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Australian Army Discussions and Updates

Discussion in 'Army & Security Forces' started by mickk, Nov 25, 2006.

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  1. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    My understanding is that the MRH configuration Australia operates is actually more suited in someways to Special Operations support and CSAR than to the assault / utility role it was acquired for. Again it is not a bad platform but the international fleet's configuration is all over the place making sustainment a bigger challenge and Australia made the acquisition under the mistaken belief it was a fully supported MOTS option.
     
  2. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    We already have a number of aircraft that can be used as a baseline for MOTS acquisition to flesh out in a variety of SOCOMD roles if they so desired depending on the nature of the task required, all within a reasonable amount of commonalty within the existing fleet such as the EC135 T2+(HATS) with additional H135M, MH-60R with additional MH-60S/M which also should be used within the ARG construct for maritime operations , CH-47F has commonalty between both the MH-47G and MH-60 with the common avionics architecture system with the exception of the Airbus offering can have refuelling probes fitted and if there is a real urgent fast lift requirement they can call on RAAF C27/130

    There are a lot of synergies using a MOTS FMS sale to enhance SOCOMD and the wider ARG maritime construct, Using Airbus to modify the MRH involves a lot of risk which can be mitigated to reduce taxpayer exposure.

    H135M

    MH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters
     
  3. Raven22

    Raven22 Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The biggest problem with the MRH in the SOCOMD role is the fact that it is a massive maintenance pig. The main role (in the preparedness directive) for the 6 Avn helicopters is in support of domestic counter terrorism. This role has a very demanding notice to move requirement - there needs to be X number if airframes ready to go at all times. This is relatively easily met by the current Blackhawk, but will be very, very challenging (and expensive) with the MRH, due to the incredibly poor availability. 6 Avn will need to be given extra airframes, and need a massively increased number of maintainers, to meet this requirement. Eurocopter, or whatever they are called now, is throwing contractors of their own, for free, at the problem, to try to convince Army to keep the MRH in the role for their own reputational purposes.

    However, there is only enough money for one new helicopter type - if 6 Avn get new Blackhawks they wouldn’t be getting a new light helicopter for quick overseas deployments, as per the white paper. Personally I think new Blackhawks would be more versatile anyway, as I dont think the case has been made for a small helicopter.
     
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  4. PeterM

    PeterM Member

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    I admittedly have a limited understanding of all the technical details involved. However the US Army have the MH-60M which has been customised to meet the specific needs of the US Special Forces.

    It seems to me that buying off the shelf the MH-60M through FMS would be simpler and cheaper than trying to develop a new version of the MRH Taipan to meet the operational needs of our Special Forces (particularly considering the issues we have had with MRH/Tiger). It speaks volumes to me that RAN selected the MH-60R and not the NFH (which has commonality with MRH-90).

    It isn't like the Blackhawk would be an orphan, we will have the naval MH-60R in service for some time. Additionally we have plenty of experience operating Blackhawks.

    Interestingly the US army MH-60M were in Perth in 2016 for exercises, so we will be somewhat familiar with the type.
    US Army Special Ops MH-60M Black Hawks in Perth area for exercise

    Of course I do not know what the expected CONOPS are for this capability, it easily could be that a smaller aircraft is envisioned.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  5. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    There is chatter on the UK threads about a drastic reduction to the UK defence force, and one is the UK Wildcats. I wonder if we pick some of those up cheap would they be suitable to SOCOMD?
     
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  6. Takao

    Takao New Member

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    'Medium' frames are less versatile than they appear. It comes back to S-70 having 'fallen' into the SO role because of nothing else, as opposed to the SORW need being actually analysed. I will say it again, with the decision to put MRH into 6 Avn being made, any purchase of a 'medium' frame (as in a frame that can lift two SF teams - MRH / H-60 sized) is a waste of money and undermines the conventional and special forces.

    Without too many details, a 'light' frame offers less MH/FH, better strategic deployability, greater stealth and mobility, increased flexibility, increased axis of advance and better logistics support - especially fuel. Its downfalls are carrying capability, range, self-defence capabilities.
     
  7. ADMk2

    ADMk2 Just a bloke Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    I see the USG is soliciting for responses for up to 120 AH-6SA and AH-6i aircraft at present, with 60 of these for non-disclosed FMS customers dependant on whether they execute FMS requests or not... The numbers included ‘known’ customers such as Saudi Arabia and quite a few ‘unknowns...’

    US Army seeks 120 AH-6 helos for Saudi Arabia and other FMS customers | Jane's 360
     
  8. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    I noticed at Port Kembla car and machinery wharf today 6 UH-1 Huey's that looked to be either new or refurbished, to far away to see any markings on them and don't know if they where coming or going.

    Anyone know if we still have the UH-1 stored or have they been all sold?
     
  9. CJR

    CJR Member

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    ADF Serials suggests that almost all the the fleet was farmed out as museums pieces and gate guards by 2014. Possibly 3-5 still in use as training aids? No indication f half a dozen sitting round ready for sale...
     
  10. Trackmaster

    Trackmaster Member

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    They are imports. Apparently ex-German Air Force that are set for conversion to fire-fighting duties.
     
  11. Joe Black

    Joe Black Member

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  12. PeterM

    PeterM Member

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    Looking at the program time-frame and approximate investment value from the Integrated Investment Program:
    • M1 Main Battle Tank Upgrade, 2018–2027, $750m–$1bn
    • Combat, Construction and Support Engineer Capability (Bridging and Crossing), 2018–2031, $1bn–$2bn
    As far as I am aware, deliveries the first production M1A2 SEP v3 Abrams to the U.S. Army was scheduled to start in 2017. The SEP v4 variant is scheduled to begin testing in 2021.

    Based on the time-frames for the programs and my understanding on where the SEP3 and SEP4 developments are at, I would expect that it will, almost certainly, be the SEPv3 version.

    I am curious if the Army might consider other options such as the Abrams “diesel solution” that was reportedly offered by GDLS with the Tognum America/12V883 diesel engine and Diehl 570P3 track as part of the ECP.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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  13. Joe Black

    Joe Black Member

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    I am supportive of the Abrams upgrade to include the change of the powerpack to the proposed diesel engine. This has been trialed since 1998. The 12V883 is essentially a German designed, US built variant of the MT 883 engine, an improved version of the engine used in the Leo2. The two articles links you have included tell a compelling story for the swapping of the gas turbine to the diesel.

    I would also think that like the US Army adoption of the Trophy APS, the upgraded Abrams should also field an APS system. One thing I would suggest we differ from the US SEPv3 is the use of a locally built EOS RWS rather than the CROWS RWS.
     
  14. Raven22

    Raven22 Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Australia won’t swap the turbine over for a diesel unless the US do so. There’s no point upgrading our tanks the same as the US to take advantage of commonality, only then to spec something completely different. I would also caution against think a diesel upgrade has been trialled properly and is a turn key solution - it would take an awful lot of work (and money) to sort out all the problems inherent with that change. It wouldn’t be even close to economical to do so alone.
     
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  15. PeterM

    PeterM Member

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    My understanding is that he ideal number of Abrams is somewhere around 90 to fully implement Bersheeba.

    Does the M1 Main Battle Tank Upgrade program include additional tanks needed?

    Looking that the Integrated Investment Program, there is an estimated cost of $750m to $1bn. If that is just to upgrade/ replace the existing 59 M1a1's, that works out to an estimated cost of $12.71m to $16.95m per vehicle. If that investment was for lets say 90 vehicles, that allows $8.3m to $11.1m per vehicle.

    Does anyone have further insights?
     
  16. PeterM

    PeterM Member

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    Looking into what the US are doing with upgrading the M1A1 to M1A2 SEP3,

    "On December 21, 2017, General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded a $2,628,902,518 fixed-price-incentive contract for the upgrade of up to 786 M1A1 configured Abrams Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to newly configured M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 (M1A2 Abrams SEP V3), and to upgrade M1A1 vehicles to M1A12S for Saudi Arabia and M1A2-K tanks for Kuwait."
    https://www.armyrecognition.com/jan...1a2_sep_v3_main_battle_tanks_for_us_army.html

    Looking our t the expected investment with the M1 Main Battle Tank Upgrade program versus the cost the US are doing for (presumably) similar upgrades is quite interesting.

    If the US total cost was just for the 783 tanks, that works out to around $3.35m USD per vehicle. Given that it includes the Saudi and Kuwait tanks as well, the cost will be less per tank. I am not sure how directly applicable that is for our upgrades (due to a range of potential variables).
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  17. Stampede

    Stampede Member

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    Suggest it's a fair question without an answer in the public forum..

    Increased numbers are a must to do justice for an on going deployable armoured Squadron for each of the three Brigades.
    Suggest the 14 MBT Sqn numbers are increased to 18 as the British have planned.
    Not after extra MBT Sqn's just give the ones we have real teeth.


    Regards S.
     
  18. Raven22

    Raven22 Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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  19. Stampede

    Stampede Member

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    Thanks Raven
    Nice to revisit the article and trust it has an outcome in numbers and hardware.

    Regards S
     
  20. PeterM

    PeterM Member

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    I am interested in the new MSV and Armoured Engineering capability we are getting.

    With Project: Land 400 Phase 3 Capability: Manoeuvre Support Vehicle, the IIP lists a 2017–2026 timeframe and investment of $200m-$300m. Going by DTR's Australian Armoured Vehicles Programs to 2030, it seems we are looking for around 17 vehicles, which means an indicative cost of between $11.75m and $17.65m per vehicle to get the capability. Are we more likely to look at a variant of our IFV solution, or would a specialised solution such as the British Terrier be considered?

    With Project: Land 8160 Phase 1 Capability: Under Armour Breaching, Engineering & Bridging, The IIP lists a 2018–2031 timeframe and investment of $1bn-$2bn
    Given our Abrams upgrade program it seems likely that the Breaching and Brigding solutions will be the in service Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) and Joint Assault Bridge (JAB). I am more curious on the engineering capability. As there is no Abrams equivalent in service, are we more likely to develop an Abrams AEV solution (possibly derived from the M1 Grizzly designs), or would as existing MOTS option like the Kodiak AEV 3 be a better solution?

    I am curious to hear thoughts on the best options to these capabilities, particularly those with practical / operational experience.