Australian Army Discussions and Updates

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Volk

Thanks for your great assessments as always.

WRT "...The argument that the RAAF does perfectly well buying from overseas ignores the fact we used to play the same silly games with aircraft manufacturing as well."

If I may opinion, due to technology and labour even during WWII the Australian aircraft output appeared to generate too old/late (eg. Beaufort and the Boomerang; yes I know Beaufighters and Mosquitos would argue against that towards the end) when obtaining from overseas (eg. Kittyhawks, Cat's, B24s) was more timely and operationally an advantage.

Sweep through 80 years and the arguments for Australian industry to build its own type of Gen V F-35 seems wrong. Perhaps in cooperation with Tempest or the SK/Indo thingy or in building from kit-sets over a longish period of time?

For me it's the same argument against building SSN in Australia, except amplified. Why would you? Yes for maintenance, updates etc but ...
The F-35 is an interesting case. There is a global supply chain, of which Australian companies are a part, as well as a number of final assembly plants in different countries, and perhaps more importantly, regional maintenance centres, supporting multiple operators.

Final assembly of the aircraft is something we chose not to do but ironically could have been less complex than some of the functions we are doing on the project.

With global supply chains virtually nothing complex is manufactured in a single location. What it comes down to is what skill sets you want to develop and maintain. A complex build covers everything and provides critical mass in multiple professional and vocational areas, which in turn feeds trained and experienced people into the economy.
 

Bob53

Active Member
I am going to throw this out here because the war in Ukraine has shone a light on some western army weaknesses and fallacies that have crept in over the last 30 years. One of them is air defence, not just against the traditional foes from the 1980s and earlier of fixed and rotary wing aircraft in various forms and roles, or some missiles, but in new beasties that have appeared such as UAVs large medium and quite small, smart missiles, and smart LO missiles. The Australian Army is reinvesting in fixed medium range SAM capability and it has some MANPAD capability but it really has nothing that is mobile and can protect its forces whilst they are on the move. When they are fighting insurgents or involved in a low level conflict that isn't so important, but when they will be facing a near peer enemy such as the various branches of the PLA, that is a completely different kettle of barramundi or shrimp.

At next weeks Eurosatory Rheinmettall are going to exhibit their new Skyranger 30 mobile GBAD. Rheinmetall Air Defence unveils its Skyranger 30 (upgraded) - EDR Magazine
View attachment 49421
The gun started as a Rheinmettall 30mm x 173 used in the SAAB Viggen which was then modified until the present gun was arrived at. It can fire 16 rounds per second, or an estimated cyclic rate of 945 rounds per minute. The turret is able to house a couple MANPAD missiles and a coaxial MG for self defence.

The first issue is to see the target, which is not easy task when dealing with small items such as Class I UAVs. The detection sensor adopted on the Skyranger 30 is the brand-new S-band AESA Multi-Mission Radar (AMMR) under development by Rheinmetall Italia, five flat antennas being integrated around the turret to provide full 360° coverage. ... The S-band provides a detection range of around 20 km, the system being optimised for small targets in order to cope with most recent threats. An active system is always a target for RF-seeking weapons, hence RAD installed on its Skyranger 30 a passive detection system, in the form of Rheinmetall’s FIRST (Fast InfraRed Search and Track) that allows surveillance without giving out the presence of the Skyranger.” One of the advantages of this system is that it will be capable of being mounted on either the Boxer CRV or the winner of Land 400 Phase 3 Competition.

This is one option for a mobile GBAD that is around and its the most modern of those around. It's something that is a necessity for the army and shouldn't be poo pooed just because the Americans don't have it. They aren't omnipotent and it is a capability gap they they're groping around in the dark trying to fill. I wouldn't be surprised to see them raiding museums for the old quad mounted 50 cals. :)

Here it is installed on the Boxer which might be of Interest to the ADF if integration work is completed and it can be networked into the SHORAD radar chosen.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Here it is installed on the Boxer which might be of Interest to the ADF if integration work is completed and it can be networked into the SHORAD radar chosen.
Cool thanks. I think that the Army needs to go down that track with Skyranger turret. It covers all the bases and they can make the ammo in Australia along with the other 30mm Rheinmettall ammo they will be making. Said ammo could be looked at being used in the RAN as well. Same turret could be fitted to IFV and you have mobile SHORAD for your armoured force. Makes sense.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Cool thanks. I think that the Army needs to go down that track with Skyranger turret. It covers all the bases and they can make the ammo in Australia along with the other 30mm Rheinmettall ammo they will be making. Said ammo could be looked at being used in the RAN as well. Same turret could be fitted to IFV and you have mobile SHORAD for your armoured force. Makes sense.
Skyranger uses a different gun to Boxer CRV and Lynx, though same calibre. It’s also sitting around TRL 4-5 with initial firing trials not yet having been conducted, nor a specific missile integrated nor tested.

So it’s an interesting concept, but isn’t that much more ‘yet’. Plus it’s likely to be bloody expensive, should be very capable yes, but certainly not cheap. Even if everything works as it should in it, I wouldn’t expect very many would make it into service, in Australia…

To me, I rather think they’d be grouped together, ala NASAMS II at 16 Regt, RAA rather than issued in penny-packet numbers to a brigade.

Perhaps in similar structure to NASAMS with a battery divided into air defence troops, with a troop issued to a brigade for specific deployments?
 

swerve

Super Moderator
The mention of Skyranger rang bells, so I checked, to confirm that Rheinmetall Italia really is the old Contraves - & found out the origin of the name: from the Latin contra aves. Well, I suppose that counts as AA.

Sorry for the digression.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The mention of Skyranger rang bells, so I checked, to confirm that Rheinmetall Italia really is the old Contraves - & found out the origin of the name: from the Latin contra aves. Well, I suppose that counts as AA.

Sorry for the digression.
We learn something new every day and I for one never had Latin at school.
 

Lolcake

Member

Norway follows Australia in dumping the NH90 due to maintenance costs/serviceability. Apologies if this has been posted.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro

Norway follows Australia in dumping the NH90 due to maintenance costs/serviceability. Apologies if this has been posted.
Read through the thread. It has and been well discussed.
 

MickB

Active Member
While we still have the doctrine (if not the training) to use pack animals, and did in Afghanistan, @FoxtrotRomeo999 is on point. And why we already have started looking there...

Good video, at first glance seems ideal for units like Norforce and FNQ Regt.
On trying to follow up to get solid information on load, range, recharge times etc: you find mainly manufacter publicity with glossy pics but few solid details.
Yes this is why we need trials.
Would appreciate if anyone knows were to find data on completed trials.
 

MARKMILES77

Active Member
Brigadier Ian Langford Director-General of Future Land Warfare, Australian Army gave a talk in June at the Royal United Services Institute-NSW entitled:
The Significance of Australia’s Armour and Artillery Upgrades

Don't think it has been discussed on here.
Much information about the future structure and equipment of Army. Few of the more interesting points:

1. Three, Seven and Nine Brigades will be "Heavier" Brigades with tanks, IFVs, CRVs etc but they will NOT be identical.
One Brigade will be more "Expeditionary" with PMVs. No mention of the structure of Thirteen Brigade which is meant to be upgraded.

Here is the structure of Nine Brigade:
Screen Shot 2022-07-10 at 6.06.53 pm.png

Slide shown by Brigadier Langford.

2. Brigades will only have a small allocation of equipment at their home base Enough to allow small scale training and familiarity but most equipment will be kept at training facilities in QLD and South Australia. Units will travel to the major training areas and have equipment allocated there as required. Here is the planned distribution of equipment:

Screen Shot 2022-07-16 at 5.04.04 pm.png
 

MARKMILES77

Active Member
3. Three and Seven Brigades will have both towed and SPHs. Nine Brigade will not.

4. The equipment allocation numbers don't seem to make sense unless more of everything is being bought.
For example if you look at MBTs. 4 are being issued to each of the Brigades. That is 12 Total. 16 are being issued to the school of armour and RAEME. That is 28 Total. 24 in Adelaide Training area. That is 52 Total. And 31 in Rockhampton. That is 83 in total.
But only 75 are being bought? Or is my maths wrong?
 

OldTex

Active Member
Brigadier Ian Langford Director-General of Future Land Warfare, Australian Army gave a talk in June at the Royal United Services Institute-NSW entitled:
The Significance of Australia’s Armour and Artillery Upgrades

Don't think it has been discussed on here.
Much information about the future structure and equipment of Army. Few of the more interesting points:

1. Three, Seven and Nine Brigades will be "Heavier" Brigades with tanks, IFVs, CRVs etc but they will NOT be identical.
One Brigade will be more "Expeditionary" with PMVs. No mention of the structure of Thirteen Brigade which is meant to be upgraded.

Here is the structure of Nine Brigade:
View attachment 49506

Slide shown by Brigadier Langford.

2. Brigades will only have a small allocation of equipment at their home base Enough to allow small scale training and familiarity but most equipment will be kept at training facilities in QLD and South Australia. Units will travel to the major training areas and have equipment allocated there as required. Here is the planned distribution of equipment:

View attachment 49507
The column headings for the vehicle allocation appear to be either mixed-up (indicating poor proof reading) or suggesting a massive increase in Army vehicle allocations (unlikely). This is based on the fact that both locations under the 50:50 allocation option are located in SA, whilst the locations under the 66:34 option are both located in Qld. Also consider that there are 2 Bdes located in Qld with a "future' Bde located in SA.

My guess would be that the 66:34 allocation will be the 'preferred' option. The only niggly detail will be whether the vehicles are held in Rockhampton (would need to be massively expanded) and Adelaide (presumably Edinburgh so probably also need to be expanded) or held at SWBTA (Shoalwater Bay Training Area) and CUTA (Cultana Training Area). Holding the vehicles at the regional staging centres makes it easier to post personnel there (for all sorts of reasons) but makes the movement of the vehicles to the training areas (90km to SWBTA and 400km to CUTA) a significant logistical effort and financial cost, especially during major exercises (such as CATA, HAMEL or TS). Holding the vehicles at the training areas reverses the problems.
 
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Massive

Active Member
I thought that the observations in this article as to a possible increased vulnerability (and resultant reduction in utility) of helicopters being in evidence in Ukraine was very interesting.


Interested to see if this impacts plans for the ADF. Particularly given the high costs of rotary aviation capability.

Regards,

Massive
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I thought that the observations in this article as to a possible increased vulnerability (and resultant reduction in utility) of helicopters being in evidence in Ukraine was very interesting.


Interested to see if this impacts plans for the ADF. Particularly given the high costs of rotary aviation capability.

Regards,

Massive
Certainly there should be some careful evaluation about rotary assets. While the loss of 170 helicopters in 3-4 months looks awful compared to 75 over twenty years in Iraq/Afghanistan, I believe US helicopter losses in Vietnam were worse (over 5,000 in 10 years).
 

Anthony_B_78

Active Member
Really interesting post, thank you Mark. Well worth watching the video for those that haven't found the time yet.

To this taxpayer, the use of staging locations would seem to make a lot of sense, saving money with transport and maximising training time. I imagine those who serve/have served would point out there are cons too though?

The table could be clearer, but if you do the maths you can see that it's a choice between the 50:50 locations on one hand and the 66:34 ones on the other. e.g. MBT totals 75 with the 50:50 locations and 75 with the 66:34 locations. Same can be seen for other platforms. Such as, CRV equals 211 with either the 50:50 locations or the 66:34 locations, and the IFV is 450 with one or the other too.

Still, it doesn't make a lot of sense that the choice would be two SA locations or two Qld locations. You'd think it'd be one of each?

Anyway, continuing the maths, I'm finding the IFV dispositions interesting given the recent conversation on numbers that might be acquired. If we look first at the MBTs, you've got 4 at each of the brigades, which is less than 1/3 of their unit strengths as I understand it. Similar with the CRV, I believe, from what Raven posted a while ago now, that you need 24 per squadron, plus there are more at the regimental level. So 18 per brigade is perhaps about a 1/3 of their unit strength too. Is 35 IFVs about 1/3 of what you'll need for a mechanised battalion plus supporting arms that are so equipped? Again from what I've read here in the past, it seems excessive?

SPH disposition is interesting too. Looks like 9 Brigade's 9 Regiment, RAA will have three batteries, while those in 3 and 7 brigades will have one battery each, and, it looks like, two batteries of M777s. Has that been discussed anywhere before?
 

MickB

Active Member
Certainly there should be some careful evaluation about rotary assets. While the loss of 170 helicopters in 3-4 months looks awful compared to 75 over twenty years in Iraq/Afghanistan, I believe US helicopter losses in Vietnam were worse (over 5,000 in 10 years).
While everything coming out of this conflict needs to be studied, this portion of the article seems a little like the "Day of the Tank is over "
stories produced a few months ago.
Yes changes to future doctrine will need to be made, but they seem to suggest that the military should just give up on rotary wing aviation altogether.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I believe US helicopter losses in Vietnam were worse (over 5,000 in 10 years).
Including crashes it was actually closer to 12,000 according to the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association - with 5,000 crew killed.

this portion of the article seems a little like the "Day of the Tank is over " stories produced a few months ago.
;)
 

MickB

Active Member
I thought that the observations in this article as to a possible increased vulnerability (and resultant reduction in utility) of helicopters being in evidence in Ukraine was very interesting.


Interested to see if this impacts plans for the ADF. Particularly given the high costs of rotary aviation capability.

Regards,

Massive
To partly address the high attrition portion of the article, should the ADF have its own version of the Boneyard?
Should vehicles and weapons being replaced (Auslav, M113 etc) not be sold but be sent to a boneyard and maintained enough to prevent deterioration?
To follow the U S example, somewhere in the desert. Outside of Alice Springs connected to the rail line might work.

I understand that some M113s have been held in storage, but I'm suggesting a more systematic approach.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Including crashes it was actually closer to 12,000 according to the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association - with 5,000 crew killed.


;)
There seems to be some different numbers but most are in the 5000 range for combat loses. Accident loses equal that number, perhaps more. Still remember helicopters being pushed off carrier decks because there was no more room for helicopters still on route during the last days of the war.
 
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