Australian Army Discussions and Updates

Goknub

Member
To throw my thoughts in, I believe moving away from Beersheba is/was a poor decision but I understand it giving some of the limitations as it was implemented and the need to prioritise resources and capabilities.

Most conflicts of the 20th and 21st Century the ADF has been involved in started out being anticipated as short, sharp affairs. WW1 was “Home by Christmas”, WW2 was Blitzkrieg, Korea was a UN policing action, Vietnam a counter-insurgency, Afghanistan a special forces-only/Northern Alliance show, Iraq was “Mission Accomplished” within a month. All ended up as drawn-out attractional conflicts. Even East Timor required a decade of attention including a mechanized battalion equivalent in 2006 which many forget about. That force in Land 400 terms was heavier than our Middle East deployments.

To take a wider view, I would argue the Army as a combined arms force peaked in 1918. WW2 was a lot of mistakes and relearning old lessons, the post-WW2 RAR-based structure simply solidified a single arm approach to combat that had been obsolete since we moved from red coats and horses. Every conflict since has reinforced that the combined arms force is the superior force.

I am all for combined arms battalions even if sacred cows needed to be slain (RAR & Cav Regts). I would arrange three combat brigades (3, 7 & 9) with two mechanized battalions and a motorized battalion (both already exist but now non-Corp specific). Leave 1 Bde in Darwin as a smaller rapid-reaction force (as planned). The motorized battalion can be the rapid-reaction force of each brigade. The support units may not be as efficient but would be more capable, "train hard, fight easy" also applies to non-combat units. The current plan risks returning to an army of one's and two's as per the 80s & 90s.

Artillery should be concentrated in an artillery brigade and operated like the aviation brigade. ie generate task-specific groups depending on the operation.

The biggest problem is the lack of amphibious logistics lift. Naval logistics still isn’t given the priority it needs considering just about every conflict we’ve been involved in required some sort of naval lift. Just look at the range of options in the RAAF compared to the RAN. The Naval Shipbuilding Plan was severely lacking in this area.
 
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Stampede

Well-Known Member
Just a thought re 155 artillery.
Are we to consolidate with just the Tracked Huntman SPH or is there a place for the existing M777's.
I get the vibe the Brigades may move to greater specialization, being ether heavy with tracks or lighter with wheels.

Certainly Hanwhas Huntsman will be a good fit across the Heavy Brigades, but is it a good fit for the lighter units?
I appreciate that Artillery has being discussed before and the limitations of a towed gun have being mentioned but is there another option.


The Brutus concept is to mount the existing M777 on the existing tow vehicle. In US service the M1083 general Utility Truck.
I'm sure their would be an equivalent in Australian service.

While I'm unsure if this has been taken up in the US, the trials work seems complete and the concept proven.
The trucked option has much appeal and advantages over the towed option.

I don't see it as completion to the yet to be introduced SPG, but rather a complimentary niche capability that would suite our broad and varied needs.

We have the guns and we have the trucks.
Should not be too cost prohibitive.


Thoughts


Regards S
 

Bob53

Active Member
Just a thought re 155 artillery.
Are we to consolidate with just the Tracked Huntman SPH or is there a place for the existing M777's.
I get the vibe the Brigades may move to greater specialization, being ether heavy with tracks or lighter with wheels.

Certainly Hanwhas Huntsman will be a good fit across the Heavy Brigades, but is it a good fit for the lighter units?
I appreciate that Artillery has being discussed before and the limitations of a towed gun have being mentioned but is there another option.


The Brutus concept is to mount the existing M777 on the existing tow vehicle. In US service the M1083 general Utility Truck.
I'm sure their would be an equivalent in Australian service.

While I'm unsure if this has been taken up in the US, the trials work seems complete and the concept proven.
The trucked option has much appeal and advantages over the towed option.

I don't see it as completion to the yet to be introduced SPG, but rather a complimentary niche capability that would suite our broad and varied needs.

We have the guns and we have the trucks.
Should not be too cost prohibitive.


Thoughts


Regards S
Based on the logistics alone, I argued that the automatic loading and protected archer ... http://www.military-today.com/artillery/archer.htm was more suited to AU conditions and distances than heavy tracked, so expect you to get told there is no place for an un protected truck mounted gun. I agree unprotected won’t cut it these days but still believe a wheeled is more suited to Au.
 
What about air mobility? At 12 tonnes, I think that would be too heavy to be slung by a Chinook. It's a useful capability, I expect, for the Army to be able to move artillery around, especially in the littorals. I recall a Defence video showing them moving three guns by Chinook from an LHD. I don't know what a truck gains, especially not being protected, but it seems to lose that ability to be a slung load, maybe?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Based on the logistics alone, I argued that the automatic loading and protected archer ... Archer 155 mm Self-Propelled Gun-Howitzer | Military-Today.com was more suited to AU conditions and distances than heavy tracked, so expect you to get told there is no place for an un protected truck mounted gun. I agree unprotected won’t cut it these days but still believe a wheeled is more suited to Au.
That works if you're only going to be running around in the outback up the top end. When's the last time the ADF fought a land war on the Australian continent? Well since the emu war which they lost :D The ADF is an expeditionary force and because of the current geopolitical and geostrategic situation you plan for that. Hence you will be looking at island and jungle warfare just like WW2.
What about air mobility? At 12 tonnes, I think that would be too heavy to be slung by a Chinook. It's a useful capability, I expect, for the Army to be able to move artillery around, especially in the littorals. I recall a Defence video showing them moving three guns by Chinook from an LHD. I don't know what a truck gains, especially not being protected, but it seems to lose that ability to be a slung load, maybe?
The thing is it takes time to prepare a towed gun for transport either by ground or air after firing its last round. Usually more time than it takes for counterbattery fire to arrive. That's the disadvantage of towed artillery over self propelled artillery. The advantage that towed artillery has over self propelled artillery is in barrage shoots of long duration because of the lack of physical restrictions for the gun crew. This Think Defence article explains the differences. Think Defence is a good resource.

 
The artillery gun module on the Boxer could be an option for "light" brigades. Saw it last night on Twitter and thought we may have been premature with the K9 purchase seeing as we already ordered the Boxer. Unless it absolutely had to be tracked...
 

Bob53

Active Member
What about air mobility? At 12 tonnes, I think that would be too heavy to be slung by a Chinook. It's a useful capability, I expect, for the Army to be able to move artillery around, especially in the littorals. I recall a Defence video showing them moving three guns by Chinook from an LHD. I don't know what a truck gains, especially not being protected, but it seems to lose that ability to be a slung load, maybe?
Well a 155mm can we slung loaded but would need a truck to move it around and I dont know if thats possible to also sling load a truck so assume only a Chook is only useful to load and unload logistally but not for operations unless a static gun is fit for the job.
 
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old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I think that a reserve Arty regt should maintain and train with the M118 Hammels. It's a very versatile little gun, that can be moved quickly and easily by rotor . Think mountains of East Timor, PNG etc. The SPG s are going to be awesome for the mech /motorised and maritime units. The towed M777 should also be kept in service, well at least some of them.
Arty is going to be very busy eh! With Surface to surface missile and new SAM systems!
It's about time that Army increased manning by a small amount, maybe 1500 or so.
 

Bob53

Active Member
That works if you're only going to be running around in the outback up the top end. When's the last time the ADF fought a land war on the Australian continent? Well since the emu war which they lost :D The ADF is an expeditionary force and because of the current geopolitical and geostrategic situation you plan for that. Hence you will be looking at island and jungle warfare just like WW2.

The thing is it takes time to prepare a towed gun for transport either by ground or air after firing its last round. Usually more time than it takes for counter battery fire to arrive. That's the disadvantage of towed artillery over self propelled artillery. The advantage that towed artillery has over self propelled artillery is in barrage shoots of long duration because of the lack of physical restrictions for the gun crew. This Think Defence article explains the differences. Think Defence is a good resource.

But we put up a good fight against those Emus. They thought twice about it the next time.

That article is excellent and I have read it previously but a good refresh on towed guns..

I am in 100% agreement with you on towed artillery and similarly for any unprotected kit (violent agreement) but I was not referring to that option when I re entered this discussion and again mentioned Archer as its not towed, its protected and its not a GOAT. Before any wants to bash me on fantasy fleets ...I dont think I am going down that path, simply explaining why I think it would be more suitable choice for AU. OK I know it's not going to happen so a bit of a moot point and would probably behoove me to just leave it...but I love the odd argument.

The logistics of OS deployment present logistical challenges even greater than that within Australia. I guess there is an assumption in most of these debates that A will deploy with B and never without C. Which has been an argument certainly thrown my way. But even outside of a war zone the logistics of everything going to plan over long distances is often down to luck.

So when we talk of moving things to port, then to theatre then to an action zone the tail gets longer and longer and more things can go wrong and thats without any one trying to stop you or blowing up the stuff you depend on without your permission.

In my simplest terms. Lets say you load up a LHD and head of to a foreign port with 12 Tracked SPH vehicles amongst everything else you need. The 12 tracked vehicles take up part of a finite space along with their trucks carrying them along with more trucks that carry their fuel, ammo and spares. If the tracked vehicles could instead just drive onto the LHD and then onto the area of operations without a truck, that's another 12 trucks full of supplies or other kit that could fit in the LHD.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
What about air mobility? At 12 tonnes, I think that would be too heavy to be slung by a Chinook. It's a useful capability, I expect, for the Army to be able to move artillery around, especially in the littorals. I recall a Defence video showing them moving three guns by Chinook from an LHD. I don't know what a truck gains, especially not being protected, but it seems to lose that ability to be a slung load, maybe?
Re Artillery

Firstly the new SPH from Hanwha will be a welcomed and much needed addition to Army Fire power.
No doubt a good peice of kit
30 units plus 15 resupply vehicles with the possibility of an additional tranche later in the decade to further increase these numbers.
Certainly points to Army going heavy. Land 400 Phase 2 and 3 plus new Tanks and their variants.
An increasingly heavy Army.
Question
Is there a place for alternative tubed artillery piece in this new Army?.

Will a SPH fulfill the broad range of our medium tubed artillery requirements.


Regards S
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member

Good news for both the US and also potentially us. It will be interesting to see if Australia goes down the HIMARS path + PRSM for LAND 8113.
You'd have to think it's nigh-on a foregone conclusion at this point. A PrSM missile capable of reaching out to 1000km would prove invaluable to the development of our own A2/AD capability. Coupled with LRASM/JASSM-ER from the RAAF, Tomahawk and SM6 from the RAN and future hypersonics across all 3 services, it could be quite potent...
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Re Artillery

Firstly the new SPH from Hanwha will be a welcomed and much needed addition to Army Fire power.
No doubt a good peice of kit
30 units plus 15 resupply vehicles with the possibility of an additional tranche later in the decade to further increase these numbers.
Certainly points to Army going heavy. Land 400 Phase 2 and 3 plus new Tanks and their variants.
An increasingly heavy Army.
Question
Is there a place for alternative tubed artillery piece in this new Army?.

Will a SPH fulfill the broad range of our medium tubed artillery requirements.


Regards S
There is an intention to get a 120mm Mortar mounted on the Land 400 Phase 3 Vehicle
 
The thing is it takes time to prepare a towed gun for transport either by ground or air after firing its last round. Usually more time than it takes for counterbattery fire to arrive. That's the disadvantage of towed artillery over self propelled artillery. The advantage that towed artillery has over self propelled artillery is in barrage shoots of long duration because of the lack of physical restrictions for the gun crew. This Think Defence article explains the differences. Think Defence is a good resource.
Agree on all points. Pros and cons for towed vs SP, of course, and no doubt also for both compared to truck-mounted guns too. (And agree Think Defence has some good articles.)

Just to add a little to the advantage of towed in being air mobile, there's an article and images actually in the Defence site today about a recent exercise: Australian amphibious force completes exercise | Defence News

In the images you can see M777s being carried ashore by Chinooks, and four landing craft with - between them - two Abrams, two M113s and two ASLAVs. While we likely all agree the Navy/Army need more ship to shore connectors, there's always going to be a limit. I expect the landing craft carried by the Canberras will only be able to carry one of the Land 400 Phase 3 IFVs each, not sure about the Boxers? So being able to fly in the guns at least is an advantage. Obviously one they're practicing.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Agree on all points. Pros and cons for towed vs SP, of course, and no doubt also for both compared to truck-mounted guns too. (And agree Think Defence has some good articles.)

Just to add a little to the advantage of towed in being air mobile, there's an article and images actually in the Defence site today about a recent exercise: Australian amphibious force completes exercise | Defence News

In the images you can see M777s being carried ashore by Chinooks, and four landing craft with - between them - two Abrams, two M113s and two ASLAVs. While we likely all agree the Navy/Army need more ship to shore connectors, there's always going to be a limit. I expect the landing craft carried by the Canberras will only be able to carry one of the Land 400 Phase 3 IFVs each, not sure about the Boxers? So being able to fly in the guns at least is an advantage. Obviously one they're practicing.
One big con against Towed Arty is Counter Battery fire, to mission Kill a AS-9 you are going to pretty much have to hit it, preferably with a AP round, with Towed Arty a near miss even 20-30m away with HE, could kill or severely injure Crew or damage the Gun and or the Truck and of course Shoot and scoot is much faster in a SP Vehicle.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
But we put up a good fight against those Emus. They thought twice about it the next time.

That article is excellent and I have read it previously but a good refresh on towed guns..

I am in 100% agreement with you on towed artillery and similarly for any unprotected kit (violent agreement) but I was not referring to that option when I re entered this discussion and again mentioned Archer as its not towed, its protected and its not a GOAT. Before any wants to bash me on fantasy fleets ...I dont think I am going down that path, simply explaining why I think it would be more suitable choice for AU. OK I know it's not going to happen so a bit of a moot point and would probably behoove me to just leave it...but I love the odd argument.

The logistics of OS deployment present logistical challenges even greater than that within Australia. I guess there is an assumption in most of these debates that A will deploy with B and never without C. Which has been an argument certainly thrown my way. But even outside of a war zone the logistics of everything going to plan over long distances is often down to luck.

So when we talk of moving things to port, then to theatre then to an action zone the tail gets longer and longer and more things can go wrong and thats without any one trying to stop you or blowing up the stuff you depend on without your permission.

In my simplest terms. Lets say you load up a LHD and head of to a foreign port with 12 Tracked SPH vehicles amongst everything else you need. The 12 tracked vehicles take up part of a finite space along with their trucks carrying them along with more trucks that carry their fuel, ammo and spares. If the tracked vehicles could instead just drive onto the LHD and then onto the area of operations without a truck, that's another 12 trucks full of supplies or other kit that could fit in the LHD.
No probs, but the Emu govt begs to differ. We have diplomatic relations with them and quite friendly ones at that.

It is good that you touched on logistics and I think that is where the ADF does have a problem, especially in the amphibious warfare department. I would argue that the Army needs to push and support the Navy in the acquisition of a minimum of two JSS to cover the amphib logistics.


Agree on all points. Pros and cons for towed vs SP, of course, and no doubt also for both compared to truck-mounted guns too. (And agree Think Defence has some good articles.)

Just to add a little to the advantage of towed in being air mobile, there's an article and images actually in the Defence site today about a recent exercise: Australian amphibious force completes exercise | Defence News

In the images you can see M777s being carried ashore by Chinooks, and four landing craft with - between them - two Abrams, two M113s and two ASLAVs. While we likely all agree the Navy/Army need more ship to shore connectors, there's always going to be a limit. I expect the landing craft carried by the Canberras will only be able to carry one of the Land 400 Phase 3 IFVs each, not sure about the Boxers? So being able to fly in the guns at least is an advantage. Obviously one they're practicing.
Ì am given to understand that the landing craft are being replaced. With what is subject to much debate. IIRC it's being discussed on the RAN thread.
You'd have to think it's nigh-on a foregone conclusion at this point. A PrSM missile capable of reaching out to 1000km would prove invaluable to the development of our own A2/AD capability. Coupled with LRASM/JASSM-ER from the RAAF, Tomahawk and SM6 from the RAN and future hypersonics across all 3 services, it could be quite potent...
Why would you think that? The government has said that it will invest in a long range strike capability, but it hasn't yet decided what form or forms it will take. And just to make matters more difficult the Minister of Defence, Peter Dutton has basically shut down all, but very basic information being released to defence reporters from Defence. So now it's going to be a lot of guess work, which isn't good.

 
One big con against Towed Arty is Counter Battery fire, to mission Kill a AS-9 you are going to pretty much have to hit it, preferably with a AP round, with Towed Arty a near miss even 20-30m away with HE, could kill or severely injure Crew or damage the Gun and or the Truck and of course Shoot and scoot is much faster in a SP Vehicle.
Yeah ngatimozart mentioned that earlier. Quite right. The other side, I suppose, is that requires your opponent to have peer or at least near-peer capabilities and have them in the AO. If the opponent is more like an insurgency, or they haven't been able to get counter-battery assets where they can threaten you, then not such an issue. The mobility issue is very apparent when you think that with the four landing craft an LHD carries it's going to take quite a few return trips before you get the SP guns ashore.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
And just to make matters more difficult the Minister of Defence, Peter Dutton has basically shut down all, but very basic information being released to defence reporters from Defence. So now it's going to be a lot of guess work, which isn't good
To be blunt, it's blindingly obvious that defence reporting in this country already suffers from too much guesswork ( and a great deal of axe grinding)

oldsig
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Why would you think that? The government has said that it will invest in a long range strike capability, but it hasn't yet decided what form or forms it will take. And just to make matters more difficult the Minister of Defence, Peter Dutton has basically shut down all, but very basic information being released to defence reporters from Defence. So now it's going to be a lot of guess work, which isn't good.

Was referring specifically to the LAND 8113 requirement, which seems destined to produce an MLRS capability for Army. I'd expect HIMARS to be a heavy front runner due to the commonality with US forces, the extensive amount of exposure we've had to the system vis a vis competitors and, as far as PrSM is concerned, the potential to use it as an extended range LBASM capability in our maritime-dominated region.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Yeah ngatimozart mentioned that earlier. Quite right. The other side, I suppose, is that requires your opponent to have peer or at least near-peer capabilities and have them in the AO. If the opponent is more like an insurgency, or they haven't been able to get counter-battery assets where they can threaten you, then not such an issue. The mobility issue is very apparent when you think that with the four landing craft an LHD carries it's going to take quite a few return trips before you get the SP guns ashore.
History has shown that this is not really accurate, unless one would really consider Viet Cong forces operating in Vietnam as peer or near-peer level forces to the US and allied militaries. Towed guns are just not going to have the mobility of self-propelled guns, which means that if local hostiles spot towed guns being setup (which also takes longer than a SPG) there is the potential for a strike/counterstrike made against the towed guns and/or crew.

All it might take is a spotter with a cell phone, and then a couple of people and a 60 mm mortar launcher and mortar bombs could attack the gun or crews.
 
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