Australian Army Discussions and Updates

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
As they should.

The ADF is clearly stepping up in this area. I will be very interested to see when the ADF acquires loitering munitions.

Regards,

Massive
They are programmed under Project LAND 159 Tranche 3 which is all about infantry weapons, which gives some indication about the intended range / capability that is likely to be sought.
 

DDG38

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
"Australian Army Snipers from 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment on Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. During Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2022, Australian Army snipers from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment have been honing their skills. At Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the snipers culminated their multi-national training with a patrol and stalk exercise. In teams of two, the snipers put their skills to the test, from patrolling to disguise, stalking (crawling) to fire orders." Image Source : ADF Image Library
20220726adf8615648_0141-2.jpg
 

PHOTOGRAPHER

New Member
Does anyone have insight into the probable effects of the recently announced strategic review for Defence? Does this mean a further delay of announcing the winner of Land 400/3 ? Can there be confidence in the review with Smith in charge due to his history with defence funding cuts?

What do you think might be the outcome?
 

Wombat000

Active Member
Seriously?
I reckon it’s anyones guess.

however, peering beyond perceived political stereotypes and historical precedence, we are I think in acknowledged different times.
We are, as I sadly perceive, in a likely (within 10yr warning) pre-conflict era.
The era of benign defence budgets is history.

so with regards to the review, if anything IM sad O it will be an enhancement.
So if something is recommended to be culled then will be deemed not worth it in the ‘likely‘ conflict with the next 10yrs, and if that is actually the case then why would or should we bother with it?
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Seriously?
I reckon it’s anyones guess.

however, peering beyond perceived political stereotypes and historical precedence, we are I think in acknowledged different times.
We are, as I sadly perceive, in a likely (within 10yr warning) pre-conflict era.
The era of benign defence budgets is history.

so with regards to the review, if anything IM sad O it will be an enhancement.
So if something is recommended to be culled then will be deemed not worth it in the ‘likely‘ conflict with the next 10yrs, and if that is actually the case then why would or should we bother with it?
For a start, because it would be a terribly poor defence force if it were designed, structured and equipped for only one operational scenario…

What if it has to do something outside this scenario?

Designing a force for an envisaged specific role and then cutting the rest of it to the bone, is what led to our (almost) inability to put a light infantry brigade sized force onto one of the closest countries to us, to perform (almost) the lowest possible intensity, stability operations and sustain this force.

If we had to do anything more strenuous we’d have experienced operational failure.

That’s what an unbalanced force delivers.
 
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oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Does anyone have insight into the probable effects of the recently announced strategic review for Defence? Does this mean a further delay of announcing the winner of Land 400/3 ? Can there be confidence in the review with Smith in charge due to his history with defence funding cuts?

What do you think might be the outcome?
Trying not to be impolite, because it's not intended, but you've been lurking here long enough to know that it's worth reviewing the last few pages before posting. This subject has been covered and recovered over the last 3 or 4 pages. Anyway, welcome back to activity

oldsig127
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
For a start, because it would be a terribly poor defence force if it were designed, structured and equipped for only one operational scenario…

What if it has to do something outside this scenario?

Designing a force for an envisaged specific role and then cutting the rest of it to the bone, is what led to our (almost) inability to put a light infantry brigade sized force onto one of the closest countries to us, to perform (almost) the lowest possible intensity, stability operations and sustain this force.

If we had to do anything more strenuous we’d have experienced operational failure.

That’s what an unbalanced force delivers.
We don't know the outcome of the review, but we do hear the reason for the review is the increased concern of hostility around our region within the next decade.
Concerning stuff with the speculated answer being an increase in short term capacity.
The answer appears to be long range deterrence.
Paul Dibb was again saying we need lots of very long range missiles.
To pay for this we need to look at some of our large defence projects and prioritse how we spend the dollars.
The assumption been either a dramatic cutback or deletion of some capabilities.

I don't disagree that a 2000 km missile deterrence will have a dramatic influence on any adversary conducting ill intent within our region

My concern as is probably shared by others ,is what does that look like in a balanced defence force needing to respond to a very broad range of scenarios?

In this Army thread the question still stands.
How do you close with a near peer enemy in that last KM on the battlefield.

Suggest the answer is not with a 50 year old APC and a small number of 20 year old tanks.


Cheers S
 

Bob53

Active Member
What is a 2000km range missile in the western context? Is there such a thing in the western military aside from ICBMs?
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
What is a 2000km range missile in the western context? Is there such a thing in the western military aside from ICBMs?
Some of the versions of the Tomahawk LACM have ranges that into the 2,0000+ km range though a number of them are actually under 2,000km but over 1,000km. One thing to remember when involving ordnance with such significant ranges is that whilst good at hitting fixed installations and infrastructure, the ranges, flight time, and awareness of targets/sensor footprint make engaging at such extreme ranges difficult at best.
 

Bob53

Active Member
Some of the versions of the Tomahawk LACM have ranges that into the 2,0000+ km range though a number of them are actually under 2,000km but over 1,000km. One thing to remember when involving ordnance with such significant ranges is that whilst good at hitting fixed installations and infrastructure, the ranges, flight time, and awareness of targets/sensor footprint make engaging at such extreme ranges difficult at best.
Thanks yes understood the Tomahawks were getting up there but what is the point of a missile in the current environment that can only hit a stationary target? We are unlikely to have targets in Indonesia. When they were talking missiles with 2000+km range I was thinking of some unheard of land based ASM with targeting potentially coming from satellite, high altitude MQ4 or P8 as a area denial method.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Thanks yes understood the Tomahawks were getting up there but what is the point of a missile in the current environment that can only hit a stationary target? We are unlikely to have targets in Indonesia. When they were talking missiles with 2000+km range I was thinking of some unheard of land based ASM with targeting potentially coming from satellite, high altitude MQ4 or P8 as a area denial method.
Current Tomahawk variants are Block Va (maritime strike) and Vb (moving target capable) and have published ranges in excess of 1800k’s.

The Va maritime strike variant, like LRASM has a seeker capable of finding and engaging it’s own maritime targets, reducing strain on ISR efforts more broadly, as well as contributing to such via it’s 2 way data-link and in-board ESM / ECM capabilities.

They are amazing weapons, especially at the cost point (under $1m each) and ADF should be all over them like a rash.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Thanks yes understood the Tomahawks were getting up there but what is the point of a missile in the current environment that can only hit a stationary target? We are unlikely to have targets in Indonesia. When they were talking missiles with 2000+km range I was thinking of some unheard of land based ASM with targeting potentially coming from satellite, high altitude MQ4 or P8 as a area denial method.
Using the Tomahawk as an example, some of them are as mentioned very long-ranged, but that can also be a hinderance when attempting to strike non-stationary targets. Tomahawks have a high subsonic speed, in the region of 900 km/h, so attempting to strike non-stationary targets from the upper limits of the missile range (~1,800 km+/-), the launched Tomahawk(s) would take ~two hours to get to the target. In a two hour flight to reach the target area, a person on foot could be ~8 km from where they were at the time of missile launch.

This is why there are some reservations about the notion of long-ranged conventional missile batteries being able to be used as a deterrent.

There is also a bit of a question (or perhaps scenario challenge) in terms of where/how such a capability falls into the OODA loop. Using a more mobile target like a naval vessel as an example, if a hostile frigate was at a normal cruising speed of 18 kts, then the vessel could be up to ~66 km from where it was at the time of missile launch, again assuming something like Tomahawk.

Now satellite systems and/or HALE UAV's could certainly provide a kind of 'tripwire' detection capability, TBH I am not certain that they would be able to provide the level of detail that would really be desired prior to warshots being taken. For that, a closer look might be needed and/or by a crewed system (sub, ship, scout, aircraft etc.) as well as something which could provide some target data updates with missiles inbound. The updates might not need to be the exact position, depending on what onboard sensors are in the missile seeker, but using the ship example, a potential range ring of 66 km could be beyond the range of an onboard radar seeker, and depending on vessel height above water as well as the missile's altitude, could also be beyond the radar horizon. Add in the very real possibility of other vessels (or vehicles, personnel, depending on the target, etc.) being in the vicinity, then one would need to at least get the missile close enough so that it could detect the actual, desired target and manage terminal guidance. At such extreme ranges, that can be a bit of a big ask.
 

TScott

Member
For a start, because it would be a terribly poor defence force if it were designed, structured and equipped for only one operational scenario…

What if it has to do something outside this scenario?

Designing a force for an envisaged specific role and then cutting the rest of it to the bone, is what led to our (almost) inability to put a light infantry brigade sized force onto one of the closest countries to us, to perform (almost) the lowest possible intensity, stability operations and sustain this force.

If we had to do anything more strenuous we’d have experienced operational failure.

That’s what an unbalanced force delivers.
I guess it depends on what type of multi "operational scenario" falls under your classification.

The defence force obviously needs to be multi facetted, but designed and structured for a particular region certainly isn't poor forward planning imo.

There's a counter argument to your point being you risk being a 'jack of all trades and a master of none', ineffectual in the face of a well prepared opponent precisely designed for particular operational scenario's. There's evidence of this right throughout history.

Without beating around the bush, he's obviously referring to China, I think it's safe to say you can throw the rule book out the window for the next decade in regards to defence procurement and what we may or may not have done in the previous 30-40 years as an indication of what we might do in the next decade.

I very much think we will tailor our decisions to a potential conflict with China in the Pacific and the operational scenario's surrounding the consequences of that.
 
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Bob53

Active Member
Using the Tomahawk as an example, some of them are as mentioned very long-ranged, but that can also be a hinderance when attempting to strike non-stationary targets. Tomahawks have a high subsonic speed, in the region of 900 km/h, so attempting to strike non-stationary targets from the upper limits of the missile range (~1,800 km+/-), the launched Tomahawk(s) would take ~two hours to get to the target. In a two hour flight to reach the target area, a person on foot could be ~8 km from where they were at the time of missile launch.

This is why there are some reservations about the notion of long-ranged conventional missile batteries being able to be used as a deterrent.

There is also a bit of a question (or perhaps scenario challenge) in terms of where/how such a capability falls into the OODA loop. Using a more mobile target like a naval vessel as an example, if a hostile frigate was at a normal cruising speed of 18 kts, then the vessel could be up to ~66 km from where it was at the time of missile launch, again assuming something like Tomahawk.

Now satellite systems and/or HALE UAV's could certainly provide a kind of 'tripwire' detection capability, TBH I am not certain that they would be able to provide the level of detail that would really be desired prior to warshots being taken. For that, a closer look might be needed and/or by a crewed system (sub, ship, scout, aircraft etc.) as well as something which could provide some target data updates with missiles inbound. The updates might not need to be the exact position, depending on what onboard sensors are in the missile seeker, but using the ship example, a potential range ring of 66 km could be beyond the range of an onboard radar seeker, and depending on vessel height above water as well as the missile's altitude, could also be beyond the radar horizon. Add in the very real possibility of other vessels (or vehicles, personnel, depending on the target, etc.) being in the vicinity, then one would need to at least get the missile close enough so that it could detect the actual, desired target and manage terminal guidance. At such extreme ranges, that can be a bit of a big ask.
Well explained thanks. How do China intend to provide targeting for their carrier killers! At 3000km range that would mean the moving target issue is drastically amplified. Even with 500km range LRASM … present issues with out up to date targeting data. Possibly drifting off thread a bit here ….
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Well explained thanks. How do China intend to provide targeting for their carrier killers! At 3000km range that would mean the moving target issue is drastically amplified. Even with 500km range LRASM … present issues with out up to date targeting data. Possibly drifting off thread a bit here ….
The Chinese anti ship missiles are ballistic not subsonic so their transit times will be much faster. As to their effectiveness against moving targets, that’s the big question.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Well explained thanks. How do China intend to provide targeting for their carrier killers! At 3000km range that would mean the moving target issue is drastically amplified. Even with 500km range LRASM … present issues with out up to date targeting data. Possibly drifting off thread a bit here ….
Yes the thread is drifting, but indirectly it is on topic - at a stretch. The targeting detection, data acquisition and update is an interesting question and applies not just to the PLA but to all militaries. Initial target detection and subsequent target data acquisition might be relatively easy, but when it comes to the final attack phase and the latest targeting data is required before the final attack can commence, are the available sensor platforms able to get close enough to the target to provide that data and transmit it without the mission, platform or transmission being compromised? That is the all important question.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Yes the thread is drifting, but indirectly it is on topic - at a stretch. The targeting detection, data acquisition and update is an interesting question and applies not just to the PLA but to all militaries. Initial target detection and subsequent target data acquisition might be relatively easy, but when it comes to the final attack phase and the latest targeting data is required before the final attack can commence, are the available sensor platforms able to get close enough to the target to provide that data and transmit it without the mission, platform or transmission being compromised? That is the all important question.
Yes a lot of challenges.
I really have no idea of the fact from fiction re very long range systems accurately striking a moving target at very long distances.
Particularly in the maritime environment.
Mindful its the Army thread, I can see all three services having an anti ship missile system down the track.

Just something to consider is the massive number of vessels plying the worlds oceans.
A quick look at Marine Traffic gives you an idea of the challenge of engaging the correct vessel in congested waters.

Will watch with interest as to what and how this field evolves.


Cheers S
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
I guess it depends on what type of multi "operational scenario" falls under your classification.

The defence force obviously needs to be multi facetted, but designed and structured for a particular region certainly isn't poor forward planning imo.

There's a counter argument to your point being you risk being a 'jack of all trades and a master of none', ineffectual in the face of a well prepared opponent precisely designed for particular operational scenario's. There's evidence of this right throughout history.

Without beating around the bush, he's obviously referring to China, I think it's safe to say you can throw the rule book out the window for the next decade in regards to defence procurement and what we may or may not have done in the previous 30-40 years as an indication of what we might do in the next decade.

I very much think we will tailor our decisions to a potential conflict with China in the Pacific and the operational scenario's surrounding the consequences of that.
There is a difference between missions and region though.

From a geography point of view, it is absolutely right that we focus. In my opinion, one of the key undersold points of DSU/FSP20 was the explicit focus on the region. While flexible in where the boundaries lie (I mean, the Indo-Pacific does stretch from Africa to South America and Antarctica to the Arctic...), focusing on the region does aid in force design.

From a mission view though, that's harder. The reality is that we have a number of tasks given to us by Government, and there are a number of tasks that (generally speaking) only we can do. Beyond high-end warfighting, there are tasks where the ADF needs to do something - Timor-Leste in 1999 is an example of lower end operations, but even 'simple' things like RAMSI need a military presence, even when the leading agency is not the ADF. There are also a subset of capabilities that can only really be held by us, everything from long-range bulk transport to support Antarctic bases through rapid surge SAR forces to rescue British yachters up to specialised threat response in aid of the civilian police. With all of that in mind (and I haven't touched on humanitarian response), your high-end warfighting capability is not all that's needed. As cool as tanks and F-35s are, they are pointless in helping a neighbour restore faith in their political system or helping two internal factions make peace.

In addition to all that, even a phrase like 'high end warfare' ignores the reality of that. It's not just the shooting part, its the logistics and the security. Even little stuff (and for lessons identified see Iraq and Afghanistan) like what happens to the town after 7 Brigade seizes it and continues advancing? We become required to provide life sustainment, including law enforcement, in similar ways to our help in Timor-Leste and the like.

Beyond that, there is no clear, unambiguous, existential threat that would cause such specialisation. Israel has one, hence their force design (especially in the 60s-90s) being so focused. NATO until 1991 was similar. You could argue Poland is today based on their political and force design decisions. We did it in 1941/42. But, beyond the hand waving, let me honestly ask if such a threat exists for Australia. And, before we jump to China, look beyond the Department of Defence. If there was an existential threat that required us to shed tasks and focus on high-end warfighting exclusively, what would the other Departments be doing? It would be part of a Governmental, strategic response - so would we continue to trade with a threat? Would we continue to seek uni students and train the threats next generation? Would we allow threat investment? Would politicians at all level be allowed to have open ties to the threat?

Fundamentally, the single unique task we do is high-end combat. And that's where force design focus should be. It's why we buy tanks, fighters and submarines, despite being decades since they deployed to do their actual job (submariners - shush. I know). It's why projects that buy weapons that are useless for helping with bushfires and support nodes in excess of anything needed for floods is so vital. And it's why many years ago HADR did not become a force design driver. But - we have to remain flexible. And until there is an existential threat, that need is unlikely to change.
 
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