrastructure. The Dutch version also has alot of the features of the redback.

$18 to 27 b in out-turned dollars that buys vehicles, industry, facilities, spares and sustainment support until at least 2042? To replace a platform that if it was RAAF would be a Mirage III or RAN a Charles F Adams?

Yes. That is vital. And no, it's not the 'best' IFV (whatever that means - best is situational and arguable). I mean, there are enough internet peeps that tell me a Puma is better than a Lynx, and at least they are easily comparable. What the winner will be is the best IFV that balances cost, capability and sustainability. Choosing a capability is significantly harder than many here realise, and you cannot compare how nations buy or negotiate orders. Slovakia's $$ buy has as much relation to the ADF as my weekly shop has to McDonalds.

As an aside, the public reason for not going ahead with the CV90 was that it cost too much...
 

buffy9

Active Member
Further to the IFV, any order for tanks or IFVs without an APS system would be foolish.
I don't believe APS is being looked at for Land 400 vehicles - a case of vehicles needing to be fitted for but not with. New tanks were still being considered for it at the time of my reading, iirc.

I can't provide a source unfortunately, was from a premium ADM article - stated by Simon Stuart (current COA) when he was still Head Land Capability.

All that said, circumstances may have changed, though speculation on cuts indicates to me vehicles will still be fitted for but not with.
 
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