Australian Army Discussions and Updates

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
When you say close-combatant rifles are becoming too specialised, is this in relation to a likely 6.8mm shift? 6.8mm rounds are heavier and if rounds do exploit the 80,000psi chamber pressure, I can see what you mean by non close-combatants requiring a smaller and easier calibre.

If this be the case - I'm a tad concerned about sustaining a BDE with two different small arms calibres. Non-standardisation and the impacts of it for logistics.
It’s the training load (and expense) that the weapon system now includes. The calibre I don’t think is an issue (Army seem to have few concerms over introducing .300 Blackout for instance for the PDW) the ancillaries that make up the weapon system in it’s entirety are.

@Raven22 talked about it some time ago, the NFE, night aiming devices, suppressors, GLA, electronic architectures (rifle input control) to remotely control radio systems, light sources not on the weapon - potentially body cams in this new age and so on. In future possible links to UAV / UGV and so on only make it worse.

It’s not a rifle with iron sights any longer, it’s a specialised combatant system, that has to be tiered with the kit that is supplied depending on need or else trained on specifically and Army has found that non close-combatants (ie: special forces and infantry) need simpler systems as their training time needs to be focussed primarily on their corps role.

Then of course, as always there is a cost issue. Goodness knows what an MCX with all the fitted ‘fruit’ would cost to run, but certainly not cheap…
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
One thing that strikes me from following the Ukraine war at distance, is how intense it is. Even high quality products can be destroyed by drones,as just one example. Makes you think that the small number of k9 self propelled artillery is too low a number. Given that advanced killer drones are not going away, then higher numbers might be necessary to take account of combat attrition, perhaps an additional 25. Yes that may mean having more than the ideal and some of those extra are kept mothballed as a reserve, feels like a p
prudent measure imho. Possibly also a reserve of tanks, not in use , just stored away properly in a low humidity environment
Absolutely

Hence the importance of Australian industry, an understanding of logistics and the ability to scale and lean on modern industrial capabilities. If we asked it would take weeks to build a Bty of K9/K10 in Korea for us now. And? Whereas if we have a factory in Victoria, we can build a Bty in weeks, but we can keep doing it. Allows for expansion and battle replacements.

These are fundamental points that the majority of think tanks and twitterati do not understand. Made in Australia is a fundamental strength of national security that must be reinforced
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
I think Ngati’s and Buffy’s final statements are bang on the money.

The lesson from Ukraine is not “Australia needs more tanks / more SPGs / more IFVs” (although this is true), it is “Australia cannot win a fight of this nature against a well supplied and causality insensitive major land power.”

So what does this mean? I’ll venture an unpopular opinion on an Army thread, but it means we need to avoid a conflict like this at all costs unless we are part of a coalition. This is hardly a revolutionary statement, but we need the RAN and the RAAF to hold the enemy at a distance and disrupt their logistics. And we need to prioritise investment in RAN and RAAF capabilities along with A2AD Army capabilities ahead of a fulsome armoured capability if we are capacity constrained, although in an ideal world we wouldn’t have to choose.

Army has an important role in seizing and holding islands, peninsulas and other areas where another power cannot bring their superior mass to bear (as other services have control, or at least denial of the sea and sky around them), while we use top class logistics (again through RAN and RAAF, but also Army watercraft) to generate local overmatch in combat power. This is why I think we cannot have enough investment in logistics and amphibious vessels for RAN and Army.

If we end up in a Ukraine vs Russia slugging match we will probably lose, and we certainly won’t be playing to our strengths.

Just my two cents.
The problem with this thinking process, which is the core of the issue with Defence of Australia, is that it removes strategic flexibility and response time. Defeating the threat (and it may not be China) may see the need to put a Brigade in to shore up an ally. Vietnam and Korea both saw this. WW1 and WW2 both saw this. Even, as dumb as the Iraq invasion of 2003 was, operations in Afg in 2001 highlight this. If you can fight the threat over 'there', better to do that instead of waiting for the threat to hit Indonesia or Darwin or Brisbane. And that threat to Australian national interest may be 1000's of km away. In which case it'll almost certainly be RAN or Army responding. Even if the threat is Beijing, I'd rather have a Bde fighting alongside our Thai or Vietnamese or Malaysian or Singaporean allies/friends in a delay down into Malaysia than starting that delay near Jakarta or Darwin...

Beyond that, the RAAF is actually weaker. It's deployability is debatable, it comes with a handful of aircraft that sheer sortie numbers will kill (remember that the rate of effort of combat is greater than any 2 week Pitch Black). Especially if you are talking about fighting beyond 700 nm of Darwin or Broome. So relying on a handful of aircraft that last, say, 2 months - then what?

A capable Land Force provides additional options. Committing land forces gives you a much greater seat at the table in a coalition. It is a more flexible and definite show of national will.

Your point on amphib and logistics is a soap box of mine, so of course you are correct :)
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
The problem with this thinking process, which is the core of the issue with Defence of Australia, is that it removes strategic flexibility and response time. Defeating the threat (and it may not be China) may see the need to put a Brigade in to shore up an ally. Vietnam and Korea both saw this. WW1 and WW2 both saw this. Even, as dumb as the Iraq invasion of 2003 was, operations in Afg in 2001 highlight this. If you can fight the threat over 'there', better to do that instead of waiting for the threat to hit Indonesia or Darwin or Brisbane. And that threat to Australian national interest may be 1000's of km away. In which case it'll almost certainly be RAN or Army responding. Even if the threat is Beijing, I'd rather have a Bde fighting alongside our Thai or Vietnamese or Malaysian or Singaporean allies/friends in a delay down into Malaysia than starting that delay near Jakarta or Darwin...

Beyond that, the RAAF is actually weaker. It's deployability is debatable, it comes with a handful of aircraft that sheer sortie numbers will kill (remember that the rate of effort of combat is greater than any 2 week Pitch Black). Especially if you are talking about fighting beyond 700 nm of Darwin or Broome. So relying on a handful of aircraft that last, say, 2 months - then what?

A capable Land Force provides additional options. Committing land forces gives you a much greater seat at the table in a coalition. It is a more flexible and definite show of national will.

Your point on amphib and logistics is a soap box of mine, so of course you are correct :)
Yes we need to do justice to amphibious and logistics.
What's planned in this area should of been up and running yesterday.
An ADF priority that needs to be fast tracked where feasible.


Cheers S
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
The problem with this thinking process, which is the core of the issue with Defence of Australia, is that it removes strategic flexibility and response time. Defeating the threat (and it may not be China) may see the need to put a Brigade in to shore up an ally. Vietnam and Korea both saw this. WW1 and WW2 both saw this. Even, as dumb as the Iraq invasion of 2003 was, operations in Afg in 2001 highlight this. If you can fight the threat over 'there', better to do that instead of waiting for the threat to hit Indonesia or Darwin or Brisbane. And that threat to Australian national interest may be 1000's of km away. In which case it'll almost certainly be RAN or Army responding. Even if the threat is Beijing, I'd rather have a Bde fighting alongside our Thai or Vietnamese or Malaysian or Singaporean allies/friends in a delay down into Malaysia than starting that delay near Jakarta or Darwin...

Beyond that, the RAAF is actually weaker. It's deployability is debatable, it comes with a handful of aircraft that sheer sortie numbers will kill (remember that the rate of effort of combat is greater than any 2 week Pitch Black). Especially if you are talking about fighting beyond 700 nm of Darwin or Broome. So relying on a handful of aircraft that last, say, 2 months - then what?

A capable Land Force provides additional options. Committing land forces gives you a much greater seat at the table in a coalition. It is a more flexible and definite show of national will.

Your point on amphib and logistics is a soap box of mine, so of course you are correct :)
I wholeheartedly agree!

But I think that expeditionary capability is delivered by the proposed armoured force structure. I don’t think the lesson from Ukraine is that we need more than what is currently planned (although it’d be nice), but we also certainly don’t need any cuts. We do need to make sure we could support a meaningful deployment in SE Asia and I’m sure you’ll agree we don’t have the resources to do this currently (or in the near future it seems).

From my armchair, I think the big lessons for us from Ukraine are:

1) Artillery remains the king of the battlefield. We need to bring meaningful self propelled tube and guided MLRS into RAA service as quickly as possible - which we’re doing.

2) Well trained, networked motorised infantry have been deadly in the recent counter attacks. Hawkei appears to be an ideal platform for enabling this sort of manoeuvre. We should keep the Bendigo production line busy.

3) National mobilisation is hard, and we need solid plans for this, including enough NCOs to fight and train conscripts at the same time. Maybe these plans already exist and are robust and I just don’t know about them.

On the RAN and RAAF I agree. I think the best thing the RAAF could be doing beyond what it already is is more P-8. The ADVENT re-engining of the F35 may make it much more relevant at a distance but this is some way off.
 

Terran

Well-Known Member

So Land 159 selections are starting to come out.
ZU Bladeworx wins the fighting knife.
Sig double victory, the P320 ProX carry is the new service side arm,
MCX in .300 Blk is the PDW for Vehicle crews.
Benelli M3A1 for the new Shotgun
Accuracy International AX SR takes sniper rifle along with JM Safran and Steiner got buys for sniper support systems.
Barrett M107A1 for Anti material rifle.

@Terran

Suggest you read back a bit before posting. Post 9448 has already coveted this (in more detail) and many of the post since then have been about this issue.

alexsa
 
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Massive

Active Member
Whereas if we have a factory in Victoria, we can build a Bty in weeks, but we can keep doing it. Allows for expansion and battle replacements.

These are fundamental points that the majority of think tanks and twitterati do not understand. Made in Australia is a fundamental strength of national security that must be reinforced
There is too much focus on battles and not enough on wars being ultimately won by attrition and that winning a war of attrition is about industrial capacity.

Would be be preferable that tanks were also manufactured locally as well.

That said, starting mass remains important.

Regards,

Massive
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
There is too much focus on battles and not enough on wars being ultimately won by attrition and that winning a war of attrition is about industrial capacity.

Would be be preferable that tanks were also manufactured locally as well.

That said, starting mass remains important.

Regards,

Massive
The tanks will be ex US Military vehicles of which we have purchased 160, 75 will be converted to M-1A2 SEP 3 standard and 47 support and assault vehicles. This work will be done at the factory in the US which has been doing this for decades. With the numbers involved it would just not be worth replicating in Australia, with a fairly short run of limited numbers.
 

Massive

Active Member
1) Artillery remains the king of the battlefield. We need to bring meaningful self propelled tube and guided MLRS into RAA service as quickly as possible - which we’re doing.

3) National mobilisation is hard, and we need solid plans for this, including enough NCOs to fight and train conscripts at the same time. Maybe these plans already exist and are robust and I just don’t know about them.
I agree here but wonder what has actually changed in response to the lessons learned? To me there is also a story of sufficient mass.

1. SP propelled artillery - should the regiments be increased in size - 24 guns for example?

2. MLRS - clearly a multiplier - is a single regiment the right level?

3. Other artillery - what is the role of NLOS, Loitering munitions at brigade level

4. Reserves - what is the role of the Reserves - should they be re-rolled as rapid mobilisation (~6 months) motorised infantry. If so, how should they be structured and resources (descending into fantasy land, but for example into 2 divisions of 3 brigade combat teams each). If so, how is complex capability provided to these brigade combat teams (ie. SPG, Tanks, CRV) and would those capabilities need to be regular army.

Regards,

Massive
 

Massive

Active Member
And we need to prioritise investment in RAN and RAAF capabilities along with A2AD Army capabilities ahead of a fulsome armoured capability if we are capacity constrained, although in an ideal world we wouldn’t have to choose.
I would question whether lack of land power (including the armoured capability critical to this) makes any defence force very brittle. Once your sea and air defences are breached (even with a relatively small force) how do you respond?

Regards,

Massive
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I agree here but wonder what has actually changed in response to the lessons learned? To me there is also a story of sufficient mass.

1. SP propelled artillery - should the regiments be increased in size - 24 guns for example?

2. MLRS - clearly a multiplier - is a single regiment the right level?

3. Other artillery - what is the role of NLOS, Loitering munitions at brigade level

4. Reserves - what is the role of the Reserves - should they be re-rolled as rapid mobilisation (~6 months) motorised infantry. If so, how should they be structured and resources (descending into fantasy land, but for example into 2 divisions of 3 brigade combat teams each). If so, how is complex capability provided to these brigade combat teams (ie. SPG, Tanks, CRV) and would those capabilities need to be regular army.

Regards,

Massive
I see systems such as HIMARS as being ideal for reserves, slightly less so but still effective, SPGs, AD, even the Strikemaster antiship missile system etc.

These systems can have regular deployable capability and training cadres, with the majority of systems in a strategic reserve and reservists making extensive use of simulators for training.

Bushmasters and motorised infantry also is a low cost, but still effective capability, as is Hawkei based light CAV.

Reserves need to have real roles ideally using equipment that is effective but within their ability to gain and maintain proficiency with their part time commitment.
 

Massive

Active Member
Reserves need to have real roles ideally using equipment that is effective but within their ability to gain and maintain proficiency with their part time commitment.
I agree.

My understanding was that LAV (and previously the FSV) proved very difficult to gain and maintain proficiency with a part-time commitment which is what drove my calling out those capabilities.

I used a simple rule of excluding capabilities involving a complex turret - including SPG likely incorrect.

Thanks,

Massive
 

Bob53

Active Member
I see systems such as HIMARS as being ideal for reserves, slightly less so but still effective, SPGs, AD, even the Strikemaster antiship missile system etc.

These systems can have regular deployable capability and training cadres, with the majority of systems in a strategic reserve and reservists making extensive use of simulators for training.

Bushmasters and motorised infantry also is a low cost, but still effective capability, as is Hawkei based light CAV.

Reserves need to have real roles ideally using equipment that is effective but within their ability to gain and maintain proficiency with their part time commitment.
Makes sense to me. The Ukrainians picked up HIMARS in what seems like no time. Rounds are expensive so unlikely to be exercised on a continual basis.
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
I would question whether lack of land power (including the armoured capability critical to this) makes any defence force very brittle. Once your sea and air defences are breached (even with a relatively small force) how do you respond?

Regards,

Massive
My view is that if our air and sea defences are breached it is game over.

I’m not saying we don’t need a capable armoured force - we do - but we don’t need it as much as being able to make it next to impossible for an enemy to continue supplying a force ashore. If we can do that while sustaining our own land forces, our forces will win.

Shore based anti ship missiles will likely play an important part in sea denial, but ultimately this and the deterrence that comes from the threat of retaliation to an enemy’s energy and other trade flows needs to come from subs, frigates, destroyers, P-8s and drones.

Put it this way - if we wanted to threaten China with closing the Malacca and Sunda Straits could we do that with land forces? Possibly. Is that the lowest risk and most effective way to do that? I would argue not.
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
I agree.

My understanding was that LAV (and previously the FSV) proved very difficult to gain and maintain proficiency with a part-time commitment which is what drove my calling out those capabilities.

I used a simple rule of excluding capabilities involving a complex turret - including SPG likely incorrect.

Thanks,

Massive
Motorised infantry, logistics and war production seem like the best place in general to put conscripts to me.

The question is will we have enough Hawkeis, F88s, 5.56, Carl Gustavs, Javelins, RMMV HXs and refined fuel to keep them going if we mobilised? Can our industrial base absorb that?

The answer currently appears to be no, but the answer in 2025 might be closer to a maybe…

Lack of onshore refining capacity remains a major weakness though in my view.
 

Wombat000

Active Member
Lack of onshore refining capacity remains a major weakness though in my view.
Better continental strategic holdings of fuel storage, refining capability, and security of efficient international supply on one hand.

But the faster community uptake of renewables and alternately powered vehicle and infrastructure perhaps more so on the other hand.

The less the imperative international supply requirements and ADF need to share with the rest of society = the better.
 

Bob53

Active Member
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Stampede

Well-Known Member
Report here on breaking defence speculating that Redback wins the IFV deal. It discusses the Hanwa wins with Poland giving scale that Reheinmetal does not have. I assume there is also thought that our industry may be able to piggy back to a significant supply chain in both directions. Discusses the government processes that have been covered here in spades. Aussie Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Army's biggest-ever contract, faces government delays - Breaking Defense
Yep ................... don't we just want to know the answer for this project.


Cheers S
 

Morgo

Well-Known Member
Report here on breaking defence speculating that Redback wins the IFV deal. It discusses the Hanwa wins with Poland giving scale that Reheinmetal does not have. I assume there is also thought that our industry may be able to piggy back to a significant supply chain in both directions. Discusses the government processes that have been covered here in spades. Aussie Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Army's biggest-ever contract, faces government delays - Breaking Defense
That reads like a Hanwha puff piece to me.

Let me get this straight. It sounds like the crux of the argument is:

1) The Poles have just bought a bunch, giving scale to the production line - but what about the EUR100bn one off the Germans are spending, plus an ongoing increase? None of that will go on Lynx’s and derivatives?

2) Hanwha has significant relationships with the ADF, CoA and local suppliers already - did they forget about the Boxer?

3) Supply chains between SK and AU are shorter than GER and AU. True, but (a) how are we supposed to take advantage of the scale of Polish production without supply lines to Europe (b) supply lines to Korea through the SCS would be a significant liability in the wars we’re likely to fight…

I’ve got nothing against the Redback. It looks like a very capable platform and there doesn’t appear to be much between it and the Lynx. But these arguments look like garbage to me.
 
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