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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. Massive

    Massive Active Member

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    "Once FOC is achieved, the Australian Army would be capable of “generating multiple concurrent deployed forces of up to Squadron [12 aircraft] size,”"

    Australia issues RfI for Tiger helicopter replacement | Jane's 360

    Not sure how this balances with what you have been seeing voonoobie.

    Thoughts?

    Massive
     
  2. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    The Europeans would probably take them off our hands for spare parts at least.
     
  3. oldsig127

    oldsig127 Active Member

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    I should think it's highly unlikely. Unless someone has hidden a spare pool of air and ground crew as large as currently engaged with the Tigers just waiting to employ the replacement aircraft there wouldn't be enough people (or wages!) to go around.

    oldsig
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Active Member

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    We could, but it would be silly for two big reasons.

    We have many problems in equipping the ADF because of the wider thought that we can just eek a few more years out of them. Once a platform reaches end of life we should get rid of them - not tweak them.

    The other issue is the cost. You don't really save money by cutting fleets by 10 - 20%, you save money by cutting fleets. So the money needed for Tiger now is $x, for the winner of LAND 4503 is $x+y where y is partially inflation and partially a bigger fleet - but the x comes from the tiger spending - it just transfers across. If you keep Tiger, even only half, you still need all the engineering and logistics support, most of the supplies and the contract with Airbus. So you'd end up with $x (minus a little bit), leaving only y for the new capability.

    I'm a fan of Tiger, but our Tiger's won't be battlefield ready in 2029. They need to be replaced completely, not left around.
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Active Member

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    All of the rotary wing Army Sqn have been 12 aircraft, with the exception of 161 and 162 Sqn with Tiger*. They are 8 aircraft Sqn, and were always intended to be.** It has ended up as two Tp of 4 aircraft which has worked well; but has also led to a culture of viewing attack helo support as Tp's, not as Sqn like you do with utility helicopters. That poses interesting restrictions on the Bde Comd being supported and a reasonable amount of stress on the maintainers and aircrew. The idea that you are only going to have 2 - 4 helicopters (generally) supporting on any given day reduces the ground scheme of manoeuvre options - an extra four airframes can now allow that Sqn to have 6 - 8 helo's up at any given time - much better support

    Adding to this is the readiness cycle. With only 16 airframes (noting that some of those are in deeper maintenance), it's hard to maintain a Sqn or Tp at the readiness levels needed, just because of the small number of airframes. Keeping 4 helo's ready from 8 (with their crews and other support elements) is harder than 4 from 12 - especially as (like all enabling Brigade), 16 Brigade doesn't have the depth for a reset Sqn.

    Overall, 12 aircraft Sqn are better deployed, ready, on exercise or in barracks.

    * this all ignores CH-47 - there just isn't 12. But it's a good example of the different thinking and restrictions aren't an airframe issue, but a numbers issue.

    ** note that they were to be 8 aircraft Sqn of Tiger, Apache or Cobra - although with more airframes in the fleet of Tiger v the other two (so the above would have been even harder, from a numbers point of view).
     
  6. Massive

    Massive Active Member

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    This is one of the aspects of Army that is rarely noted when discussions of increasing defence spending come up.

    There would be quite a bit of spend increase to just get to a point where all existing capabilities were fully resourced to rotate through the 36-month readiness cycle.

    Regards,

    Massive
     
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  7. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I have often seen parallels in the management of Tiger to the management of Collins, too few acquired, with insufficient investment in logistics and support in general, to have any hope of meeting the desired capability or availability. The other similarity is the public perception that a capable, world leading, high end platform is a failure and waste of money because of the underestimation by government of the investment actually required to meet the capability their policies have demanded.

    It is a real shame Australia didn't acquire a squadron of surplus AH-1s in the 90s to learn everything about operating (and sustaining) attack helos before kicking off the ARH program. This would have averted a big issue with Tiger, jumping straight from a 60s vintage observation helo design (yes I know the Kiowa was introduced in the 70s but it was pure 60s, if not 50s in capability and technology) to the most advanced (and complex) example of attack recon helo available in the 2010s. There is precedence for this, the acquisition of King airs to bridge between the Caribou and Spartan, as well as the Rhinos bridging from the F-111/ HUG Bugs to the F-35. It was not just about capability (definitely not with the King Airs) but also about growing the required support capability and knowledge before the arrival of the bleeding edge new capability.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Active Member

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    That first paragraph is correct - there are so many misapprehensions about Tiger out there that many involved in the capability just don't comment because "what would they know". Even in Army there is large amounts of ignorance dressed up as fact.

    Tying your two paragraphs together, the numbers come from what we wanted - based on assumptions because we didn't really understand what an attack helicopter brought to the battlefield or what we wanted to do with them. We built on 4 - 6 Bushrangers and two dozen Kiowa, neither of which is anything like an attack helicopter. So our requested usage and serviceability needs were too low. That combined with a logistics chain that was (is?)...temperamental.

    I got handed the car comparison many years ago and it holds true. We went from a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle to a 2008 Porsche 911. In everything we were on a near-vertical learning curve, hell, we had to invent specialisations and trades! I'm not actually sure of an example where a modern military has had to do this, especially a Western one, but that leap was huge - and many simply underestimate that.
     
  9. SteveR

    SteveR Active Member

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    Just a reminder that the Government planned to purchase both AH-1s and CH-47s in 1970 but when we deserted South Vietnam the orders were cancelled.
     
  10. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Ah huh, A16 serial set aside for 11 AH-1Gs in 1970, although we did get a dozen CH-47Cs from 1973. Another parallel between the Collins and Tiger is neither would be possible without the dedication and support of very badly maligned contractors.
     
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  11. hairyman

    hairyman Member

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    Massive, any idea on the personnel numbers required to bring the Army up to scratch?