Australian Army Discussions and Updates

Lolcake

Member
HIMARS sale to Australia approved. Was rather disappointed at the number acquired. Expected at least double the monetary allocation if not more. Poland is considering 500 systems (obviously different strategic requiremrnts). 20 seems extremely conservative. Hoping it's only an initial batch to get up to speed Source : defence connect.
 
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aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I suspect we will be buying as is. Yes it’s another vehicle to support, operate etc, but that cost may well be out-weighed by the integration cost to reinvent the wheel…
Could very well be, I was just raising because there was no mention of the vehicles in the DSCA approval, only the actual system.

I would have thought, under ITARS, and the requirement for DSCA approval that the M1140 would also require approval ? Not to say it won't come separately etc, just would have thought it would all be in the one request. Not a biggy, was just curious, time will tell.

Either way a good start to get this capability up and running.

Cheers
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
Could very well be, I was just raising because there was no mention of the vehicles in the DSCA approval, only the actual system.

I would have thought, under ITARS, and the requirement for DSCA approval that the M1140 would also require approval ? Not to say it won't come separately etc, just would have thought it would all be in the one request. Not a biggy, was just curious, time will tell.

Either way a good start to get this capability up and running.

Cheers
The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is the launcher and the truck. Much like the M270 MLRS is the combination of the M993 Carrier Vehicle and the M269 Loader Launcher Module. I believe only Poland has ordered the HIMARS launcher (don't know what it's M-number is, or if it has one) without the truck
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
HIMARS sale to Australia approved. Was rather disappointed at the number acquired. Expected at least double the monetary allocation if not more. Poland is considering 500 systems (obviously different strategic requiremrnts). 20 seems extremely conservative. Hoping it's only an initial batch to get up to speed Source : defence connect.
From @Raven22 elsewhere, an initial tranche only at this stage with an operational battery of 12x systems (3x troops of 4 vehicles each), plus I assume a pool of systems for the School of Arty, plus some trade training systems.

Further tranches will expand the capability to a full regiment’s worth - likely to be up to 24x systems. Still a bit short of Poland yes, but sufficient at the scale of forces we are developing.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The launcher on the M-124 is trainable and controlled from the armoured crew cab. This suggests that the launcher is integrated with the vehicle platform for power, hydraulics and communications. To achieve that with the MAN trucks would require the redesign of both the launcher and the truck, as well as all of the integration and recertification for the system. If the initial 20 HiMARS are to allow the Army to develop the TTPs for the use of long-range fires, then I would suggest that such integration work would only delay developing those TTPs.
In a similar vein why use a HX77, which is fitted with the EPLS ,for possible integration with the HiMARS launcher? The use of the HX58 or HX42 (6x6), while a new type for the Army, would be perhaps more suited to replace the FMTV of the M-124 than a HX77 (8x8) would be. There has even been the suggestion in ADBR in October 2021 that the HX40M could be used as an alternative for the FMTV in the M-124. So this option would be potentially better than HX58 or HX42 as it is already in use and supported.
Time will tell which way Army will go.
Actually this would be the far better HX vehicle.

1653709932754.png
Source: RMMV HX with the new Artillery Truck Interface - RMMV HX range of tactical trucks - Wikipedia

It's the new Rheinmettall HX-3 10 x 10 part of their new HX-3 family.

Yet the HX3 is also better able than ever to serve as a systems carrier for complex weapon and radar systems. These include truck-based artillery systems, for example, which are likely to gain importance in coming years. In combination with the newly developed Artillery Truck Interface (ATI), the HX 10x10 could be utilised in future as the standard basis for various artillery solutions or similar systems. (Emphasis mine).​

So the truck is already available, the system is already available and all that is required would be the integration of the HIMARS MRL with the ATI.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
We already have quite a few hx-10x10.
wonder how different the new hx3 series really is
I red inked you yesterday for not posting sources for images that you posted. Do it one more time you will be in big trouble. Provide a source for this image.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is the launcher and the truck. Much like the M270 MLRS is the combination of the M993 Carrier Vehicle and the M269 Loader Launcher Module. I believe only Poland has ordered the HIMARS launcher (don't know what it's M-number is, or if it has one) without the truck
Ah ok, cheers for the clarification, thought they were separate.
 

OldTex

Active Member
Actually this would be the far better HX vehicle.

1653709932754.png

Source: RMMV HX with the new Artillery Truck Interface - RMMV HX range of tactical trucks - Wikipedia

It's the new Rheinmettall HX-3 10 x 10 part of their new HX-3 family.
Why would a HX vehicle with a payload capacity of 16t (or greater in the case of the HX3 10x10) be a better vehicle for a payload that will fit on a 5t vehicle (such as the M1104 FMTV) or the HX 60 (4x4) or the HX 58 (6x6) both of which are 6t payload (payload capacity from Army-technology site).
For the initial tranche of HiMARS it makes more sense to stay with the existing vehicle. Any future tranches could then look at the integration of an Australian supported vehicle, but that would have to be a VfM decision.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Why would a HX vehicle with a payload capacity of 16t (or greater in the case of the HX3 10x10) be a better vehicle for a payload that will fit on a 5t vehicle (such as the M1104 FMTV) or the HX 60 (4x4) or the HX 58 (6x6) both of which are 6t payload (payload capacity from Army-technology site).
For the initial tranche of HiMARS it makes more sense to stay with the existing vehicle. Any future tranches could then look at the integration of an Australian supported vehicle, but that would have to be a VfM decision.
Because the vehicle has been designed for it and doesn't require modification that's why. All you are doing is replacing the gun turret with the MRLS and integrating the HiMARS to the ATI. Everything else has already been designed and engineered. Secondly the vehicle can go places that a 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 can't. Being a 10 x 10 it should be able to go most places where tracked vehicles go. In this case it's not about tonnage, but about vehicle accessibility.
 

OldTex

Active Member
Currently the drone resources for surveillance and target acquisition are operated by 20 Regt, RAA. The output from the drones are fed into Bde HQ for further analysis, distribution and tasking.

It is reasonable to assume that with the introduction of HiMARS providing long-range precision fires there will be further developments within Army and RAAF to provide actionable long-range target acquisition.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Currently the drone resources for surveillance and target acquisition are operated by 20 Regt, RAA. The output from the drones are fed into Bde HQ for further analysis, distribution and tasking.

It is reasonable to assume that with the introduction of HiMARS providing long-range precision fires there will be further developments within Army and RAAF to provide actionable long-range target acquisition.
There are lower than brigade level UAS resources as well, including within artillery units.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Can anyone tell me if our artillery units have their own organic drone resources?

All you could ever want to know…

Basically:

Nano- Black Hornet - section level UAS.

Small UAS - Wasp AE - Battlegroup level UAS - to be replaced from 23/24 onwards.

Tactical UAS - Shadow 200 - being replaced by Insitu Integrator - brigade level.

RAAF -

Operational level - currently unfilled. Sky Guardian was to fill that role, prior to cancellation by previous Government. Current Government to ‘look’ at re-instating project, but no actual commitment to do so yet.

Strategic level - MQ-4C Triton - ordered and awaiting delivery.

UCAS - MQ-28A Ghost Bat - in development.

To me there is a glaring capability gap between the Insitu Integrator and MQ-4C Triton, as well as a glaring effects capability gap and a large lack of support for the future Manned / Unmanned teaming capability AH-64E Apache Guardians will introduce to Army.

Insitu Integrator may fill this role, whereas the US Army and USMC use the MQ-1C Gray Eagle in this role. Integrator has no capability to enhance the effects delivered by AH-64E and it’s performance appears to be significantly lower than required for the role.

Given a substantially lower cost and RAAF’s clear lack of enthusiasm for the capability, I’d suggest the MQ-1C would neatly resolve that operational’ level capability gap. as well as the lack of an armed UAS capability gap.
 

OldTex

Active Member
To me there is a glaring capability gap between the Insitu Integrator and MQ-4C Triton, as well as a glaring effects capability gap and a large lack of support for the future Manned / Unmanned teaming capability AH-64E Apache Guardians will introduce to Army.

Insitu Integrator may fill this role, whereas the US Army and USMC use the MQ-1C Gray Eagle in this role. Integrator has no capability to enhance the effects delivered by AH-64E and it’s performance appears to be significantly lower than required for the role.

Given a substantially lower cost and RAAF’s clear lack of enthusiasm for the capability, I’d suggest the MQ-1C would neatly resolve that operational’ level capability gap. as well as the lack of an armed UAS capability gap.
Are you suggesting that Army should push for the responsibility of operating fixed-wing, potentially armed, UAS at the operational level (in addition to the tactical level) rather than that responsibility being vested with RAAF?
There may be some merit is such a suggestion, however it would require a great deal of political 'influence' to overturn about 40 years of fundamental responsibility (also seen by some as a 'turf war').
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Are you suggesting that Army should push for the responsibility of operating fixed-wing, potentially armed, UAS at the operational level (in addition to the tactical level) rather than that responsibility being vested with RAAF?
There may be some merit is such a suggestion, however it would require a great deal of political 'influence' to overturn about 40 years of fundamental responsibility (also seen by some as a 'turf war').
Possibly but such things have been overcome before notably when RAAF were torced to hand over battlefield and heavy lift helicopters to Army and arguably the addition of strike responsibilities (which had previously been the sole province of RAAF) to Army via armed recon helicopters and long ranged tactical missile systems.

So I see a solid justification for Army to operate that level of capability as other Armies / the USMC do, rather than RAAF
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Possibly but such things have been overcome before notably when RAAF were torced to hand over battlefield and heavy lift helicopters to Army and arguably the addition of strike responsibilities (which had previously been the sole province of RAAF) to Army via armed recon helicopters and long ranged tactical missile systems.

So I see a solid justification for Army to operate that level of capability as other Armies / the USMC do, rather than RAAF
I agree because it's about having someone who thinks army being in control of the UAV. They'll see, recognize, and know things that a RAAFy won't so that cuts down the reaction time and reduces the potential for mistakes. Same reason why the green machine should be flying battlefield lift, ARH & attack helos, land based tactical and strategic missiles.
 
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