ADF General discussion thread

rossfrb_1

Member
land 17 spg

A couple of things.

Firstly I wonder how much taxpayer's $ have been wasted in the whole Land 17 SPG evaluation process?

Was the ADF stated (aspirational) requirement for an L52 AFATDS system the right way to go, given the existence of an L39 AFATDS system (Paladin) and the amount of funding allocated for the project?

How long would have an L39 SPG system remained relevant given that they would have been in service for some decades (presumably)?

Was the ADF ever offered (by a then fed government) an option to go L39 AFATDS SPG instead of L52?

I'm not impressed by the government's descision, however I suspect the blame isn't entirely theirs.
cheers
rb
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
A couple of things.

Firstly I wonder how much taxpayer's $ have been wasted in the whole Land 17 SPG evaluation process?

Was the ADF stated (aspirational) requirement for an L52 AFATDS system the right way to go, given the existence of an L39 AFATDS system (Paladin) and the amount of funding allocated for the project?

How long would have an L39 SPG system remained relevant given that they would have been in service for some decades (presumably)?

Was the ADF ever offered (by a then fed government) an option to go L39 AFATDS SPG instead of L52?

I'm not impressed by the government's descision, however I suspect the blame isn't entirely theirs.
cheers
rb
Not all Government's but they can't escape the blame entirely.

All the Australian Army wanted, was for a contractor to develop a capability that doesn't exist anywhere in the world and isn't considered necessary by any other Army so that it could equip 2x batteries with 12 of these "wunder" weapons.

The whole notion was absolutely ludicrous. In it's way as ill-conceived as the Seasprite fiasco. Thankfully it never got as far through it's program expenditure as Seasprite did.

The LAND 40 grenade launcher project had all the same hallmarks as SPG. All we wanted was a new capability, far better than anything else in the world to satisfy a miniscule order at the same price as existing capability. Oh and of course we shan't be paying for the contractors to develop such a system. They'll have to do that at their own cost...

Funnily enough both programs fell over.

Why the hell we can't get a Defence Minister to just order Army and DMO to acquire M109A6 AFATDS, an updated Mk 19 40mm GLA and either the Puma or CV-90, the same radios and command and control system for each platform and just bloody well crack on with it, I'll never know.

Combined with the outstanding job done on the M113AS3/4 upgrade, early Bushmaster days, JP-129 TUAV, MRH-90 and Tiger issues, and the abortion that is LAND 121 Project Overlander, great confidence can be had in the upcoming LAND 400 project...

:frown
 

Abraham Gubler

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
I think it would be pretty hard to justify to the public (that's assuming they are even this closely interested in Defence issues) why we are spending around a billion dollars on just 18 SPHs, of which only 12 will be in actual combat units.
Why would you need to justify that? Its not remotely true. Land 17 Phase 1C's scope of work is far more than just buying 18 self propelled guns. The cost of the guns was a fraction of the program cost. Land 17 also included commercial provision of through life support from day 1 which was more than half of the overal cost of the project. Anyone who doesn't know this has no right expressing a public opinion on this project.
 

rossfrb_1

Member
snip

Why the hell we can't get a Defence Minister to just order Army and DMO to acquire M109A6 AFATDS, an updated Mk 19 40mm GLA and either the Puma or CV-90, the same radios and command and control system for each platform and just bloody well crack on with it, I'll never know.
You can hardly blame the current minister, he doesn't even want the job! :rolleyes:
Although (anyone with any integrity) in that sort of position, knowing he probably wouldn't be in the role for any length of time and not caring if he made any friends in defence, he could easily have said 'dammit just buy MOTS'

Combined with the outstanding job done on the M113AS3/4 upgrade, early Bushmaster days, JP-129 TUAV, MRH-90 and Tiger issues, and the abortion that is LAND 121 Project Overlander, great confidence can be had in the upcoming LAND 400 project...

:frown

Mmmm CV-90 Armadillo has been my favourite for a while.
Now if they could aspirationally think about the the CTA 40 (or even XM274 75mm CTA) to go with it...

If ADF were to ever acquire a 75mm cannon for its (future) AFVs, would there still be a valid role for the current 25mm? (ie run a fleet with a mixture of both)

cheers
rb
 

Kirkzzy

New Member
Why would you need to justify that? Its not remotely true. Land 17 Phase 1C's scope of work is far more than just buying 18 self propelled guns. The cost of the guns was a fraction of the program cost. Land 17 also included commercial provision of through life support from day 1 which was more than half of the overal cost of the project. Anyone who doesn't know this has no right expressing a public opinion on this project.
Obviously although that's not what I meant, what I meant was are the public or the media going to care about life support costs? No they are going to get the overall program cost, average it out for the amount of guns we are buying and make their opinion based on that information.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
You can hardly blame the current minister, he doesn't even want the job! :rolleyes:
Although (anyone with any integrity) in that sort of position, knowing he probably wouldn't be in the role for any length of time and not caring if he made any friends in defence, he could easily have said 'dammit just buy MOTS'
Exactly and one with any sense would have said, "and what was wrong exactly with the M109A6's you trialled a few years back?" "Why the sudden need for 59cal barrels in these guns?" "Can't we just buy a couple of batteries worth of zero-lifed M109A6's with AFATDS in a similar fashion to the slightly less than state of the art spec, but still perfectly adequate zero-lifed M1A1 AIM tanks we bought?"

Mmmm CV-90 Armadillo has been my favourite for a while.
Now if they could aspirationally think about the the CTA 40 (or even XM274 75mm CTA) to go with it...

If ADF were to ever acquire a 75mm cannon for its (future) AFVs, would there still be a valid role for the current 25mm? (ie run a fleet with a mixture of both)

cheers
rb
Probably. I think they'd still want a reasonably fast firing medium calibre gun system though. For that reason I doubt LAND 400 is looking beyond 25-40mm cannon / chain guns for it's future vehicle fleet.
 
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Strange that a force posture review needed to talk about capital upgrades that happen when new equipment is introduced anyway. But I guess they had to bulk it out after the Govt. saw the indicative costings for some of the hairbrained diversion of defence money to local pork barrelling like hardened airbases and Army units in the Pilbara.
They'd have had kittens if they read any of Dr Kopp's analyses on the subject. He not only wants Iraq-style hardening for fighters but also wants HAS resistant to 1000lb bombs for the Wedgetails, C-17s and KC-30s. He seems to be able to use the many photos of blackened and blown apart Iraqi HAS and not see the fatal flaws in his argument.
Then he goes on to extol Chinese-style shelters built into the sides of hills. Excepting Learmonth (where they are 3-4km away), I don't think any of the other northern bases are near enough to hills to start digging holocaust-proof shelters.

Have you seen the plans he has for a new Cocos Island airfield? He's turned it into Fortress Cocos.

To be fair to the FPR, I'm not sure they intended the Iraq-style HAS when they talk about "physical hardening". It may be more along the lines of critical support infrastructure such as power, command, communications, munitions, fuel storage, etc. Because they are existing structures, such infrastructure is hard to disperse or camouflage at short notice to avoid attack. Although these structures are "hardened" at Tindal and the base bases, they are little more than concrete structures covered with soil, resistant to anything other than a direct hit. Not so tenable in a time of near universal PGMs.

I am in favour of a renewed emphasis on airfield repair capabilities, and dispersal and deception measures need not cost a great deal.

The passive vs. active defence of airfields is a complicated subject, but I favour flexible, mobile and upgradeable active defences.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Strange that a force posture review needed to talk about capital upgrades that happen when new equipment is introduced anyway. But I guess they had to bulk it out after the Govt. saw the indicative costings for some of the hairbrained diversion of defence money to local pork barrelling like hardened airbases and Army units in the Pilbara.
I noticed the advice that RAAF should acquire an additional 3x KC-30A's quietly disappeared between the "interim" FPR and the "full" FPR...
 

Abraham Gubler

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
Have you seen the plans he has for a new Cocos Island airfield? He's turned it into Fortress Cocos.
No I haven't and I now have images in my mind of old school coast defence turrets and the like. Ever seen the concrete battleship? Fort Drum in the Philippines. Maybe APA can propose the concrete aircraft carrier for F-22s in the Cocos. And why stop there? We need Swiss Air Force style under mountain air bases for Heard and Macquarie Islands… Ball’s Pyramid could be converted into an ICBM base… The list is endless!

I am in favour of a renewed emphasis on airfield repair capabilities, and dispersal and deception measures need not cost a great deal.

The passive vs. active defence of airfields is a complicated subject, but I favour flexible, mobile and upgradeable active defences.
Absolutely the RAAF should be funded for a squadron level airfield engineering capability able to construct, repair and provide passive defence for airfields. Being deployable they could do as needed to airfields in operational areas which are far more likely to be in South East Asia or the Middle East than North West Australia.
 
No I haven't and I now have images in my mind of old school coast defence turrets and the like. Ever seen the concrete battleship? Fort Drum in the Philippines. Maybe APA can propose the concrete aircraft carrier for F-22s in the Cocos. And why stop there? We need Swiss Air Force style under mountain air bases for Heard and Macquarie Islands… Ball’s Pyramid could be converted into an ICBM base… The list is endless!
:D

Not quite as bad as that, but certainly Diego Garcia-lite but with combat hardening.
  1. New airfield to be constructed to the north of the existing airfield on the site of the former plantation,
    * 11,000ft runway with full length parallel taxiway (auxiliary runway) for heavy aircraft,
    * 44 fighter-sized HAS with angled taxiways leading onto the runways (see Talil AB image),
    * Hardened fuel and munitions storage for pre-positioned war stocks,
    * Hardened personnel accommodation,
  2. A new naval wharf off Direction Island (north of Home Island) where the water is deeper,
    * Full refuelling of vessels,
    * POL offloading to shore storage,
    * Roll on-Roll off facility for vehicles,
    * Possible covered wharf for covert submarine replenishment (thankfully he says "shed" rather than "concrete U-boat pens"),
  3. A road and elevated causeway to be built from the naval facility on Direction Island through Home Island and all the way around the lagoon to the airfield on the north of West Island,
    * Causeway to provide hardening for electrical, data and POL services.

Lip-service was given to how Indonesia might feel about a strike-orientated airfield 1000km from Jakarta. They weren't thrilled about rotating US Marines through the NT.
No thought about the logistics of defending the facilities, the infantry and supporting units that would be required, nor about what would happen if the extensive facilities were taken and used against Australia. Or is defending the islands supposed to be the job of the US?

I don't have an issue with upgrading Cocos Island airfield to support P-8/KC-30 ops, or even the construction of a new airfield on the former plantation site, but his vision of a hardened unsinkable FOB is a bit OTT.
 
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ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Papua New Guinea

Its probably time for us to seriously consider the possible military options to stabilize the political situation in PNG.
I declare a self interest here in that I grew up in the islands north of Buka and my family still holds freehold land albeit of little value due to the passage of time post the colonial era.
The developments of today with the arrest of the Chief Justice and the politicising of both the Police and the Defence must see a shaking off of dust in the plans in Foriegn Affairs and Defence.

The "one talk" (won tok) ties are far stronger in PNG than any political alliances, a fact often short changed by political commentators when discussing PNG

Do we have well developed plans and do we currently have the planned capacity to execute? I'm assuming we do.
Hell, we may even find a use for the Defmins latest "Skandi" acquisition.
Look forward to a response from a pro who knows.
 

tigerstripes

New Member
So the Defence Minister has rocked the apple cart again...this time with the result of a VERY experienced former member of Defence stepping aside as Defence Secretary, this may have worked out for Stephen Smith however the incoming Secretary sounds just as critical of the defence budget??
Has anyone else got any insight into this move? Abe?, Old Faithful? etc
I am a 'long time listener, first time caller' sort of thing and would like to see the General discussion thread really kick off since the ADF is going through some massive changes (slap in face from Government) I am against the budget cuts however I beleive there is ample reasons for them, GFC, poor history of acqusitions, M113 upgrade, FFG upgrade, Tiger, Seasprite, Sirius, F35 ( admittedly alot is out of our hands) thats just a short list of big ticket items with out including everybody's favourite failure the terra combat boot! admittedly the latest are pretty good haha
its a substantial list with alot of wasted money. Anyway would like to hear other peoples thoughts on the subject
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
So the Defence Minister has rocked the apple cart again...this time with the result of a VERY experienced former member of Defence stepping aside as Defence Secretary, this may have worked out for Stephen Smith however the incoming Secretary sounds just as critical of the defence budget??
Has anyone else got any insight into this move? Abe?, Old Faithful? etc
I am a 'long time listener, first time caller' sort of thing and would like to see the General discussion thread really kick off since the ADF is going through some massive changes (slap in face from Government) I am against the budget cuts however I beleive there is ample reasons for them, GFC, poor history of acqusitions, M113 upgrade, FFG upgrade, Tiger, Seasprite, Sirius, F35 ( admittedly alot is out of our hands) thats just a short list of big ticket items with out including everybody's favourite failure the terra combat boot! admittedly the latest are pretty good haha
its a substantial list with alot of wasted money. Anyway would like to hear other peoples thoughts on the subject
Abe,A us dig,or GF would have far more insight than me,I hear furphys from serving members or ex,but politicly I know no one with any contacts in defence.
(Although Stuart Roberts is an ex pl come of mine)Shadow minister.
 

t68

Well-Known Member
God help save us from this incompetent government

It appears Gillard’s drive for saving will be felt by defence once again in the form of more defence land sold off, not sure what more can be sold off, has Gan Gan been sold off that would be a developers dream right next to the beach from memory. I remember doing beach work and practicing our recovery there.

Bases to close under new White Paper?

This government penny pinching ways are starting to get beyond the joke hurry up with the next election.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
It appears Gillard’s drive for saving will be felt by defence once again in the form of more defence land sold off, not sure what more can be sold off, has Gan Gan been sold off that would be a developers dream right next to the beach from memory. I remember doing beach work and practicing our recovery there.

Bases to close under new White Paper?

This government penny pinching ways are starting to get beyond the joke hurry up with the next election.
We just need to hope Tony Abbott doesn't take a leaf out of David Camerons book or John Howards for that matter. Defence cuts under new conservative governments can and have been beyond savage in many cases, especially when they have an incompetent predecessor to cast blame on to.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
It appears Gillard’s drive for saving will be felt by defence once again in the form of more defence land sold off, not sure what more can be sold off, has Gan Gan been sold off that would be a developers dream right next to the beach from memory. I remember doing beach work and practicing our recovery there.

Bases to close under new White Paper?

This government penny pinching ways are starting to get beyond the joke hurry up with the next election.
Hurry up with the next election? Well you got your wish! (Did you know something that we all didn't?)

Interesting move by Gillard to announce the date, Sept 14th, still 7 1/2 months away. (Almost sound like someone announcing they are 6 weeks pregnant, wonder what sort of baby will be delivered to us on the day??).

Will the Government use this "phony" election period to defer the announcement of the White Paper and any of the expected major equipment announcements until after the election?

Or more likely, go full steam ahead with the White Paper and announcements, make it look like they are being "serious" about defence.

When the White Paper is released, it will also be interesting to see if the Opposition tears into it and announce a new White Paper themselves.

Well I better start marking the days off on my calender......
 

the road runner

Active Member
Seems to me that people put to much faith in one party over the other.
Governments will do what has to be done to balance the books and bottom line.
We are seeing Financial issues all around the world,the Australian Government is receiving less tax revenue/income and this is effecting all parts of Government.

Defence will not be the only body that see's cuts,health,education ect will all suffer.
I think Defence in general will suffer in a big way.less Subs,ships,planes and soldiers running around in the bush yelling bang bang!

Its time to tighten the belt, i just hope defence promises are kept that have been mentioned. I see this new White Paper being the start of cuts to defence.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Seems to me that people put to much faith in one party over the other.
Governments will do what has to be done to balance the books and bottom line.
We are seeing Financial issues all around the world,the Australian Government is receiving less tax revenue/income and this is effecting all parts of Government.

Defence will not be the only body that see's cuts,health,education ect will all suffer.
I think Defence in general will suffer in a big way.less Subs,ships,planes and soldiers running around in the bush yelling bang bang!

Its time to tighten the belt, i just hope defence promises are kept that have been mentioned. I see this new White Paper being the start of cuts to defence.
What you say is true, we will continue to see the belt tightened, no doubt about that.

I'm sure in the lead up to the next budget, an election budget too, that each and every department of Government will be fighting tooth and nail to save their own portfolio from the chop, helps to get re-elected!

Which, in my opinion, makes the upcoming White Paper very interesting, it will be delivered right in the middle of the "phony" election campaign, I think it will have more of a spotlight on it, as opposed to having been released at the beginning of a Government's term in office.

If the White Paper cuts are too severe, no doubt the Opposition will, certainly from a political point of view, jump all over it and claim the Goverment is being negligent with defence, and make promises about bringing out its own White Paper if elected (which I think the Opposition has said it will do anyway).

Be interesting to know what the Government "spin soctors" are advising in the background about what will or won't be politically acceptable to cut.

Yes defence should be just about defence, but in an election year, I'm sure politics will play a part in the end result.
 

protoplasm

Member
The difference is that the defence budget has to be spent over a number of years as projects take a long time to deliver. To vary the education budget is easier, just employ less teachers and tell the rest to cope (I'm a teacher btw). If you do the same in defence you create headaches for many years to come.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Hurry up with the next election? Well you got your wish! (Did you know something that we all didn't?)

Interesting move by Gillard to announce the date, Sept 14th, still 7 1/2 months away. (Almost sound like someone announcing they are 6 weeks pregnant, wonder what sort of baby will be delivered to us on the day??).

Will the Government use this "phony" election period to defer the announcement of the White Paper and any of the expected major equipment announcements until after the election?

Or more likely, go full steam ahead with the White Paper and announcements, make it look like they are being "serious" about defence.

When the White Paper is released, it will also be interesting to see if the Opposition tears into it and announce a new White Paper themselves.

Well I better start marking the days off on my calender......
I wish we could treat it like a tender and just say neither proposal meets our needs, go away and try again and just keep sending them away until they present us with leaders and ministers they we want who will do what we need doing.
 
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