ADF General discussion thread

OldTex

Member
They look all right, but they require special facilities to load / unload vehicles, because of the stern ramp. 3,000 lane metres and 700 20ft teu is nothing to laugh at though, so it's not insurmountable and the price isn't too be sneezed at. If they can cross the Bass Strait they can handle most seas.
I wouldn't imagine that a strategic sealift ship would be used as part of an amphibious assault (that is the role of LHD/LSD/LPD/LST). So needing specialised facilities especially to unload at the SPOD would limit the number of locations that could be used. At a long stretch a safe anchorage and mexeflotes could be used to transfer the cargo from the strategic sealift to the tactical sealift (or shore). This option would make the anchorage a high value target so it would need SHORAD and MR-GBAD for air protection and perhaps the OPVs for limited maritime protection.
 

buffy9

Active Member
According to the petronav.net site both of the ships that they replaced (Tasmanian Achiever and Victorian Reliance) are still available for sale (@ US$17.3M each). So there is a slight possibility that either a strategic sealift ship or a Pacific Support vessel could be achievable. The potentially easier one to achieve would be the Pacific Support vessel as it can justifiably be presented as a WoG asset (not just an ADF asset) as well as providing opportunities for Australian businesses to be involved in the modifications.

Tasmanian Achiever has been bought as of September 2019 and is operating primarily between Tunisia and Italy, unfortunately for us. New name is "Jolly Express."

Only thing I could find on MV Victorian Reliance is a dead end on Wikipedia, stating the ship has been brought out of retirement whilst MV Victorian Reliance II undergoes repairs. Claim is not sourced.

It would definitely be worth considering for such a low cost if still available. Alternatively, permanent contracts for the use of MV Tasmanian Achiever II and MV Victorian Reliance II during conflict could be made - provided there are alternatives to move freight between Victoria and Tasmania.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro

Tasmanian Achiever has been bought as of September 2019 and is operating primarily between Tunisia and Italy, unfortunately for us. New name is "Jolly Express."

Only thing I could find on MV Victorian Reliance is a dead end on Wikipedia, stating the ship has been brought out of retirement whilst MV Victorian Reliance II undergoes repairs. Claim is not sourced.

It would definitely be worth considering for such a low cost if still available. Alternatively, permanent contracts for the use of MV Tasmanian Achiever II and MV Victorian Reliance II during conflict could be made - provided there are alternatives to move freight between Victoria and Tasmania.
Using the Tasmanian ships is fine in theory but would not be possible.
Removing those vessels from trade would destroy the Tasmanian economy. The island depends on these to trade, not only with the mainland but also to export products abroad. Even if international trade wasn’t possible in an emergency Tassies half million odd people depend on their basics from the mainland.

The answer lies in introducing extra capacity In one form or another.
 

OldTex

Member
Using the Tasmanian ships is fine in theory but would not be possible.
Removing those vessels from trade would destroy the Tasmanian economy. The island depends on these to trade, not only with the mainland but also to export products abroad. Even if international trade wasn’t possible in an emergency Tassies half million odd people depend on their basics from the mainland.

The answer lies in introducing extra capacity In one form or another.
Agreed, the idea would be to augment the current civilian RORO vessels operating in Bass Strait with another similar vessel operated by sponsored reservists on standby for ADF use. The civilian operator would have spare capacity to support current operations in the event of one vessel being in maintenance etc. Potentially the vessel is owned by Defence and leased at a peppercorn rent by the operator.
 

OldTex

Member
Having a portion of the ADF directed towards HADR/DACC may also be worth consideration, as noted in in the below article:

Michael Shoebridge in the ASPI article made the following statements:

"It’s time to upend the idea of a ‘balanced force’ in Australian defence policy."

"Defence needs to play a much bigger role in responding to national and regional disasters and the ADF needs greater offensive firepower, sooner than the future force in the white paper will eventually deliver."

"Wedded to the balanced force notion, Defence’s instinct will be to minimise the impact that the prime minister’s drive on disaster response capabilities has on ADF plans and structures."

"It’s time to break with the idea that our defence capabilities are ‘structured for war, adapted for peace’. Natural and man-made disasters—whether fires, floods or epidemics—will be more frequent and more damaging in Australia, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Doing disaster response well requires organisation, training and focused capabilities. Volunteer and state and territory capabilities will remain key, but they will not be sufficient—as we have seen."

"The C-27J Spartan is an example. Defence acquired 10 of these new aircraft as ‘battlefield airlifters’ to fly cargo and people into austere, difficult airstrips close to the fighting.
But that time is over. They’re built to go against the insurgent and terrorist adversaries or weak state militaries we’ve seen in recent decades and are unlikely to survive in the dense threat environment of a conflict with a peer-level state military like China’s.........Abandoning the ambition to deploy these aircraft into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive will mean no longer having to invest in complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems or battlefield airlift training for crew."

While saying that the ADF should abandon a balanced force construct he also wants the ADF to be a bigger player in responding to national and regional disasters. Is this is not a prime example of 'being structured for war and adapting for peace'! Exactly because the ADF trains for war which requires organisation, training and capabilities in rapidly changing environments allows it to respond in natural disasters. Where the disconnect lies is in the state and territory governments' abilities and capabilities. It is the states and territories who have the primacy of control in natural disasters and the ADF only becomes involved when requested by those governments and is subordinate to those governments disaster organisations. Not all of the ADF would be useable in natural disaster situations, but engineers, logistics, transport (including aviation), medical and communications (with appropriate planning and operations staff) would definitely be required.

If the ADF does not fit its platforms with 'complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems' and provide battlefield training for the crews then those platforms would not be fit to 'deploy these aircraft (or platforms) into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive'. That is exactly the reason that the ADF did not deploy Blackhawk helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan. To use the C-27J (and other systems) in the environment for which the government procured them requires self-defence systems appropriate to the threat. As Australia has a limited number of platforms of any type means that the ADF must provide the best possible protection for the crew and the platform.

Michael Shoebridge suggests that the ADF should be the best 'hammer' in the region, but forgets that when all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. The government wants a full tool box not just a hammer.
 
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buffy9

Active Member
Michael Shoebridge in the ASPI article made the following statements:

"It’s time to upend the idea of a ‘balanced force’ in Australian defence policy."

"Defence needs to play a much bigger role in responding to national and regional disasters and the ADF needs greater offensive firepower, sooner than the future force in the white paper will eventually deliver."

"Wedded to the balanced force notion, Defence’s instinct will be to minimise the impact that the prime minister’s drive on disaster response capabilities has on ADF plans and structures."

"It’s time to break with the idea that our defence capabilities are ‘structured for war, adapted for peace’. Natural and man-made disasters—whether fires, floods or epidemics—will be more frequent and more damaging in Australia, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Doing disaster response well requires organisation, training and focused capabilities. Volunteer and state and territory capabilities will remain key, but they will not be sufficient—as we have seen."

"The C-27J Spartan is an example. Defence acquired 10 of these new aircraft as ‘battlefield airlifters’ to fly cargo and people into austere, difficult airstrips close to the fighting.
But that time is over. They’re built to go against the insurgent and terrorist adversaries or weak state militaries we’ve seen in recent decades and are unlikely to survive in the dense threat environment of a conflict with a peer-level state military like China’s.........Abandoning the ambition to deploy these aircraft into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive will mean no longer having to invest in complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems or battlefield airlift training for crew."

While saying that the ADF should abandon a balanced force construct he also wants the ADF to be a bigger player in responding to national and regional disasters. Is this is not a prime example of 'being structured for war and adapting for peace'! Exactly because the ADF trains for war which requires organisation, training and capabilities in rapidly changing environments allows it to respond in natural disasters. Where the disconnect lies is in the state and territory governments' abilities and capabilities. It is the states and territories who have the primacy of control in natural disasters and the ADF only becomes involved when requested by those governments and is subordinate to those governments disaster organisations. Not all of the ADF would be useable in natural disaster situations, but engineers, logistics, transport (including aviation), medical and communications (with appropriate planning and operations staff) would definitely be required.

If the ADF does not fit its platforms with 'complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems' and provide battlefield training for the crews then those platforms would not be fit to 'deploy these aircraft (or platforms) into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive'. That is exactly the reason that the ADF did not deploy Blackhawk helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan. To use the C-27J (and other systems) in the environment for which the government procured them requires self-defence systems appropriate to the threat. As Australia has a limited number of platforms of any type means that the ADF must provide the best possible protection for the crew and the platform.

Michael Shoebridge suggests that the ADF should be the best 'hammer' in the region, but forgets that when all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. The government wants a full tool box not just a hammer.
A fair point and I largely agree. However my thinking was less in line with domestic response and more in line with international efforts. Increasing the abilities of state police, emergency services and other state agencies would be a more effective use of resources - particularly if Australia itself becomes more volatile.

A HADR BDE, which I believe is now highly unlikely to happen, would prioritise disaster response in order to provide relief to countries that need it through the Indo-Pacific. Cyclones, tsunamis and climate change related events could see an uptick in these events which could draw away from Australian training, planning and readiness.

That said I don't believe it will happen. Aside from the fact that raising a new BDE is a big deal, the funding for personnel and equipment just isn't there. Fleshing out current enabling brigades (6 BDE and 17 BDE) with more people to increase readiness is perhaps a better option - which would also better enable front line units to conduct their job.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
They look all right, but they require special facilities to load / unload vehicles, because of the stern ramp. 3,000 lane metres and 700 20ft teu is nothing to laugh at though, so it's not insurmountable and the price isn't too be sneezed at. If they can cross the Bass Strait they can handle most seas.
Special facilities? A quay of about the right height, with deep enough water . . . Or at a pinch, a sheltered anchorage & Mexeflotes.

I've seen vehicles loaded on to & unloaded from ferries via their rear ramps at the quay in the picture. It happens most days, & every day in summer. I've seen a late arrival drive on while the ship was held in place only by the engines, having reversed a short distance to put enough of the ramp down . . . Nice ship handling, I thought, though I expect the shipping line's health & safety people would have had conniptions. Us passengers applauded.
65832437-view-of-serifos-from-a-ferry-arriving-to-the-port-of-the-island-.jpg

And this is how they do it -
4517272140_a5d8ac3e79_b.jpg

There are huge numbers of quays like that. Islands with a couple of thousand (or in this case, 1400 or so) people can have them.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Michael Shoebridge in the ASPI article made the following statements:

"It’s time to upend the idea of a ‘balanced force’ in Australian defence policy."

"Defence needs to play a much bigger role in responding to national and regional disasters and the ADF needs greater offensive firepower, sooner than the future force in the white paper will eventually deliver."

"Wedded to the balanced force notion, Defence’s instinct will be to minimise the impact that the prime minister’s drive on disaster response capabilities has on ADF plans and structures."

"It’s time to break with the idea that our defence capabilities are ‘structured for war, adapted for peace’. Natural and man-made disasters—whether fires, floods or epidemics—will be more frequent and more damaging in Australia, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Doing disaster response well requires organisation, training and focused capabilities. Volunteer and state and territory capabilities will remain key, but they will not be sufficient—as we have seen."

"The C-27J Spartan is an example. Defence acquired 10 of these new aircraft as ‘battlefield airlifters’ to fly cargo and people into austere, difficult airstrips close to the fighting.
But that time is over. They’re built to go against the insurgent and terrorist adversaries or weak state militaries we’ve seen in recent decades and are unlikely to survive in the dense threat environment of a conflict with a peer-level state military like China’s.........Abandoning the ambition to deploy these aircraft into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive will mean no longer having to invest in complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems or battlefield airlift training for crew."

While saying that the ADF should abandon a balanced force construct he also wants the ADF to be a bigger player in responding to national and regional disasters. Is this is not a prime example of 'being structured for war and adapting for peace'! Exactly because the ADF trains for war which requires organisation, training and capabilities in rapidly changing environments allows it to respond in natural disasters. Where the disconnect lies is in the state and territory governments' abilities and capabilities. It is the states and territories who have the primacy of control in natural disasters and the ADF only becomes involved when requested by those governments and is subordinate to those governments disaster organisations. Not all of the ADF would be useable in natural disaster situations, but engineers, logistics, transport (including aviation), medical and communications (with appropriate planning and operations staff) would definitely be required.

If the ADF does not fit its platforms with 'complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems' and provide battlefield training for the crews then those platforms would not be fit to 'deploy these aircraft (or platforms) into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive'. That is exactly the reason that the ADF did not deploy Blackhawk helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan. To use the C-27J (and other systems) in the environment for which the government procured them requires self-defence systems appropriate to the threat. As Australia has a limited number of platforms of any type means that the ADF must provide the best possible protection for the crew and the platform.

Michael Shoebridge suggests that the ADF should be the best 'hammer' in the region, but forgets that when all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. The government wants a full tool box not just a hammer.
The big problem will be money. We can barely afford to pay for what we already have in the pipeline. We now have to deal with a shrinking economy and an even more uncertain future. Any major expansion of the ADF now would mean essentially shifting into a wartime economy.

I don't think Australia can any longer feel comfortable with the idea of defence programs that will take decades to complete. The question is whether or not we would be willing to drive the economy even deeper into debt to accelerate these programs and pay for other capabilities.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Michael Shoebridge in the ASPI article made the following statements:

"It’s time to upend the idea of a ‘balanced force’ in Australian defence policy."

"Defence needs to play a much bigger role in responding to national and regional disasters and the ADF needs greater offensive firepower, sooner than the future force in the white paper will eventually deliver."

"Wedded to the balanced force notion, Defence’s instinct will be to minimise the impact that the prime minister’s drive on disaster response capabilities has on ADF plans and structures."

"It’s time to break with the idea that our defence capabilities are ‘structured for war, adapted for peace’. Natural and man-made disasters—whether fires, floods or epidemics—will be more frequent and more damaging in Australia, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Doing disaster response well requires organisation, training and focused capabilities. Volunteer and state and territory capabilities will remain key, but they will not be sufficient—as we have seen."

"The C-27J Spartan is an example. Defence acquired 10 of these new aircraft as ‘battlefield airlifters’ to fly cargo and people into austere, difficult airstrips close to the fighting.
But that time is over. They’re built to go against the insurgent and terrorist adversaries or weak state militaries we’ve seen in recent decades and are unlikely to survive in the dense threat environment of a conflict with a peer-level state military like China’s.........Abandoning the ambition to deploy these aircraft into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive will mean no longer having to invest in complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems or battlefield airlift training for crew."

While saying that the ADF should abandon a balanced force construct he also wants the ADF to be a bigger player in responding to national and regional disasters. Is this is not a prime example of 'being structured for war and adapting for peace'! Exactly because the ADF trains for war which requires organisation, training and capabilities in rapidly changing environments allows it to respond in natural disasters. Where the disconnect lies is in the state and territory governments' abilities and capabilities. It is the states and territories who have the primacy of control in natural disasters and the ADF only becomes involved when requested by those governments and is subordinate to those governments disaster organisations. Not all of the ADF would be useable in natural disaster situations, but engineers, logistics, transport (including aviation), medical and communications (with appropriate planning and operations staff) would definitely be required.

If the ADF does not fit its platforms with 'complex and expensive electronic warfare self-defence systems' and provide battlefield training for the crews then those platforms would not be fit to 'deploy these aircraft (or platforms) into a military threat environment that would be difficult to survive'. That is exactly the reason that the ADF did not deploy Blackhawk helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan. To use the C-27J (and other systems) in the environment for which the government procured them requires self-defence systems appropriate to the threat. As Australia has a limited number of platforms of any type means that the ADF must provide the best possible protection for the crew and the platform.

Michael Shoebridge suggests that the ADF should be the best 'hammer' in the region, but forgets that when all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. The government wants a full tool box not just a hammer.
A defence force has one priority and one priority only. That is to protect & defend the homeland and people against all enemies, by killing the enemy and wrecking their gear. Anything else is secondary. If the government wants to prioritize a HADR force, then it stands up and funds one seperately from Defence. Whilst Defence has assets and personnel capable of undertaking HADR, it is not Defence's core role, and it should never be.
 

buffy9

Active Member
A defence force has one priority and one priority only. That is to protect & defend the homeland and people against all enemies, by killing the enemy and wrecking their gear. Anything else is secondary. If the government wants to prioritize a HADR force, then it stands up and funds one seperately from Defence. Whilst Defence has assets and personnel capable of undertaking HADR, it is not Defence's core role, and it should never be.
As a priority I more or less agree. However fulfilling the interests and objectives outlined in the DWP requires (and has/still requires) a force that is capable of doing a variety of tasks outside of defending the homeland and destroying the enemy.

Interests:

1. A secure, resilient Australia, with secure northern approaches and proximate sea lines of communication

2. A secure nearer region, encompassing maritime South East Asia and South Pacific (comprising Papua New Guinea, Timor-Lest and Pacific Island Countries).

3. A stable Indo-Pacific region and a rules-based global order.

Objectives:

1. Deter, deny and defeat attacks on or threats to Australia and its national interests, and northern approaches.

2. Make effective military contributions to support the security of maritime South East Asia and support the governments of Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and of Pacific Island Countries to build and strengthen their security.

3. Contribute military capabilities to coalition operations that support Australia’s interests in a rules-based global order.

The word "secure" is featured in the first two strategic interests whereas "stable" is featured in the third. For a country/region to be secure it must be safe from danger or attack (internal and external). For a country/region to be stable it must be free from fluctuation, disturbance or anything that may cause significant issue or drastic alteration. HADR can assist in recovery and helps nations avoid these circumstances.

In terms of objectives "military contributions" or "military capabilities" are featured in the second and third objectives. Military includes manoeuvre and fires in addition to lift and support. Supporting regional governments or contributing to coalition operations includes high-end capabilities certainly, though also includes operations below the threshold of conflict.

I agree it should not be the ADFs primary role to conduct HADR/DACC, especially seeing as there are state and federal organisations that could receive support to do these roles more effectively (and of which have been deployed to varying degrees on operations). However if the ADF is called to contribute to these interests or fulfil these objectives, then a ready capacity to do so should be maintained.

It is no secret that the region is prone to human and natural disaster. Are these as great a security and stability risk as peer level opposition and great power conflict? No, but they are certainly more frequent and have the capacity to make an area insecure or unstable. The ability to not draw resources away from the readiness of the first interest and first objective would be a pertinent allocation of resources, imo.

This said, cuts are likely and I see no effective way of establishing or supporting such a force in the near future. At home other organisations are present to fulfil these capabilities whereas abroad a mixture of WoG action, with ADF support, certainly gets the job done.
 
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Takao

The Bunker Group
I'll keep in short as I have other things to do tonight, but two points leap out .

1. Shoebridge is continuing ASPI's slide to irrelevance - VADM Griggs removed 'balanced' as a force design requirement. That's how long ago it was removed.

2. The increasing reliance on the ADF to do everything (why the hell we were involved in COVID??) is bad for the nation and bad for the ADF. We are not a HADR organisation, it is not a force design consideration. That's a deliberate direction from government. We should fill in at the last minute with what warfighting capabilities we can use until civilian agencies can take over - nothing more.

Okay - 2.5 - stop putting bloody General's in charge of everything

2.75 - WTF did we get involved in COVID??
 

OldTex

Member
A fair point and I largely agree. However my thinking was less in line with domestic response and more in line with international efforts. Increasing the abilities of state police, emergency services and other state agencies would be a more effective use of resources - particularly if Australia itself becomes more volatile.

A HADR BDE, which I believe is now highly unlikely to happen, would prioritise disaster response in order to provide relief to countries that need it through the Indo-Pacific. Cyclones, tsunamis and climate change related events could see an uptick in these events which could draw away from Australian training, planning and readiness.

That said I don't believe it will happen. Aside from the fact that raising a new BDE is a big deal, the funding for personnel and equipment just isn't there. Fleshing out current enabling brigades (6 BDE and 17 BDE) with more people to increase readiness is perhaps a better option - which would also better enable front line units to conduct their job.
The first response to natural disasters in a domestic context must always be the relevant state or territory SES (or equivalent). In an international context, and Indo-Pacific in particular, the WoG response must be lead by DFAT/AusAid. The ADF is only a contributor of assets and skills. A lot of those skills do reside in 6 and 17 Bdes, RAAF and RAN with additional skills (mostly engineer but also communications) and assets coming from 1,3 and 7 Bdes as required.

The ADF cannot and must not be the 'jack-of-all-trades' for every response as it will mean that the ADF will be the master of none. The ADF must be the master of defence of Australian sovereignty.
 
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OldTex

Member
With all of the new sensors/systems (P-8A, MQ-4C, OTHR, AWD) being introduced into service there is an enormous amount of data being collected and used, with other sources (ATC etc) to generate recognised air picture (RAP) and recognised mairtime picture (RMP). Within these systems there are the information exchange system(s) to deliver the data to the collection and aggregation centre(s). Domestically there is bandwidth available to transfer the RAP and RMP to other ADF HQs that require access. The concern is that there is not the bandwidth available to push the RAP & RMP to deployed HQs such as CAG and CLF as well as TF HQs ashore. JP2008 (Phase 2 from memory) funded WGS6 and the MOU gives the ADF access to up to 10% of the capacity of the WGS network (although one interpretation of the MOU is that it is 10% of the available capacity). The planning to access this capacity required 28 - 40 days lead time (and could be refused by the US). JP2008 Phases 3H and 5B1 have provided deployable terrestrial SATCOM terminals, with the Navy being supported through MASTIS. But these links are still very limited in bandwidth which has to support not just TAP/RMP but also the myriad of administrative, logistical and tactical C3I applications.
In the event of an escalated conflict in the Indo-Pacific region, despite the MOU, the ADF may find that it does not have access to WGS capacity. The ADF still needs sovereign SATCOM capacity, similar to the Defence payload on the Optus C1, operating in X and/or Ka bands. The closest current satellites types are the NBN SkyMuster1 & 2. While these satellites may not be totally suitable they would at least provide some capacity. Ideally the provision of an ADF satellite, or at the very least a defence payload on a future SkyMuster satellite, needs to planned.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
India may be on the verge of formally inviting Australia to be part of an annual trilateral naval exercise involving India, Japan, and the USA. There has been a strengthening of relations between Australia and India recently and this could lead to a reactivation of the Quadrilateral Alliance (QUAD) between Australia-India-Japan-USA.

Kevin Rudd terminated Australia's involvement in 2008 in order to foster better relations with China.

There is also some speculation that other countries in this region might be invited to join.

Obviously China will not be pleased.

 

Bob53

Member
Te
India may be on the verge of formally inviting Australia to be part of an annual trilateral naval exercise involving India, Japan, and the USA. There has been a strengthening of relations between Australia and India recently and this could lead to a reactivation of the Quadrilateral Alliance (QUAD) between Australia-India-Japan-USA.

Kevin Rudd terminated Australia's involvement in 2008 in order to foster better relations with China.

There is also some speculation that other countries in this region might be invited to join.

Obviously China will not be pleased.

I observed that distancing from India at the time and thought that seems to be really short sighted but it wasn’t the only dumb move made by that bloke. It’s estimated that at some stage Indias economy will become one of the top 3. With China on the nose and manufacturers looking for an alternative, China’s recent behaviour is only likely to accelerate that becoming a reality. We have never felt threatened by India as far as I can tell and they don’t have a recent history of stealing every bit of IP they can lay their hands on. Getting closer with India just makes sense.
 

oldsig127

Well-Known Member
2020 Strategic Update

@hauritz has already posted the ABC report on the PM's 2020 Defence Strategic Update on the RAAF thread, but I think it bears discussion in a more general forum given that the update covers all services, so I'll post an extract from the News Limited online with some comments and the link to the News Ltd article

My extract is the "shopping list" of hardware, but there's also an increase in numbers, principally for the Navy - read the full article - and there are many items included that have long been foreshadowed by the White Paper and IIP. However, there are interesting gems, like 2000 ton amphibious vessels for the Army (LCH replacement, anyone?) and confirmation of the purchase of (2 regiments?) of self propelled howitzers,

More important than the shopping list is an intent to raise spending to above the magic 2% of GDP and acknowledgement that this will be difficult in post COVID financial situation

DEFENCE SPENDING

o Information and cyber ($15 billion)
– Bolster offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, enhance electronic warfare and command and control systems and improve intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. Between $1.9 to $3 billion in offence defensive and offensive cyber operations and to counter cyber-attacks on Australia, Defence and deployed forces. Between $3.3 to $5 billion for strengthen Defence’s network resilience from malicious actors. Between $2 to $3 billion in signals intelligence systems and expanding and upgrading systems for delivering top secret information and communications to strengthen Defence’s warfighting capability

o Maritime ($75 billion) – Expanded maritime force to provide greater capability for anti-submarine warfare, sealift, border security, maritime patrol, aerial warfare, area denial and undersea warfare. Between $168 to $183 billion for the acquisition or upgrade of navy and Army maritime vessels out to the 2050s. Between $5 to $7 billion in undersea surveillance systems. Between $400 to $500 million in long range Maritime Strike missiles.

o Air ($65 billion) – Expanded air combat and mobility and new long range weapons and remotely piloted and autonomous systems will be introduced. Between $10 to $17 billion investment in fighter aircraft. Between $700 million to $1 billion for Operational Radar Network expansion. Between $3.4 billion to $5.2 billion to improve air launched strike capability. Between $6.2 to $9.3 billion in research and development in high speed long range strike, including hypersonic research to inform future investments Between $7.4 to $11 billion for remotely-piloted and autonomous combat aircraft, including air teaming vehicles.

o Space ($7 billion) – Investment to improve resilience and self-reliance of Defence’s space capabilities, including to assure access to capabilities, enable situational awareness and deliver real-time communications and position, navigation and timing. Between $4.6 to $6.9 billion in upgrades and future satellite communications systems, including communications satellites and ground control stations under sovereign Australian control. Between $1.3 to $2 billion to build our Space Situational Awareness capabilities.

o Land ($55 billion) – Investment to ensure land forces have more combat power, are better connected, protected and integrated with each other and with our partners. Between $7.4 to $11.1 billion on future autonomous vehicles. Between $7.7 to $11.5 billion for long range rocket fires and artillery systems including two regiments of self-propelled howitzers. Between $1.4 to $2.1 billion for Army watercraft including up to 12 riverine patrol craft and several amphibious vessels of up to 2,000 tonnes to enhance ADF amphibious lift capacity.

o Defence Enterprise ($50 billion) – Investment key infrastructure, ICT, innovation and science and Technology programs critical to the generation of Defence capabilities. Between $6.8 to $10.2 billion in undersea warfare facilities and infrastructure. Between $4.3 to $6.5 billion to enhance Air Force’s operational effectiveness and capacity in the Northern Territory. Between $900 million to $1.3 billion to upgrade key ports and infrastructure to support Australia’s larger fleet of amphibious vessels. Between $20.3 to $30 billion to increase the supply of munitions and between $1 to $1.5 billion to explore expanding industry capacity for domestic guided weapons and explosive ordnance production capability.
I accept that this is News Ltd's interpretation, but it gives an interesting start point until the actual document is available on line. It's been interesting reading the press this morning. I don't know if ABC is taking a balanced position, or just waiting for something from their favourite defence commentator to horrify the collective. I'm sure Peter Hartcher is following the old Fairfax line in SMH (anything but USA) when he suggests that we need to be independent and this doesn't work because we have to buy LRASM from the USA. As usual, no suggestion of what we should do instead, but it's either a) buy from Russia or b) buy from Sweden or c) adopt the same position as Canada and NZ and hope someone else does it

New Limited article in full. Please bear in mind that their defence correspondents have irritate the hell out of me, so I won't be blamed for their errors. ;-)


oldsig
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
I dunno. I think generally people will be supportive of this.

People are well aware that China is taking a wack at Australia for asking for a COVID19 inquiry. While we are all worried about the economy. But we can clearly see a lot of our power friends are in deep trouble (US in particular).

Tindal will become the biggest airbase south of Guam. Navy to get new smaller amphibious ships (LCH replacements?), probably built in WA/SA. Increase in ADF numbers. There is a lot of local industry stuff tied into this. Local guided munitions manufacturing is another big plus.

LRASM is pleasing to see finally announced. Quite a lot on munitions..
 
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