Australian Army Discussions and Updates

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
If the MRH Taipan is hypothetically replaced like for like by MH-60M would LUH still be required?
Current SOPFORS requirement is 12 Med Helicopters, at present that is filled by MRH-90s, currently in place but not yet at FOC and 16 SF LUH, to be either Bell 429s or Airbus A145s, due to be announced late this year. So any hypothetical Blackhawk buy could be up to 12 to replace the MRH-90, or up to 30 to replace both. just have to wait to see what happens.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
So, the bad guys see Australian blackhawks, and straight away know they are dealing with SASR or Commandos.
Get rid of the NH90s altogether, and go an all Blackhawk,Chinook, Apache, and LUH .
Same problem with the LUH and an Australian Helicopter will draw fire whether its carrying SAS or the Cooks delivering Dinner. Most SF missions will be a Night time drop or pick up anyway and its basically been Blackhawks =SF MRH-90(when flying)= regular Infantry for most of the last 10 years anyway.
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The LUH will most likely be for counter terrorism anyway.
You don't think you can tell the difference between choppers at night?
It makes sense to consolidate the choppers. The NH 90 has proven to be problematic with OTT operational costs in every area. It's a maintenance pig. The only advantage is that it can carry a couple of more troops at a slightly longer range, and that's it. The blackhawk is way more reliable, easier to maintain, same engines as the Apache, some commonality with the seahawks and offers higher availability. The taipan was another euro fail like the tigers, like the barracuda subs.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The LUH will most likely be for counter terrorism anyway.
You don't think you can tell the difference between choppers at night?
It makes sense to consolidate the choppers. The NH 90 has proven to be problematic with OTT operational costs in every area. It's a maintenance pig. The only advantage is that it can carry a couple of more troops at a slightly longer range, and that's it. The blackhawk is way more reliable, easier to maintain, same engines as the Apache, some commonality with the seahawks and offers higher availability. The taipan was another euro fail like the tigers, like the barracuda subs.
Wouldn't these bad guys just shoot at ANY Australian helicopter they saw? Why are they going to care particularly if it happens to be carrying conventional forces or special forces or no forces? Don't they gain an operational effect in any of these circumstances?
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Not about shooting at the chopper.
It's about knowing who just got off the chopper you saw land a few km away.
They know it's SOF.
Could be useful for deception plans, but in general, you can identify SF simply by their mode of transport. If all choppers were the same for all units, then the bad guys don't know who got off them.
 
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MickB

Active Member
Not about shooting at the chopper.
It's about knowing who just got off the chopper you saw land a few km away.
They know it's SOF.
Could be useful for deception plans, but in general, you can identify SF simply by their mode of transport. If all choppers were the same for all units, then the bad guys don't know who got off them.
The same could be said about a lot of their ground vehicles.
Often can tell SF vehicles at a glance.
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Ok. Now you guys are just arguing without knowing why, and frankly, as an ex soldier, it's a bit embarrassing, we are talking about helo insertion.
Eg. Deception is a huge part of helo ops. Often you will have multiple LZs so the enemy are not 100% sure on which LZ the soldiers got off.
It just makes their Intel a little bit better and gifting information. Especially if the operation is over a few years, and the enemy have time to study your tactics.
I'm not just making this stuff up guys. This is a real concern, and not by me. I'm long retired from airborne/airmobile operations, however, I clearly have a better understanding than some of you.
As for vehicle operations, it's not comparable, it's a case of apples and oranges.
Airmobile operations are usually pretty fast operations, and by making it easy to identify units you are up against, is an advantage that should be avoided. It's along the same lines of call signs etc and comsec.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Ok. Now you guys are just arguing without knowing why, and frankly, as an ex soldier, it's a bit embarrassing, we are talking about helo insertion.
Eg. Deception is a huge part of helo ops. Often you will have multiple LZs so the enemy are not 100% sure on which LZ the soldiers got off.
It just makes their Intel a little bit better and gifting information. Especially if the operation is over a few years, and the enemy have time to study your tactics.
I'm not just making this stuff up guys. This is a real concern, and not by me. I'm long retired from airborne/airmobile operations, however, I clearly have a better understanding than some of you.
As for vehicle operations, it's not comparable, it's a case of apples and oranges.
Airmobile operations are usually pretty fast operations, and by making it easy to identify units you are up against, is an advantage that should be avoided. It's along the same lines of call signs etc and comsec.
You were talking about line of sight where this supposed enemy can see Aus Army helos...

Your deception plan has failed if your enemy has LOS on your landing zone and in all likelihood it will matter little who is getting out, as they’ll all be getting hosed with direct and perhaps indirect fires in any serious conflict if they are seen as you propose…
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Mate, stop it, you are looking foolish.
How about a kid with an I phone spots the blakhawk, and passes on info to the enemy?
Really, if can not see logic in what I am saying, then I have overestimated your knowledge for years.
These tactics were used in Rhodesia, Vietnam, Afghanistan by Russia and everyone else.
I know you are a smart bloke, and I know you have heaps of knowledge in equipment and other military "stuff", but I am at a loss for your argument in not having just one type of medium lift helicopter?
Why wouldn't you want to consolidate the helo fleet?
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Mate, stop it, you are looking foolish.
How about a kid with an I phone spots the blakhawk, and passes on info to the enemy?
Really, if can not see logic in what I am saying, then I have overestimated your knowledge for years.
These tactics were used in Rhodesia, Vietnam, Afghanistan by Russia and everyone else.
I know you are a smart bloke, and I know you have heaps of knowledge in equipment and other military "stuff", but I am at a loss for your argument in not having just one type of medium lift helicopter?
Why wouldn't you want to consolidate the helo fleet?
About $5 billion reasons actually…
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
Mate, stop it, you are looking foolish.
How about a kid with an I phone spots the blakhawk, and passes on info to the enemy?
Really, if can not see logic in what I am saying, then I have overestimated your knowledge for years.
These tactics were used in Rhodesia, Vietnam, Afghanistan by Russia and everyone else.
I know you are a smart bloke, and I know you have heaps of knowledge in equipment and other military "stuff", but I am at a loss for your argument in not having just one type of medium lift helicopter?
Why wouldn't you want to consolidate the helo fleet?
I think you need to cool down a bit there mate.

You are correct, but note that we haven't actually assessed that specifically as a risk for 6 years or generally for 15 years. We have continually and consciously held Black Hawks as SO only aircraft since 2015, so if you saw a Black Hawk you had a good idea it was SF. Furthermore, in separating 5 and 6 Avn, we also made it clear that if the Black Hawks disappeared from one location you knew which force was doing a job.

On top of all that, even tactically it is often ignored. In 2006/07, 5 Avn was based at the HPOD in Dili and 6 Avn at the airport. So if birds lifted from the airport the rebels hid, if from the HPOD they didn't. We knew that, but the SO peeps never wanted to change.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
You were talking about line of sight where this supposed enemy can see Aus Army helos...

Your deception plan has failed if your enemy has LOS on your landing zone and in all likelihood it will matter little who is getting out, as they’ll all be getting hosed with direct and perhaps indirect fires in any serious conflict if they are seen as you propose…
"Your enemy" can include civilians with phones, as old faithful says, & has done for many years. The Serbs knew the times, numbers, & aircraft types of every takeoff from a military airfield in Italy throughout the Kosovo conflict, for example. That was how they set the trap which caught an F-117.

Are you saying that every civilian in the vicinity of a landing zone, or under the flight path to it, is going to be killed?

Times change.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
I have just watched a Defence video on the Re-raising of the 10th Light Horse Regiment in WA
Is this an Army Reserve unit or ARA?
10th Light Horse Regiment (Australia) - Wikipedia

If wiki is to be believed it has actually been around since 1949 when re-raised as an independent squadron, expanded to regimant in 1952, reduced to squadron in 1976, Became part of 13th Brigade in 2001 and expanded again to regiment Oct 2021.

But yes it is Army Reserve still attached presently to 13th Brigade.
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
With the current climate , a re think about how the Army Reserve is organised and trained is good idea.
A small, well equipped standing regular army as it is now is important to maintain. But having a big, disciplined reserve force, is more important now than ever.
Concentrating on basic skills done well, and incentives to attend parade nights and weekend training is vital in making it work. Too many reserves miss training nights. The reserves need positive publicity, and lots of it.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
With the current climate , a re think about how the Army Reserve is organised and trained is good idea.
A small, well equipped standing regular army as it is now is important to maintain. But having a big, disciplined reserve force, is more important now than ever.
Concentrating on basic skills done well, and incentives to attend parade nights and weekend training is vital in making it work. Too many reserves miss training nights. The reserves need positive publicity, and lots of it.
Out of curiousity would you or anyone else know on financial terms whats it costs to to outfit and maintain a reserve soldier compared to an active soldier? Just had it stuck in the back of my head for some time wondering on the financial aspect as to how many we may be able to call upon in an oh s*** moment compared to having X amount active duty for the dollar spent on each during normal times.

For example hypotheically IF we had X amount extra $$$$ how many active duty vs reserve could we potentially field?

I dont imagine their would be a straight answer and it would vary depending in skill set and equipment/support services required for them but generally if such a number exists?
 

swerve

Super Moderator
It's going to be heavily dependent on the type of reservist. Non-combat specialists who can use their civilian skills in the armed forces, such as medical personnel, should be very cost-effective as reservists. Armies need more medics when they're fighting.

Also dependent on the quantity & quality of refresher training needed to keep a reservist useful, I expect. Local defence units which are intimately familiar with the territory they'll be expected to defend, & the stored equipment they'll use to do so, probably have a good cost:effectiveness ratio. The last reserve Centurion crews in the Swedish army are reported to have run rings around full-time Leopard 2 crews in exercises, but their decades of experience on their much-upgraded Centurions & knowing all the training grounds like the backs of their hands might have had something to do with that. Troops able to go anywhere & do various things? I'm not so sure.

And people with high skills that are military-specific? Tricky . . . How much regular carrier-borne flying is needed to be an effective cat & trap carrier pilot? I suspect it could be hard to fit that into a reservists flying hours, & considering how much it costs, doing enough of it to stay current will make such reservists not necessarily much cheaper than regulars. An extreme example, I know, but I'm trying to illustrate what I think is the difficulty in giving a simple answer to the question - which obviously, you are aware of.

Oh, I have no idea what the answer is. Sorry.
 

Hone C

Active Member
Out of curiousity would you or anyone else know on financial terms whats it costs to to outfit and maintain a reserve soldier compared to an active soldier? Just had it stuck in the back of my head for some time wondering on the financial aspect as to how many we may be able to call upon in an oh s*** moment compared to having X amount active duty for the dollar spent on each during normal times.

For example hypotheically IF we had X amount extra $$$$ how many active duty vs reserve could we potentially field?

The UK MoD did a cost comparison involving different sub unit types. They compared the cost of two reserve subunits with one regular subunit to achieve a fair comparison of deployed strength over a sustained period.

A fair number of caveats and assumptions involved, and numbers varied between unit types.

Cost of ownership of 2 reservist subunits was 26-51% of a regular unit when not deployed, and 85-155% when deployed.
 
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