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View Full Version : How much combat power can the Australian Army have?



-{SpoonmaN}-
24 May 05,, 11:00
I read that the ARA only has 6 infantry battalions. I remember Mark Latham was going to raise another, and I've heard suggestions of raising two more, but I was wondering how many infantry battalions we could realistically sustain. I know that the Army has increased in size a bit in the past few years, and the Government's announcement of pay increases to all ADF personnel will probably help a lot, but I'm still curious what we really could do with the Army.

indianguy4u
24 May 05,, 11:11
if ur PM decides to go war agaisnt iran with US & UK then u may need more .

-{SpoonmaN}-
24 May 05,, 11:22
Nah that's not gonna happen. And the real assistance we gave to the coalition in the 2nd Gulf War was one SAS squadron, 14 F-18s and two frigates which did some shelling on the first day. Something tells me any other Middle Eastern war wouldn't be any different.

hammer
24 May 05,, 12:46
but I'm still curious what we really could do with the Army.

I dont see any threat for Australia in the region, so i guess Army's role is very limited compared to other defence wings. Isnt Indonesia hostile towards Australia ?

Asim Aquil
24 May 05,, 12:51
well even though the Indonesian threat isn't that severe, it can't hurt to be prepared. Problem usually turn into cooperation as long as both parties are equally strong.

Well one thing most countries are now moving towards regarding their defence is that they're getting as self-reliant as possible on their military needs.

Samudra
24 May 05,, 12:53
No more ,Hammer , they signed some agreements today.
One Indonesian high-up guy was paying tribute to a few Aussie servicemen who died in Aceh.Relations have taken a turn for the good.Or so the BBC claims.

The Aussie parliament flagpole rocks !
Nice design.

hammer
24 May 05,, 13:08
I see, then Australia would do well if they have a well equipped,sizeable Airforce and Navy. and an Army which is small, well equipped and enough to defend the Homeland.
IIRC Newzealand was reducing the size of their defence forces considerably. Does it have some sort of defence treaty with Australia?

Officer of Engineers
24 May 05,, 13:43
The Australian Defence White Paper states that Australia should be able to deploy a brigade for an indefenite period. Based on a 2 battalion type style brigade and even then, may be battalion groups (2 rifle coys instead of 3), 6 bns should be adequate (2 in traiing, 2 deploying, 2 recovering from deployment).

Parihaka
24 May 05,, 23:45
I see, then Australia would do well if they have a well equipped,sizeable Airforce and Navy. and an Army which is small, well equipped and enough to defend the Homeland.
IIRC Newzealand was reducing the size of their defence forces considerably. Does it have some sort of defence treaty with Australia?
this from a joint release recently

· Acknowledging that we are sovereign countries working together for our mutual security
· Emphasising the need for our Defence Forces to be interoperable so that they can work together effectively, particularly in pursuit of shared strategic interests within our immediate region
· Acknowledging our responsibility to support the principles of the United Nations Charter
· Setting out the principles which guide the defence relationship; and
· Defining the practical outcomes we seek.

The Ministers noted good progress in the eight areas that they identified last year for closer collaboration. These are:

· Increasing training opportunities and exchanges
· The enhancement of command and control of joint and combined operations between the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces
· How Australia’s new patrol vessels and New Zealand’s off shore and in shore vessels might complement each other in achieving the most effective outcomes
· Enhancing land intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance within the Pacific region
· Complementarity of Army equipment

Finished or currently approved projects

Army 2005 – Firepower, Mobility and Protection: 2 battalions
· Provide protected mobility to the infantry battalions through the motorisation programme (Light Armoured Vehicle – LAV and Light Operational Vehicle – LOV).
· Enhance the direct fire capability of the combat force, through the introduction of a Medium Range Anti-Armour Weapon (MRAAW), Direct Fire Support Weapon (DFSW) Point and Area.
· Improve the communications ability of the Army through the Tactical Mobile Communications System (TMCS) and the Joint Command and Control System (JCCS).
Army 2010 – Integrated Command and Control
· Creation Information Technology (IT) based command and control system to integrate the information flow from 'sensor' to 'shooter'.
· Establishment a basic precision strike capability by replacing the current mortars and artillery pieces with precision capable equipment.
· Enhance the Reconnaissance, Intelligence, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RISTA) system with target acquisition (TA) focused capabilities.
· Better equip the engineer and combat units with hasty obstacle crossing capabilities.
· Improve the situational awareness capabilities of the combat force through the Reconnaissance Vehicle Project.
· Introduce Combat Service Support (CSS) equipment to support dispersed, mounted operations.
Navy (as well as 2 existing ANZAC class frigates)
A new MRV for LAV deployment, ice strengthened for southern ocean patrol & helicopter deployment.
2-3 New OPV’s, again ice strengthened for southern ocean patrol.
5-7 inshore patrol vessels consisting of upgrades to existing fleet & new purchases

Air Force
C130 life extension
P3 Orion systems upgrade
Replacing our Iroquois with NH90’s

The Air Force is where we fall down significantly with the scrapping of our air strike capability. IMO we AT LEAST need anti-shipping strike capability in support of our southern ocean naval patrols.
With a recent funding increase defence spending is is now at roughly 2% of GNP

Bill
25 May 05,, 00:09
I swear to god i think the Delaware National Guard/ANG has more combat power than Australia.

That's really, really, really sad.

Selective
25 May 05,, 01:05
A link to a piece written in the newspaper on the weekend.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,15384079%255E28737,00.html


The ability of the Delaware National Guard ....meh.

-{SpoonmaN}-
18 Jun 05,, 09:12
We could always do human wave attacks on the Delaware NG.
And that report on the low satisfaction of many members of the ADF is worrying. We really need to increase our defense budget so we can in turn increase pay for the forces, and make a more concerted effort to expand our peoplepower, since the Army is still pretty small, and probably isn't capable of making a major committment to any operation for an extended period of time.

indianguy4u
18 Jun 05,, 11:38
Australian Def budget is already 14 billion US $. But to compete with china{60} aussies have lot of catching up.

troung
19 Jun 05,, 01:10
Isnt Indonesia hostile towards Australia ?

Indonesia has a mostly territorial army spread across the nation with a strategic reserve (Kostrad, Kopassus,, Paskhas and Marines) to reinforce those garrisons. Put in a small navy and air force (compared to the size of the nation) and they are only a threat if you try and invade them or are a breakaway rebel faction. And their own defense planning and doctrine doesn't put Australia as a real threat.

Officer of Engineers
19 Jun 05,, 18:54
Australian Def budget is already 14 billion US $. But to compete with china{60} aussies have lot of catching up.

When examined per brigade or even per battalion, in fact I will even go down to per company, the Chinese have alot of catching up to do

-{SpoonmaN}-
06 Jul 05,, 09:30
When examined per brigade or even per battalion, in fact I will even go down to per company, the Chinese have alot of catching up to do

Damn right. More to the point, I don't think the PRC is something for Australia to worry about, since we're becoming so friendly with them that I can't honestly see us joining in a war against them, not even with the United States. And Indonesia isn't hostile to us at all anymore, thanks to our aid with the tsunami and generally good relations with SBY. There's been a little tension between us over the Corby case but that's largely been pushed back from the headlines and our government was wise enough to avoid any involvement in the affair. The real challenge for the ADF is being able to make significant and sustained committments to peacekeeping operations, as well as cleaning up the mess we helped make in Iraq and Afghanistan. On that subject there's a lot of speculation that we'll be sending some sort of military force to Afghanistan soon, although the size and puropse of the force is unkown. Bout time too.

Ray
06 Jul 05,, 09:56
Colonel,

What is a mere brigade for the defence of such a huge country and what can it really contribute for any international military mission?

It has to bank on the US for any military operations and that is for sure.

Currently, there is marginal threat. But one builds an army based on the future.

What is exactly the Australian threat perception?

Officer of Engineers
06 Jul 05,, 12:59
What is a mere brigade for the defence of such a huge country and what can it really contribute for any international military mission?

It has to bank on the US for any military operations and that is for sure.

Sir,

Those are given facts and it would be damned stupid for anyone to ignore the ground realities. There are countries in this world who MUST rely on alliances for their defence (Canada and Australia being two examples). By ourselves individually, we can hurt but not kill the enemy. In an alliance, we can tip the scales in our favour, sometimes overwhelmingly.

Sir, Canada and Australia field tactical armies, not war winning armies. It is from that perspective that our ground contributions and strengths must be viewed. We can win battles but not wars.

By that context, Sir, fielding Task Forces/Battle Groups/Battalion Groups to Brigades and Brigade Groups in any international military mission is viewed as sufficient and effective contribution.

However, I will state right off the bat that we need allied (read American) support. Canadian leadership in Afghanistan and Australian leadership in East Timor could not have occurred with US logistic and rapid reaction force backing.


Currently, there is marginal threat. But one builds an army based on the future.

What is exactly the Australian threat perception?

Sir,

Australia and Canada do not have threat perceptions. We have military challenges. Otherwise, we both be spending alot more money and have much bigger forces.

Both countries are striving to maintain world leadership roles by providing forces that are decisive and visible in supporting our international goals. In Canada's case, it is termed "the Responsibility to Protect."

Ray
06 Jul 05,, 13:06
Thanks.

Officer of Engineers
06 Jul 05,, 13:11
Sir,

If I may. What is India's view of international military missions and her role in them?

indianguy4u
06 Jul 05,, 17:52
Hey spoonman, would australian AF get F/A-22 Raptor. And want no.s would be sufficient for Air def role .

-{SpoonmaN}-
12 Jul 05,, 07:19
Nope. As much as I'm sure the Air Staff would love to have an aircraft so capable of dominating the airspace of South East Asia, the Raptor is just too damn expensive. Right now we're a partner in the JSF project, and look set to buy about 100 of them. I think it would be nice if we could equip a sqadron or two with some twin engined aircraft better suited to maritime strike and the like, but once again that would be too expensive. An interesting question is whether or not we opt to buy some F-35Bs, as the government plans to build two LHDs which are supposed to be capable of carrying V/STOL aircraft. Since none of these systems are expected to be in service with the ADF until around 2012, and we have a knack for missing deadlines with new weapons, it'd a bit early to say. Otherwise the Colonel is right we don't have any direct threats, but I wonder if what we have is enough even to play a valuable tactical role on land. Still the Government wants to expand the army by about 5000 personel in the coming years and to boost the percentage of combat troops in the Army, so we probably will be able to raise some extra Infantry units in the future, although I haven't heard of any specific plan to do so.

indianguy4u
12 Jul 05,, 09:43
Will JSF be primarily for AF or few will be with naval role too?

-{SpoonmaN}-
13 Jul 05,, 07:39
I doubt the Navy will ever receive fighters again, if we do buy any F-35Bs they'll probably be with the Airforce. This is all speculation anyway, I don't know if the government has even settled on a design for the LHDs. No doubt we'll be buying F-35As as land based fighter bombers. Hopefully there isn't too much of a cost blowout.