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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. Ballistic

    Ballistic New Member

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    Well I can't imagine it being an insignificant purchase, but neither will it break the bank, nor should it. The Defence budget is increasing by a significant amount over the next few years, and there should be more than enough money to plug an existing hole like this, a hole which should have been filled 6 years ago.

    It won't just be 30 SPA systems though, it will also include the resupply vehicles which are generally based on the same vehicle, so the K9 has the K10 ARV, the M109A7 (or A8) has the M992 FAASV and so on. So the buy will have to include enough ARV's to support the battery/regiment as well, probably half or upwards to equal number of ARV's. So the total buy could be for up to 45-50 or even 60 vehicles total.

    EDIT
    : Looking at the numbers of ARV's across the SK Army K9 fleet, it looks like there are approximately 179 ARV's supporting 1136 K9's, so about 1 ARV per 6 K9 on average. If 2 were to support each battery it would provide 208 extra rounds plus the ready rounds in the K9's, that's a whole lot of sustained firepower.

    M777A2 I'd imagine will have a place going forward, as an air transportable artillery piece and as a part of any light/motorised formation, some could certainly stay in the regular artillery regiments but most I think should be handed over the Reserve RAA units so they can actually have a decent artillery capability again.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 7:11 AM
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  2. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The issue is never the procurement costs but rather manning and sustainment. Raven has been very clear on this when describing the reasoning behind changing from the plan Beersheba structure of identical infantry btns supported by cavalry to separate mech and motorised btns.

    Theoretically an SPG battery would require less manning than a towed one but the support side would be a lot more extensive. The army is struggling to get enough qualified and experienced technical soldiers as it is.
    Not saying it can't be or shouldn't be done just that there's a lot more to it than just buying an SPG.

    I think a good example of unintended consequences is the difficulty the army had going from Iroquois Bushranger gunships and Kiowas to Tiger. The Tiger is a grossly underrated platform with a bad rep, a rep that comes significantly from the underestimation of just what was involved in introducing the capability.

    The sad thing is there were professionals who knew how hard it was going to be and they were ignored. I am all for SPGs, I just hope the lessons if the past have been learned and I also wonder if army are still going to get HIMARS, aswell as the proposed antiship missiles.
     
  3. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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    The ADBR magazine has an article on the 30 SPGs

    "ADBR understands the project will be renamed LAND 8112 Protected Mobile Fires, and that the government is looking to acquire it as a sole source acquisition through Defence’s new Smart Buyer initiative."

    https://adbr.com.au/breaking-govt-to-revive-self-propelled-artillery-project/

    The article has been updated with statements from Raytheon Australia and the ALP.

    Is there much information on the new smart buyer initiative?

    "ADBR understands the K9 remains the favoured option for Army."

    My understanding is that the Hanwha bid for Land400 ph3 included an additional option for K9/K10.

    "Hanwha, Korea’s largest defence company, is pitching its K21 IFV for LAND 400 Phase 3, as well as its K9 Thunder self-propelled (SP) guns, although there is currently no specific Australian requirement for a protected gun system."

    http://adbr.com.au/rheinmetall-lynx-lines-up-for-land-400-phase-3/
     
  4. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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    The ADBR magazine has an article on the 30 SPGs

    "ADBR understands the project will be renamed LAND 8112 Protected Mobile Fires, and that the government is looking to acquire it as a sole source acquisition through Defence’s new Smart Buyer initiative."

    Govt to revive self-propelled artillery project – ADBR

    The article has been updated with statements from Raytheon Australia and the ALP.

    Is there much information on the new smart buyer initiative?

    "ADBR understands the K9 remains the favoured option for Army."

    My understanding is that the Hanwha bid for Land400 ph3 included an additional option for K9/K10.

    "Hanwha, Korea’s largest defence company, is pitching its K21 IFV for LAND 400 Phase 3, as well as its K9 Thunder self-propelled (SP) guns, although there is currently no specific Australian requirement for a protected gun system."

    Rheinmetall Lynx lines up for Land 400 Phase 3 – ADBR
     
  5. vonnoobie

    vonnoobie Active Member

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    To give an example on the manning requirements outside of just the SPG. A US Army M109 battery with 6 x M109's also contains 7 x trucks and trailers, 7 x HMMWV's. 2 x command vehicles, 6 x FASV's and 90 personnel and that does not include the HQ. Assuming a similar set up we could very well be looking at 500 bodies being required to field these 30 SPG's. Doesn't seem like a lot but I would hazard a guess that its large enough that it will be either the SPG or MLRS but not both at least not under current proposed numbers.
     
  6. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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  7. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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    Should we get the 30 SPGs and the K9 be the preferred solution, as many anticipate, I wonder if we resurrect the Raytheon Australia bid for Land 17 or go directly through Hanwha which provided a K9 SPG option with its recent Land 400 bid.

    Direct sourcing through defences smart buyer initiative doesn't shed much light.

    Given Hanwha's very recent offering and their pitch of the AS21 for the IFVs, I would expect the acquisition to be a direct source through Hanwha.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 12:31 AM
  8. Milne Bay

    Milne Bay Active Member

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    I think that Ratheon's involvement was essential at the time because of the need for a networked digital terminal control system.
    As far as I know, this hasn't changed, and Ratheon is the one standing by its originally selected offering.
    Makes sense to go with the original selection, if it hasn't been superseded
    MB
     
  9. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Just throwing something out there, would it be feasible to use the SPG vehicle as a base for a mobile SAM and SPAAG? Something not on the ORBAT at moment, but given the changing focus to face an advanced opponent, with significant aviation and missile capabilities, something that should be considered. Would NASAM be capable of being mounted on such a vehicle?
     
  10. hairyman

    hairyman Member

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    Ngatimozart, do you mean in addition to the cannon, howitzer?
     
  11. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Yep. Use the basic vehicle as the platform. Something that can keep up with and provide SAM & AAA for the armoured formations.
     
  12. Ballistic

    Ballistic New Member

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    I'd say the question is more academic than engineering - there is no reason why it couldn't be used. It would be more pertinent to ask if this kind of SPAA capability is actually needed over what is already envisioned, or if it would be more economical to use a vehicle base with far larger numbers like the incoming IFV (whichever is chosen).
     
  13. buffy9

    buffy9 Member

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    The CRV (and possibly IFV) would be more economical and would add to an existing or soon to be existing supply chain. The Boxer has already been shown with the Artillery Gun Module (AGM) with the Boxer drivetrain capable of fitting into the current supply chain. It has also been shown with the 'Skyguard' as a SPAAG system for C-RAM or VSHORAD operations.

    Product Information | KMW

    Boxer 35mm and 155mm - Think Defence

    As noted in the ADM article, the decision appears to be army based as a result of recent proposals by Hanwha:

    However the decision where to build them may be political, as part of an effort by the Coalition to redeem Victorian votes after the Land 400 Phase 2 saw most work undertaken in Queensland as opposed to Victoria.

    Self-propelled howitzers: Land 17 Phase 2 lives again? - Australian Defence Magazine

    I am partially concerned about the name of the project as "Protected Mobility Fires" and the number of units sought. "Protected" generally does not refer to true "armoured" vehicles (i.e. CRV, IFV, MBT) and places it more in the category of lightly armoured - like that of the PMV-L, PMV-M and the RMMV. A "SPG truck" is still arguably better than a towed piece in terms of mobility and small arms protection, though it would not help greatly against counter-battery fire should it be exposed to such an attack.

    However if the decision was spurred by Hanwha's proposal and it is just a naming coincidence, then that opens up the discussion of whether such equipment can be adequately maintained and manned. Such heavy tracked equipment is maintenance heavy and would add on to other major armoured projects in the works. However with the developing funding and industry in place, this may not be a major issue.

    Australia commits to howitzer project before election | Jane's 360

    Either way, a SPG adds a missing capability within the mechanised/armoured force structure and offers greater protection (via mobility) to artillery should it be used in a hostile environment. If it were my decision I would opt for the Boxer AGM and use the currently planned Queensland facility as well as it's developing supply chain, but that's just my own opinion.
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Active Member

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    Just some general points:

    30 guns isn't that much unfortunately; but its better than what we have now. 6x guns / Bty; 3x Bty / Regt (gives 3 units of fire - one per BG); 3x Regt + School (another Bty) means 60 guns. So we'll get half what is probably the minimum for an honest capability - although 8 gun Bty are what is needed for a modern, armoured manoeuvre fight. I would hate to go to 4 gun Bty like they do now; but even then that's 40 guns.

    Currently there are 4x gun / Bty - so 44 RAA pers. Add in the HX77 driver and that's 48. A K-9 SPH has a crew of 5, so each Bty (assuming 4 :( ) has 28 spare bodies. Cut 4 across to the K10 and 8 across to RAEME and you are still looking at a net saving of pers - plenty to afford a long range fires capability (especially if you look at the ARes for that one). Even a 6 gun K-9 Bty would be personnel neutral. @Volkodav - that covers most of the bill for maintenance and support with ease. The big logistic problem remains resupplying the guns from 2nd or 3rd line. The Army has forgotten how much the guns chew up - and what 26 Tpt Sqn is meant to be used for.

    SPH are required for a mech force as they can (a) keep up and (b) have a sufficient weight of fire to combat an enemy mech force.

    The M777 are likely to stay for a while - unfortunately. When it comes down to it, they are a net drag on the Army's capability (especially when a SPH battery achieves IOC).

    Knowing how the title Protected Mobile Fires came about, @buffy9, it is deliberately done to exclude a GOAT solution. Protected demands the crew can operate under protection, mobile provides the self-propelled bit, fires is self explanatory. No SPG is armoured like a IFV or MBT; but most of them have similar protection to the CRV. That's enough - they aren't meant to be under direct fire.

    @ngatimozart - you could use the hull - but why? Boxer offers better choice's there as it's already modular. Of course, there is a proposed 155 mm module for a Boxer, so it may end up being the same hull! Note that L19-7B is buying the mobile SAM though, so it will be on the ORBAT.

    It is a huge win for Army. Now to stick the landing....
     
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  15. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    Thanks very much for that particular post.
    Not sure if the Vanette could be turned into a "SPG"; but it does show what talent and imagination can do.
    Sometimes you have a winner and sometimes not, but either way it's important to be on the field batting and having a go.
    A manufacturing industry should have a future in Australia.
    Thanks again for the post

    Regards S
     
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  16. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Yep the Boxer does, but even it can't go places that a track can. Swings and roundabouts each platform has its own pros and cons, however if you want a particular capability to be able to go everywhere a tank brigade can, then basically it has to be a track. There is no stopping you mounting 155 mm gun / howitzer, SAM and 30 / 35 /40 mm AAA on the SPG base tracks and on the Boxer base vehicles, if so desired. It's just an option that I'm throwing out there for discussion.
     
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  17. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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    It seems that Hanwha intend to be the prime for a K9 capability.

    Hanwha asserts Prime credentials for resurrected SPH project – ADBR
     
  18. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    You can't just cut personnel across to RAEME, it takes years to train competent technical soldiers. In addition you would need multiple trades aswell, modern SPGs are pretty complex beasts. You need the head count and you need, not just the appropriate trades but trade sups, managers and articifers.

    The tail to teeth pivot of the 90s, i.e. civilianisation of Defence hurt the technical depth of the Adf which is still reliant on civilian contractors at surprisingly low levels. The lack of depth restricts how quickly new capabilities can be integrated as there simply aren't enough experienced, mid career technical personnel to lokk after existing gear, introduce new generations and new ramp up ne capabilities.
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Active Member

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    Well, you can. We are under a numbers cap, not a pay cap, so the additional pay for a RAEME position over a RAA position isn't an issue. Furthermore, we aren't getting these guns tomorrow, so your point about training - while true - doesn't impact this project. The project will work with the workforce people to plan that succession and growth, but we have some years to do that. Furthermore, we can identify when the increase in Subj 2's at either rank need to occur, so build that workforce up at each rank before we get there.

    That's all assuming that we stick to the current training and authorisation model which has its flaws. I don't think Centaur is delivering enough (or what it promised back in 200x), but what fundamental difference exists between any of our vehicles with a powered turret? One has a jet engine sure, but other than that? And what is the difference between the ASLAV engine, M113AS4 engine, HX77 engine or PMV-M engine? They are all large scale diesels. Why does Army persist in training for a type when there are efficiencies to be made by allowing greater cross-training?

    Trust me, I have lived the dream of civilisation of the logistic workforce. And was in the units when we introduced a new capability that adopted the approach of "it has a HUMS that tells you everything" so ditched the troubleshooting in the Subj 4s. Then, when we were operating the fleet for a while and the officers could troubleshoot better than the JNCOs, realised that it was still needed - so reintroduced it. But for 5 - 6 years, there was a batch of NCOs that had no formal troubleshooting training and we needed to rebuild their tech skills as well as train their subordinates.

    With all that in mind, and having played in the figures, I have no qualms in my original statement of cutting RAA positions to RAEME; noting that that single statement has a fair chunk of work for people in R2 and ALTC to make reality.
     
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  20. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    That's cool, I just get very uneasy when I get the impression anyone thinks getting trades up to speed is quick or easy.

    Seen it too many times in defence and elsewhere, even when experienced qualified people are available but rusty due to a lack of recent ongoing work in the field. That said I have seen both rusty old guys and enthusiastic lateral transfers get up to speed as quickly or quicker than the qualified, competent, current guys, transitioning to a new platform. Adaptability and knowing how to transition to a new platform or skillset is a skill on its own.
     
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