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 Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF)

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MessageSujet: Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF)   Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Icon_minitimeMar 20 Juin 2017 - 16:23

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Citation :
L’Australie suspend sa participation aux opérations aériennes de la coalition au-dessus de la Syrie

Posté dans Forces aériennes, Moyen-Orient, Opérations par Laurent Lagneau Le 20-06-2017


Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 98a89

Après qu’un F/A-18E américain a abattu un avion d’attaque syrien Su-22 Fitter qui venait de bombarder les Forces démocratiques syriennes près de Tabqa, localité que ces dernières ont récemment prise à l’État islamique (EI ou Daesh), le ministère russe de la Défense a réagi coupant le canal de communication établi avec la coalition anti-jihadiste dirigé par les États-Unis pour éviter les incidents aériens au-dessus de la Syrie et prévenu que les « avions et les drones » occidentaux « repérés à l’ouest de l’Euphrate seront suivis et considérés comme des cibles par les moyens terrestres de défense antiaérienne et par les moyens aériens. »

Au États-Unis, estimant que ce canal de communication avec les forces russes en Syrie « a très bien fonctionné sur les huit derniers mois », le général Joseph Dunford, chef d’état-major interarmées, a affirmé vouloir le rétablir au plus vite. Pour cela, a-t-il dit, « nous allons travailler dans les prochaines heures sur le plan diplomatique et militaire. »

En attendant, le Pentagone a précisé que les opérations aériennes ont été « adaptées » en Syrie. « Nous avons par mesure de précaution repositionné nos avions au-dessus du territoire syrien, pour pouvoir continuer de frapper les forces du groupe État islamique, tout en assurant la sécurité de nos équipages », a déclaré le major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, un porte-parole.

« Nous voulons parvenir à une désescalade de la situation » mais « nous garderons toujours notre droit à l’autodéfense », a, pour sa part, commenter Sean Speacer, le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche.

Mais l’annonce russe a visiblement conduit l’Australie à revoir son engagement au sein de la coalition. « Par mesure de précaution, les opérations de frappes des forces de défense australiennes (ADF) en Syrie ont temporairement cessé », a en effet annoncé une porte-parole du ministère australien de la Défense, dans un communiqué.

« Les personnels des ADF suivent de près la situation aérienne en Syrie et une décision sur une reprise des opérations aériennes des ADF en Syrie sera prise en temps voulu », a-t-elle ajouté, avant de préciser que les opérations australiennes en Irak ne sont pas concernées par cette décision.

Actuellement, la Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) déploie, dans le cadre de l’opération Orka (nom de la participation australienne à la coalition), 6 F/A-18F Super Hornet, un avion d’alerte avancée E-7A Wedgetail (c’est à dire un B-737 AEW&C) et un ravitailleur KC-30A (ou A330 MRTT).

http://www.opex360.com/2017/06/20/lautralie-suspend-sa-participation-aux-operations-aeriennes-de-la-coalition-au-dessus-de-la-syrie/
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Citation :
Scramble Magazine

Australia to replace Navy MRH90s

According to a forecast in the Australian Government's 2020 Force Structure Plan dated 1 July 2020; the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) wants to replace the MRH90s currently in use with 808 Squadron at HMAS Albatross near Nowra (NSW).

The RAN is considering a new helicopter type which is more consistent with the expectations for larger naval operations and commonality with the current Seahawks in service with 725 Squadron ("Be Aggressive") and 816 Squadron ("Imitate the action of the tiger"). A timeline chart shows a project for a "Logistics Helicopter" running from 2025 to 2031, and is valued at AUD 1 billion to AUD 1.5 billion.

The new helicopter will replace the small fleet of six MRH90s in use with 808 Squadron ("Strength in Unity"). None of the 47 MRH90s in Army and Navy service are marinised, so sustained operations at sea from the RAN’s Canberra class LHDs and other vessels require an inordinate amount of preventative maintenance and washing after each flight to mitigate corrosion. Looking for greater commonality with the MH-60R Seahawk, this only leaves two options; the MH-60S or the MH-60R. The MH-60S makes more sense, as it has a larger cabin based on the Black Hawk with double doors on both sides, seating for up to 12 passengers, and more internal space for cargo. But ..., the MH-60S is no longer in production.

When a successor for the MRH90s is chosen and delivered, the MRH90s will be transferred to the Australian Army.

For the fleet of 24 MH-60Rs, eight 816sq Seahawks are embarked at sea at any one time, eight are used for training with 725sq, and eight are in maintenance or being prepared for deployment.

Source: adbr.com.au
Credit photos: Australia Defence Force (ADF) and US Navy

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Citation :
13 July 2020

Australian Defence Force to acquire 8,500 additional EF88 Austeyr rifles

by Gabriel Dominguez



The Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced on 13 July that it will procure an additional 8,500 Enhanced F88 (EF88) Austeyr 5.56 mm rifles to supplement the 30,000 rifles of the same type Thales Australia has been delivering to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under an August 2015 contract.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said in a statement that the acquisition of the additional EF88s will not only improve the overall capability of the ADF but will also provide a “welcome boost to the workforce in regional Australia”, pointing out that the rifles will be manufactured at the Thales Australia site in Lithgow, New South Wales.

“This acquisition will allow the retirement of older weapons, reducing the cost of sustainment, maintenance and training,” said the minister, adding that, compared with previous rifles, the EF88 “has significantly improved the capability of the soldier through improved range, accuracy, ergonomics and reduced system weight”.

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 _12f6289
An Australian soldier carrying an EF88 Austeyr 5.56 mm rifle. Canberra announced on 13 July that it will
procure 8,500 additional units of this weapon for the ADF. (Australian Army)


The additional rifles, which are being delivered under the lethality element of the ‘Soldier Modernisation Programme’, will enable increased access to the EF88 across the full and part-time force, particularly the army’s 2nd Division, said the minister.

The announcement comes after the DoD awarded Thales Australia an AUD100 million (USD70 million) contract in August 2015 for the production of 30,000 units of the F90 bullpup assault rifle – which is known as the EF88 rifle in ADF service – and approximately 2,500 units of the Steyr Mannlicher SL40 integrated grenade launcher, both of which would be supplied over a period of six years.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/australian-defence-force-to-acquire-8500-additional-ef88-austeyr-rifles  
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MessageSujet: Re: Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF)   Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Icon_minitimeJeu 3 Sep 2020 - 20:27

Citation :
Australia just got one step closer to buying new self-propelled howitzers

By Daisuke Sato Sep 3, 2020

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 _12f1248
Photo by Hanwha Defense


The Australian Government released a Request for Tender in September 2020 for the Protected Mobile Fires project to buy and build 30 self-propelled howitzers.

The details were given in a 3 September media release, to announce the request for tender will be released to preferred supplier Hanwha Defense Australia, to build and maintain 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles, and their supporting systems.

“The self-propelled howitzers will be built in the Geelong region, with ongoing deep maintenance conducted in the same Australian facility to support the systems throughout their service life,” it said in a statement.

The Request for Tender will progress this first phase of the Protected Mobile Fires capability.

Together with the subsequent phases announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, it will ensure a long-term future for industry’s involvement in the delivery of this critical capability for the ADF.

Minister for Defense Industry, Melissa Price said the Morrison Government is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry.

Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) is set to submit a tender in response to the self-propelled howitzer procurement program, codenamed Land 8116, which has a budget of up to AUD $1.3 billion.

“This is a tremendous outcome for our company and we very much appreciate the Commonwealth placing their trust in Hanwha for this opportunity,” said Richard Cho, managing director of HDA. “By beginning this journey with Hanwha, the Commonwealth will reap the benefits of being part of a global community of more than 2,400 K9/K10 SPH systems worldwide with all of the sustainment, training, and global supply opportunities that this will bring.”

As part of efforts to help expand the Australian defense industrial base, Hanwha Defense is committed to building the vehicles in the Geelong region and growing local skills, Cho said, adding the envisioned Geelong facility is expected to serve as an alternative sustainment and supply chain base for the global K9 family of vehicles.

“This is a different approach to just building and exporting, which given the increasing trend of localization being demanded globally,” the managing director said. “With this Government announcement, work will commence immediately to implement our plan for the building of facilities and skilling of the local Geelong based work force.”

The project is expected to create up to 350 jobs to build and maintain the new vehicles, providing significant opportunities in other areas such as transport and warehousing, as well as component manufacture and repair.

The transfer of IP and know -how to enable Australian Industry to, in the long term, allow for local design, engineering and manufacturing will be the most essential part of plans focused on developing the industrial base required for a sovereign capability.

Hanwha plans to develop the “Huntsman” family of vehicles comprising of the K9 SPH and K10 AARV to deliver a complete mission. The SPH is a 52 calibre, 155 mm platform capable of taking advantage of current and emerging 155mm munitions technologies. It has a crew of 4 or 5 depending on the configuration with an ammunition capacity of up to 48 rounds and accompanying modular charge systems.

The K10 AARV is a largely robotized system built on the same chassis as the K9. It holds 104 rounds of 155mm ammunition and is designed to provide ammunition resupply under armour and forward to the Artillery unit.

“The latest decision by the Australian Government to consider acquisition of K9 SPHs as the preferred solution is evident of the systems excellent performance around the world and the faith that the Commonwealth of Australia has placed in Hanwha Defense Australia to deliver this new capability to the Australian Army,” Hanwha Defense CEO Lee Sung-soo said. “In close cooperation with the Commonwealth of Australia, we intend to establish a significant manufacturing base in the Geelong region which will build the K9 and K10 fleets and provide a sovereign support capability for the whole life of the Huntsman fleet.”

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/australia-just-got-one-step-closer-to-buying-new-self-propelled-howitzers.html
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Citation :
12 October 2020

Airbus selected to upgrade communications and mission systems on RAAF's KC-30A MRTTs

by Gabriel Dominguez



Airbus announced on 12 October that it has been selected by Australia to develop a communications and mission system upgrade for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) current fleet of seven A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, which are known as KC-30A MRTTs in RAAF service.

The scope of the work, which is designed to meet the RAAF’s interoperability needs under the service’s new operational requirements, will mainly cover a retrofit package that will include new and additional communications capabilities and enhanced mission systems, and will bring the aircraft up to the latest enhanced A330 MRTT standard, the company said in a statement.

Split across two contracts, Phase 1 will see Airbus carry out the design and systems development and integration ahead of the critical design review maturity gate.

Phase 2 will see the company install and deliver a prototype KC-30 aircraft for use in the certification and qualification process, ahead of finalising and supplying the modification kits for entire fleet.

Subsequent retrofit to the remainder of the fleet will be under customer responsibility, said Airbus.

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 458
A RAAF KC-30A MRTT. Airbus announced on 12 October that it has been selected by Australia to develop a communications and mission
system upgrade for the RAAF’s current fleet of seven KC-30A MRTTs. (Airbus)


Airbus also said it will provide the necessary data packs and support to ensure this upgrade features in the existing RAAF A330 MRTT Full Flight Simulator (FFS), the Integrated Procedures Trainer (IPT), and the Remote Air Refuelling Operator (RARO) Console Part Task trainer (PTT).

   https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/airbus-selected-to-upgrade-communications-and-mission-systems-on-raafs-kc-30a-mrtts  
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Citation :
Air-to-Air Refuelling a First

21 Oktober 2020

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 1246
In a first, a RAAF KC-30A refuels a P-8A Poseidon (photo : Aus DoD)



The RAAF P-8A Poseidon fleet has taken a step towards full operational capability with one of the surveillance aircraft completing the first air-to-air refuelling with a KC-30A multi-role tanker transport.

The two aircraft undertook seven refuelling flights from September 22 to October 1, with the KC-30A leaving its home base of RAAF Amberley and meeting up with the P-8A Poseidon from RAAF Base Edinburgh’s No. 92 Wing.

Using the 11-metre advanced refuelling boom system mounted on the KC-30A, the refuelling contact between the two aircraft was made in the designated training airspace off the coast of Queensland.

Captain of the P-8A Poseidon Squadron Leader Chris Godfrey said extensive planning was the key to the success of the missions.

“The execution of air-to-air refuelling requires extensive planning and training in both the simulator and airborne environment,” Squadron Leader Godfrey said.

“This included rigorous training scenarios to ensure we were ready for the demanding aerial refuelling flights.”

During the refuelling missions, crews of both aircraft had to ensure the connections between the aircraft were precise to allow for the transfer of fuel.

On the ground, communications between No. 92 Wing and No. 33 Squadron aircrew also was key to the success of the flights.

“Fundamentally, it’s a team effort both in the air and on the ground,” Squadron Leader Godfrey said.

“This included our No. 11 Squadron maintenance personnel who worked long hours over the past couple of months to ensure the serviceability of the aircraft for the aerial refuelling flights.

“I was incredibly proud to play a part in the mission and operate within such an effective and focused team.”

Officer Commanding No. 92 Wing Group Captain John Grime said the missions were an important capability outcome.

“The missions represent a significant achievement for the RAAF P-8A fleet on our path to final operational capability,” Group Captain Grime said.

“It enhances the existing operational effectiveness of the aircraft’s long-range surveillance capabilities, extending the endurance and radius of action of the platform.”

The collaborative efforts of No. 92 and 86 Wings played a significant role in the mission’s success.

“The strong partnership with No. 33 Squadron’s KC-30A team demonstrates our ability to integrate fifth-generation capabilities and strengthens our air power contribution for the joint force,” Group Captain John Grime said.

Officer Commanding No. 86 Squadron Group Captain Anthony Bull said RAAF KC-30A crews had previously completed refuelling trials with United States Navy P-8As.

“Adding RAAF’s P-8A Poseidon to our scope of support reinforces the value of the KC-30A in the battlespace,” Group Captain Bull said.

“It delivers an extremely agile capability across multiple platforms in support of operations at home and abroad.”

To further enhance the training outcomes of the mission, an Air Combat Group AAA Learjet acted as the photographic chase aircraft capturing the historic air-to-air refuelling missions.

(Aus DoD)

http://defense-studies.blogspot.com/2020/10/air-to-air-refuelling-first.html
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Citation :
US Goverment Approved Sale of Javelin Missile to Australia

02 November 2020

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 321
Javelin missile of the Australian Army (photo : ADF)


WASHINGTON - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of Javelin missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $46 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy two hundred (200) Javelin FGM-148E missiles with U.S. Government technical assistance and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is not to exceed $46 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is seeking to fill a short-term shortfall in its Javelin missile inventory in order to maintain the appropriate level of readiness. Australia will not have any difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

These missiles will be provided from U.S. Army stocks. There are no known offsets associated with this sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Australia.

(DSCA)

http://defense-studies.blogspot.com/2020/11/us-goverment-approved-sale-of-javelin.html
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THOMAS NEWDICK - The War Zone a écrit:

Australia Teams Up With U.S. To Get Hypersonic Missiles For Its Super Hornets In Five Years


Plans call for the rapid prototyping of a new air-breathing long-range missile for the Royal Australian Air Force.


Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 34346410

Australia is gearing up to start testing a new air-launched hypersonic missile “within months.” Details of the joint U.S.-Australian program are still emerging but point to a multi-million-dollar effort to develop an air-breathing, long-range missile that could ultimately be carried by a range of Royal Australian Air Force aircraft.

The new weapon is due to be formally announced tomorrow and prototypes are being developed together with the United States under the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment, or SCIFiRE. Hypersonic weapons are generally understood to be capable of flying at least five times the speed of sound, giving them faster response time for striking critical targets and making them much harder to defend against than their slower counterparts

In an official release, the U.S. Department of Defense noted that “The SCIFiRE effort aims to cooperatively advance air-breathing hypersonic technologies into full-size prototypes that are affordable and provide a flexible, long-range capability, culminating in flight demonstrations in operationally relevant conditions.”

“Developing this game-changing capability with the United States from an early stage is providing opportunities for Australian industry,” said Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds. “Investing in capabilities that deter actions against Australia also benefits our region, our allies, and our security partners. We remain committed to peace and stability in the region, and an open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Messag60
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds in the cockpit of an F/A-18 Hornet, flanked by No. 75 Squadron Executive Officer, Squadron Leader Daniel Truitt, and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld.

“SCIFiRE is a true testament to the enduring friendship and strong partnership between the United States and Australia,” added Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “This initiative will be essential to the future of hypersonic research and development, ensuring the U.S. and our allies lead the world in the advancement of this transformational warfighting capability.”

The ambitious timeline, including missile tests in the coming months, is intended to yield an operationally ready weapon within the next five to 10 years, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

While Australia has apparently struck a new deal with the United States regarding SCIFiRE in the last few days, this program dates back as long as 15 years. It has included joint research on hypersonic scramjets, rocket motors, sensors, and advanced manufacturing materials.

In the past, The War Zone has examined previous U.S. and Australian hypersonic experiments, including the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HiFIRE) program, which you can read more about here. A U.S. Air Force contract announcement as long ago as 2008 indicated that one of the aims of the HiFIRE program was to gather information that could be “applicable to the design of next-generation high-speed strike weapons.”



Hypersonic weapons were also among the technologies earmarked for investment in Australia’s Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan that was released earlier this year. That document included provisions for between AUS $6.2 billion and $9.3 billion to be invested in “high-speed long-range strike, including hypersonic research” up to 2040.

Other than the fact it will be air-breathing, details of the new hypersonic missile itself are scarce, but it seems clear that it will involve Australian contractors, as the country seeks to build up its high-tech defense industrial base. A meeting between Australia’s Department of Defence and industry representatives is scheduled for this week.

The missile is likely to be carried, initially at least, by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets, but could also potentially be integrated on P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.

While the F-35A Lightning II has been mentioned as a possible launch platform, it seems unlikely that a hypersonic weapon would be small enough for internal carriage by the stealth fighter. Lockheed Martin has previously revealed a concept for a variant of its air-launched Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept hypersonic missile, or HAWC, as an external armament option for U.S. Navy F-35C Joint Strike Fighters.

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Messag61
An artist’s concept of a follow-on to the HAWC missile for the U.S. Navy.

It’s notable, too, that efforts are underway in the United States to provide a similar hypersonic capability for the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, with a project run by the Air Force Research Lab and contracted to Boeing, which is working on a dual-mode scramjet design. Separately, Boeing is also engaged in a project developing a ramjet-powered high-speed missile demonstrator for the U.S. Navy, with that service’s F/A-18E/Fs again among the likely carriers.

While the initial focus of the SCIFiRE work seems to be firmly on an air-launched missile for the RAAF, Australia is also looking to develop hypersonic weapons for launch from the ground or from warships, and it’s possible that a family of weapons may eventually be developed for different launch platform applications.

Australia is the latest nation to move to develop a hypersonic strike missile and development has likely been accelerated in response to China’s increasing activity in the field of long-range hypersonic and ballistic missiles. Australia also has a keen eye on China’s growing ability to threaten different types of targets in the Asia-Pacific region with a variety of weapons.

Canberra has already committed to a major overhaul of its defenses in light of China’s military advances, and the tensions between Beijing and the United States, which is Australia’s close military partner and primary provider of aircraft and air-launched weapons.

“We must face the reality that we have moved into a new and less benign strategic era — one in which the institutions and patterns of cooperation that have benefited our prosperity and security for decades are under increasing strain,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said earlier this year.

Australia’s recalibration of military priorities toward the Asia-Pacific has included the purchase of the highly capable and stealthy AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, from the United States to arm the F/A-18F. That missile travels at subsonic speeds.



Now, by moving toward adding hypersonic missiles to the inventory within an ambitious timeframe, Australia is looking to harness significant technological advances as it seeks to maintain its military edge.

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https://defence-blog.com/news/australia-set-to-acquire-two-more-p-8a-poseidon-surveillance-aircraft.html a écrit:


Royal Australian Air Force will expand its P-8A Poseidon fleet with two new multi-mission maritime aircraft, according to Minister for Defense, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC.


Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 545

Air Force’s maritime patrol capability will be boosted with Australia set to acquire two more P-8A Poseidon surveillance and response aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 14, according to Minister Reynolds.

“Together, the Poseidon and the Triton will provide Australia with one of the most advanced maritime patrol and response capabilities in the world,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The Poseidon is a proven capability that will conduct tasks including anti-submarine warfare, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and support to search and rescue missions.

“These additional aircraft will enhance Air Force’s flexibility to support multiple operations and will play an important role in ensuring Australia’s maritime region is secure for generations to come.”

“The Morrison Government’s continued investment in the Poseidon program is also creating more Australian jobs and opportunities for Australian small businesses.

“Several Australian companies are already completing work for Boeing Defense Australia, and industry investment including facilities works is over $1 billion.”

The additional Poseidon aircraft are to be purchased through our existing Cooperative Program with the United States Navy.

Minister Reynolds said being part of the Cooperative Program with the United States Navy allows Australia to share in the benefits of their technical expertise and divide project costs.

According to the Royal Australian Air Force’s website, the P-8A Poseidon has advanced sensors and mission systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-role radar, high definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the AP-3C Orions.

The P-8A is built specifically as a military aircraft. It is based on the proven commercial designs of Boeing’s 737-800 fuselage, but has been substantially modified to include:

a weapons bay
underwing and under-fuselage hard points for weapons,
increased strengthening for low level (down to 200ft) operations and high angle turns.
The P-8A aircraft has an extensive communications system including radios and data links across VHF, UHF, HF and SATCOM.

An internal fuel capacity of almost 34 tonnes allows the P-8A to conduct low-level anti-submarine warfare missions at a distance of greater than 2,000 kilometers from base. The P-8A will be compatible for air-to-air refueling with the KC-30A MRTT.


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https://defence-blog.com/news/royal-australian-air-force-declares-the-f-35-combat-ready.html a écrit:


Royal Australian Air Force declares the F-35 ‘combat ready’

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On 28 December, the Royal Australian Air Force has announced that their F-35A Lightning II fleet was declared ‘combat ready’.

“Our F-35A Lightning II fleet can now be deployed on operations, with Initial Operational Capability being officially achieved today,” the Royal Australian Air Force said in a Twitter post Monday.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the F-35s are the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world.

“The fifth-generation F-35A, along with the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, is key to our air combat capability and critical to achieving the objectives set out in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update to Shape, Deter and Respond,” Minister Reynolds said.

“For the last two years, Defence has rigorously tested the F-35A fleet to assess aircraft and system performance, and declare this important milestone.

“I would like to thank everyone that has worked so hard to get us to this point; to have accomplished all the required testing and materiel delivery is remarkable.

“The Australian Defence Force now has an F-35A squadron ready to conduct technologically advanced strike and air combat roles, and another squadron dedicated to providing world-class training here in Australia.

“While 2020 presented significant challenges to all of us, and travel restrictions made it difficult to ferry our aircraft to Australia, the huge efforts of Defence, industry and our partners in the United States made today’s achievement possible.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said cooperation with industry had set Defence up for long-term success.

“Our defense industry has played a critical role in achieving today’s milestone, which continues the success story of Australia’s involvement in the F-35 global program,” Minister Price said.

“Just last month we announced that more than 50 Australian companies have shared in $2.7 billion in contracts, demonstrating the Morrison Government’s commitment to backing Australian industry and supporting Australian jobs.

“Australia will continue to work with the United States F-35 Joint Program Office and our industry partners as more aircraft are delivered through to 2023, and a mature capability is achieved.”




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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/royal-australian-navy-formally-accepts-new-aor-vessel-from-shipbuilder-navantia a écrit:


Royal Australian Navy formally accepts new AOR vessel from shipbuilder Navantia


The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has formally accepted the first of two Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ships on order for the service from Spanish shipbuilder Navantia.

The Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced on 8 January that the 19,500-tonne vessel, which will be known as HMAS Supply (II) (with pennant number A195) once commissioned, is expected to sail into its homeport of Sydney in the coming days.

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The vessel, which completed sea acceptance trials off the Spanish coast in August 2020 before arriving in Australia in October 2020 for final fit-out and testing activities, is one of two ships of the class ordered as part of an AUD642 million (USD500 million) contract signed in May 2016 under Australia’s Project Sea 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability programme.

Second-of-class Stalwart (III) (with pennant number A304) was launched on 30 August 2019 and is expected to join the RAN later this year.

The 173.9 m-long vessels, which are based on the Spanish Navy’s Cantabria-class AORs, are to replace the AOR ship HMAS Success (II), which was decommissioned on 29 June 2019 after 33 years of service, and the supply ship HMAS Sirius .

“With Australia’s current replenishment capability reaching its end of life in 2021, NUSHIP Supply will be the first AOR to replace the retired HMAS Success and bridge [the] navy’s current capability gap,” Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds was quoted as saying.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/hanwha-defense-officially-launches-redback-ifv-in-australia a écrit:


Hanwha Defense officially launches Redback IFV in Australia


South Korean company Hanwha Defense officially launched its Redback infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) in Australia on 12 January, prior to delivering three of the IFVs for a Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) in which the Redback will compete with Rheinmetall’s Lynx KF41 IFV for an Australian Army requirement valued at AUD18–27 billion (USD13.9–20.8 billion).

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Project Land 400 Phase 3, also known as the Mounted Close Combat Capability, is meant to deliver and support up to 450 tracked IFVs and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles that will be built in Australia. These will replace the army’s obsolescent M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) which, although upgraded in recent years, date from the mid-1960s.

All three Redbacks will be formally handed to over the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) on 13 January for detailed testing and evaluation related to lethality, blast, and ballistics, including destructive testing of one vehicle to assess survivability, as well as mobility and support.

In October the project will move to a final evaluation phase and the downselection of a preferred tenderer. This is expected to be presented to the government in Canberra for consideration in 2022.

Initial operating capability (IOC) of the selected platform is set for 2024–25, while final operating capability (FOC) is anticipated by 2030–31, although movement on this timeline is possible.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson told Janes that the Lynx destined for blast testing was delivered to the DoD in November 2020. The other two RMA vehicles are to be handed over on 15 January.


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https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australia-chooses-apache-as-tiger-helicopter-replacement/ a écrit:

Australia chooses Apache as Tiger helicopter replacement


Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Apache1501

This morning, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds announced that the replacement for the much-troubled ‘Aussie Tiger’ armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) would be the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian. Australia will acquire 29 of the advanced Apaches from 2025, at a cost of A$4.5 billion, to replace 22 Tigers. The minister stated:

This new ARH capability will strengthen Australia’s armed reconnaissance force to better shape our strategic environment and deter actions against our national interest.

Defence considered a number of helicopters against key criteria of proven ability, maturity and an off-the-shelf operating system.

The Apache Guardian is the most lethal, most survivable and lowest risk option, meeting all of Defence’s capability, through-life support, security, and certification requirements.

By pursuing a proven and low-risk system offered by the Apache, Defence will avoid the ongoing cost and schedule risk typically associated with developmental platforms.

Given the challenges the Australian Army has faced in operating the Tiger ARH, Defence was clearly seeking a well-demonstrated, tested and capable platform that ticked the boxes for cost, introduction into service and sustainability.

It’s important to note that the Tiger’s problems have eased since a devastating audit report released in 2016. ASPI’s Marcus Hellyer noted in 2019 that flying hours have improved and the cost per flying hour has stabilised. With the Tiger’s airframe still enjoying flight-worthy hours, there’s no reason it couldn’t be sustained in service. Hellyer notes that ‘while it might never achieve the original requirement, in the judgement of the army’s leaders and aviation specialists it has reached a level of capability that’s deployable and useful in the current threat environment’.

However, funding is never limitless, and flight crews and platform maintenance are constrained resources. The army wouldn’t to want to fly and sustain two different platforms. So, as far as the army’s concerned, the Tiger must go. Today’s announcement confirms that Defence concurs with that sentiment, and supports the Apache acquisition.

Compared with the Tiger, the Apache is a much heavier platform and it has half the range—257 nautical miles versus 430 for the Tiger. The Apache’s suite of mission systems is fully developed, including advanced satellite communications and the Link 16 tactical data network. The Tiger has obsolescent radios, though an upgrade was in progress, and has an interim iTDL datalink developed by Elbit Systems, though not Link 16. These are major weaknesses, and the advanced digital connectivity of the Apache is a clear factor in its favour. In particular, the Apache can connect with and control armed drones through its manned–unmanned teaming (or MUM-T) system, a feature the Tiger lacks. Both helicopters have similar weapons capacity, though the Apache has more than double the rounds of 30-millimetre ammunition compared to the Tiger.

Operating cost also needs to be considered. The sustainment challenges of the Tiger drove up operating costs and shrunk flying hours—a death spiral for the capability. Airbus has suggested that operating the Tiger as it currently stands costs A$9,465 per hour; however a RUSI report estimated the cost per flying hour to be around A$27,000 and the defence annual report estimates it’s more like A$34,000 per hour. That’s in comparison to the Apache’s projected operating cost per hour at A$10,567.

Moving to the Apache also gets Australia into a very large user community—including many partners and regional countries, such as the US, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the UK—which has benefits for interoperability, economies of scale, opportunities to learn from other users, and shared logistics.

The acquisition of the AH-64E needs to be driven by the following considerations to ensure the Australian Defence Force gets a credible capability and the mistakes made with the Tiger program are avoided.

First, ADF forces must have access to the capability when and where they need it. That means the Apache needs to be on call at all times to support the ADF, either domestically or in expeditionary deployment. It also must be affordable. The maturity of the Apache as a platform, and its ability to be sustained from a broad and established international support base, means that it is a lower risk acquisition than the Tiger was.

Second, the Apache must be seen not as a standalone or an army-only capability. It must be part of a system-of-systems networked capability for the entire ADF and must be able plug and play easily with the full range of ADF capabilities. The Apache is well placed to do that. For example, its advanced satellite communications and its Link 16 would enable it to share data with and be commanded from platforms such as the air force’s E-7A Wedgetail and the navy’s Hobart-class air warfare destroyers. The army will need to relinquish sole control of Apache to ensure it becomes an ADF capability, not just an army capability. That demands a significant cultural shift.

Third, the Apache needs to fully connect with armed autonomous systems. That means the ADF needs to get serious about a more ambitious and fast-moving autonomous systems strategy that deliver new capabilities later this decade, including for lethal autonomous weapon systems. It may imply additional capability acquisition for smaller ‘loitering munition’-type capabilities beyond the armed MQ-9B Sky Guardian unmanned aerial vehicle.

Finally, the Apache allows the ADF to begin a journey towards future capability acquisition, including the potential emerging from the US future vertical lift and future armed reconnaissance aircraft programs. Getting the Apache should be seen as a transitionary step towards more advanced capabilities that can complement it in the 2030s, and ultimately replace it by the 2040s.

The main challenge facing the Apache may simply be survivability in the future battlespace. It was originally designed to fight in a high-intensity war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries in the 1980s. Since then, the lethality of ground-based integrated air defence systems, including very low altitude air defence systems, has rapidly evolved, making the use of crewed platforms in close proximity to enemy forces extremely hazardous. That trend will continue, and could soon get to the point where platforms such as even the Apache Guardian will have to operate either well to the rear—thereby defeating their rationale—or risk heavy losses. If the ADF only has 29 aircraft, we may be, once again, building a boutique but brittle capability.

Maybe it’s time to change the procurement paradigm and consider the advantages of the cheap and many autonomous systems over the expensive and few crewed platforms. That would demand a fundamental transformation in our thinking about how Australia undertakes defence capability development.



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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/rans-first-supply-class-aor-vessel-arrives-at-homeport-in-sydney a écrit:


RAN's first Supply-class AOR vessel arrives at homeport in Sydney


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le Lynx KF41 prochain IFV de l'Armée Australienne.


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THOMAS NEWDICK - THE WAR ZONE a écrit:

Australia Reportedly Looking At An Alternative To Its Costly New French-Designed Submarines

The plan to introduce 12 new and highly advanced Attack class submarines is running into political and financial flak.


Australia’s plans to introduce 12 advanced new Attack class submarines may have hit a new snag. The huge cost of the French-designed conventional submarines, which will likely feature air-independent propulsion and other advanced technologies, means that officials may be examining whether they might instead replace the Royal Australian Navy’s six existing Collins class boats with an updated version of this same design.

The Australian Financial Review recently reported that the Australian government is considering scrapping the current contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group. That conglomerate, then known as DCNS, won the Collins class replacement program, also known as SEA1000, in 2016 with its Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A design. You can read all about how the final stages of that competition played out, and the rivals to the French design, in this previous War Zone feature. Subsequently dubbed the Attack class, these submarines are presently due to enter service in the early 2030s and will feature a significant proportion of U.S.-made systems installed, including a version of the AN/BYG-1 Submarine Payload Control System.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is reportedly increasingly unhappy with the way the Attack class program has been run so far, with “cost blowouts and missed deadlines” leading to apparent tensions between the Australian Department of Defense and the Naval Group, according to the Australian Financial Review. The project is now valued at around $69 billion. Back in 2016, when the Naval Group was selected, the program cost was expected to be in the region of $40 billion. These concerns seem to have escalated as far as talks on the subject between Morrison and French President Emmanuel Macron. The French government holds a controlling stake in the Naval Group.

“I don’t think the [French] submarine is guaranteed to be built,” an unnamed source told the Australian Financial Review. “Naval Group is still holding the design work and intellectual property in France and the Commonwealth is annoyed.”

There are also worries about the involvement of the wider Australian industry, or the lack thereof. All 12 submarines are set to be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. Under a Strategic Partnering Agreement, 60 percent of all the work on the program, by cost, was supposed to be invested in local suppliers. However, a commitment to this from both the defense department and Naval Group missed its deadline at the end of last year as negotiations continue.

“If Defence and Naval Group cannot reach a satisfactory contract amendment in a timely fashion for something that the company publicly committed to and is supposedly subjected to Ministerial oversight, then what confidence can Australian industry, particularly the small to medium enterprises, have that they will be able to compete in a fair and equitable manner for meaningful work on this program,” Brent Clark, Chief Executive Officer at Australian Industry & Defence Network, told the Australian Financial Review.

These are not the first problems that the program has run into. The original contract, and how the Australian government handled subsequent negotiations with the Naval Group, previously led to significant controversy and has been threatened in the past with a formal inquiry.

As an alternative to the Attack class, the Australian government is now apparently considering the possibility of having Naval Group Australia — a local subsidiary of the French designer — build a new class of submarines that would be based on the aging Collins class design, the first example of which entered service in 1996. Freeing the project of some of the controls of the French parent company could help bring down costs and otherwise increase transparency in the project, which involves one of the biggest international defense contracts in recent history. However, it is unclear how the alternative design would compare to the Attack class, and what compromises might have to be made in terms of capabilities and performance.

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Messa151

Australia’s plans to introduce 12 advanced new Attack class submarines may have hit a new snag. The huge cost of the French-designed conventional submarines, which will likely feature air-independent propulsion and other advanced technologies, means that officials may be examining whether they might instead replace the Royal Australian Navy’s six existing Collins class boats with an updated version of this same design.

The Australian Financial Review recently reported that the Australian government is considering scrapping the current contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group. That conglomerate, then known as DCNS, won the Collins class replacement program, also known as SEA1000, in 2016 with its Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A design. You can read all about how the final stages of that competition played out, and the rivals to the French design, in this previous War Zone feature. Subsequently dubbed the Attack class, these submarines are presently due to enter service in the early 2030s and will feature a significant proportion of U.S.-made systems installed, including a version of the AN/BYG-1 Submarine Payload Control System.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is reportedly increasingly unhappy with the way the Attack class program has been run so far, with “cost blowouts and missed deadlines” leading to apparent tensions between the Australian Department of Defense and the Naval Group, according to the Australian Financial Review. The project is now valued at around $69 billion. Back in 2016, when the Naval Group was selected, the program cost was expected to be in the region of $40 billion. These concerns seem to have escalated as far as talks on the subject between Morrison and French President Emmanuel Macron. The French government holds a controlling stake in the Naval Group.

“I don’t think the [French] submarine is guaranteed to be built,” an unnamed source told the Australian Financial Review. “Naval Group is still holding the design work and intellectual property in France and the Commonwealth is annoyed.”

There are also worries about the involvement of the wider Australian industry, or the lack thereof. All 12 submarines are set to be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. Under a Strategic Partnering Agreement, 60 percent of all the work on the program, by cost, was supposed to be invested in local suppliers. However, a commitment to this from both the defense department and Naval Group missed its deadline at the end of last year as negotiations continue.

“If Defence and Naval Group cannot reach a satisfactory contract amendment in a timely fashion for something that the company publicly committed to and is supposedly subjected to Ministerial oversight, then what confidence can Australian industry, particularly the small to medium enterprises, have that they will be able to compete in a fair and equitable manner for meaningful work on this program,” Brent Clark, Chief Executive Officer at Australian Industry & Defence Network, told the Australian Financial Review.

These are not the first problems that the program has run into. The original contract, and how the Australian government handled subsequent negotiations with the Naval Group, previously led to significant controversy and has been threatened in the past with a formal inquiry.

As an alternative to the Attack class, the Australian government is now apparently considering the possibility of having Naval Group Australia — a local subsidiary of the French designer — build a new class of submarines that would be based on the aging Collins class design, the first example of which entered service in 1996. Freeing the project of some of the controls of the French parent company could help bring down costs and otherwise increase transparency in the project, which involves one of the biggest international defense contracts in recent history. However, it is unclear how the alternative design would compare to the Attack class, and what compromises might have to be made in terms of capabilities and performance.

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Messa152
Collins class submarines HMAS Collins, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Dechaineux, and HMAS Sheean off the coast of Western Australia

So far, the Attack class program has reached the detailed design phase, in which the winning Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A design are to be refined and plans and specifications for the Australian version drawn up. The Australian Financial Review says that while this phase was expected to cost $1.9 billion, this is now thought to have risen to $2.3 billion, contributing to the current concerns about the overall feasibility of the project.

“As work on the design of the Future Submarine progresses, Naval Group are finalizing their proposal for the next phase in cooperation with [the Australian Department of Defense] Defense to ensure uninterrupted work on the Attack class,” a spokesperson for that department told Australian Financial Review in a statement.

Should Australia now turn to an evolved Collins class design — known informally as the “Son of Collins” — it would rekindle its relationship with the Swedish firm Kockums, whose parent company Saab now owns the design rights to the submarine. For their part, Saab/Kockums was not among the companies involved in the final bidding for the Collins class replacement, but they have plenty of experience building advanced conventional submarines, including the much-vaunted Gotland class. This design, which also features an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, was built for the Swedish Navy and one example was leased by the U.S. Navy in the mid-2000s as a dedicated aggressor.

The “Son of Collins” idea is not new. Back in 2015, before narrowing down the Collins class replacement program to three contenders, the Australian Department of Defense rejected a revised Collins class design on the ground that it was not worth the cost and risk involved. Furthermore, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, it was considered that Kockums “weren’t up to the job since they hadn’t built a submarine for many years.”

Now, however, Australian Financial Review reports that Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds has not denied the possibility of beginning talk with Saab about a potential alternative to the Attack class. “As the original designer of the Collins class submarine, Saab Kockums has an ongoing relationship with [the Australian Submarine Corporation] supporting the life of type extension program for the Collins class submarine,” she said.

Armée Australienne/Australian Defence Force (ADF) - Page 7 Messa154
One of the Swedish Navy’s Gotland class submarines

Kockums is also still involved in the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine program, providing ongoing support for a life-extension program that is intended to keep the original Collins class boats viable until their planned successors are in service. As such, a relationship between the two firms that could field an alternative to the Attack class is already in place.

There may be other customers in the market for just such an evolved Collins design, too. Saab is currently in the running to supply the Netherlands with a new submarine class and that country has broadly similar requirements to the Australians. Were both Australia and the Netherlands to opt for this “Son of Collins” design, both could benefit from the resulting economies of scale.

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The Royal Netherlands Navy’s Walrus class submarines are due for replacement around 2025. Naval Group, Saab, and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems are all in the running to provide successors.

The Royal Australian Navy badly needs an advanced submarine to ensure the security of its strategic sea-lines-of-communication in an Indo-Pacific region with no shortage of potential flashpoints and chokepoints. As Australia invests in its military to maintain a qualitative and quantitative edge over its regional rivals, its submarine fleet will be expected to conduct missions such as patrolling the South China Sea, where a fast-growing People’s Liberation Army Navy is increasingly assertive both above and below the water.

The sheer cost of the Collins class replacement program has always been eye-watering, but the total includes research and development, integration of combat systems, setting up indigenous production, and support infrastructure, meaning that a price tag of $8 billion per hull is not strictly accurate. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Australia made the right choice to start with, however. Back in 2016, when Naval Group won the contract, The War Zone’s Tyler Rogoway commented:

The truth is that diesel-electric submarines with advanced AIP capability can be had for around $500-$700 million a boat if bought directly from a manufacturer such as Germany’s Thyssen Krupp. Even Israel’s highly modified Dolphin II class of submarines cost around $500 million each. But the Shortfin Barracuda is a much larger boat than the Dolphin II and is packed with additional combat capacity and features. Most importantly, it will end up being a relatively new design built in an entirely different country than its origin. It will also feature American combat systems.

The size of the Attack class certainly contributes to its cost. However, the Royal Australian Navy is familiar with operating larger submarines. The current Collins class has a nearly 3,500-ton displacement, while the Attack class is planned to have a displacement of over 4,000 tons. Although exact specifications are not yet available, the French-designed submarines will be around 295 feet long, compared to 254 feet for the Collins class. On the other hand, the rival German Type 216 submarine that lost out in the SEA1000 bidding would have cost half as much but would have been comparable in size to the Attack class.

At this point, many of the details of the Attack class are yet to be confirmed. However, we can be sure that they will be tailored for operations at long range, with the ability to move at high speeds when necessary. The exact nature of the propulsion technology to be used is unclear, but there have been rumors the submarines may use French fuel cell systems. Consideration is already being given to new battery technology that could offer significantly improved performance and may potentially replace traditional lead-acid batteries, in the same way that Japan has opted for lithium-ion batteries in its latest class of submarines.

Ultimately, Australia demanded a submarine that was a close as possible to a nuclear-powered design in terms of capabilities, but with conventional propulsion. So in some ways, the most logical choice was the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A, based on a scaled-down version of the nuclear-powered Barracuda design that is now entering French Navy service. That decision should result in a submarine that easily meets Australian requirements, but one that comes with a hefty price tag that seems disproportionate. France, for example, is paying a reported $10.2 billion for its six Barracudas, which, even taking into account subsidies, seems to be in a different league to the $69-billion Australian program. The addition of U.S.-made systems in the Australian submarines potentially also adds cost and complexity to the Australian submarines.

It now remains to be seen whether the Australian government is prepared to burden the costs of its highly advanced French-designed submarines, or whether it will be willing to trade them for a cheaper option.

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