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Author: Subject: Australian Army, 2017 onwards
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[*] posted on 29-10-2017 at 05:48 PM


Army’s new Hawkei protected vehicles are mobile intelligence stations

KYM BERGMANNThe Australian12:00AM October 28, 2017

Twenty years ago, a journey in a car consisted of driving it, following road signs, listening to the radio and speaking with passengers, who would be staring at the scenery.

Now with sat nav systems, mobile phones and internet-enabled devices, the same trip means people rarely miss a beat in their personal and professional lives, unless they choose to switch everything off.

The same profound changes are flowing through to the world of military transport, which is now much more than getting soldiers from A to B safely.

A prime example is the army’s new fleet of highly protected four-wheel-drive (4x4) Hawkei vehicles — designed and built in Australia. About the same size as a large family car, they weigh 7 tonnes because of their extremely robust construction and add-on ballistic protection — but just as importantly for modern operations, they are also a mobile computing centre.

The army is in the process of digitisation, where every soldier and vehicle will be part of a data-sharing network — a proprietary secure internet — allowing information about everything from logistics through to intelligence regarding hostile forces to be disseminated on a need-to-know basis.

The army will eventually acquire 1100 Hawkeis — named after a particularly venomous snake — and each one of them will be a node in a much wider military network. They can carry up to four fully equipped soldiers. After climbing into the vehicle, each soldier will be able to interface with a secure computer, with these connected to a central vehicle integrated server.

This, in turn, is connected to several radios that allow the vehicle and the people in it to connect with the army’s secure battle management system — which can also access other communication networks.

The practical consequences are that someone sitting in a Hawkei could be speaking with a commander thousands of kilometres away and simultaneously receive live imagery of a village over the next hill from a high-flying unmanned aerial vehicle. Similarly, the image from a soldier’s binoculars could be sent by radio back to the vehicle and from there to a headquarters on a different continent. The possibilities for secure data-sharing, not only with other Australians but also with coalition partners, are now almost limitless.

Soldiers are becoming increasingly electricity-dependent, carrying personal radios, palm pilots and sensors such as night-vision sights on their rifles — all of which require carriage of several kilos of batteries.

With this in mind, the Hawkei is designed to recharge selected equipment and also power the vehicle’s own systems that, in addition to radios and computers, might also include a roof-mounted remote weapon station featuring a heavy machine gun, and sensors such as electro-optic surveillance devices.

Designed by Thales Australia and building on the methodologies behind the highly protected 4x4 Bushmasters — credited with saving the lives of Australian soldiers from improvised explosive device attacks in Afghanistan — Hawkeis are currently the most blast-resistant vehicles in the army, except for M1A1 main battle tanks.

This picture will change next decade when the army introduces a new fleet of much heavier and even better-protected 8x8 wheeled combat reconnaissance vehicles and tracked infantry fighting vehicles, which will complement Hawkei as well form a further component in the expanding sensor and firepower network.

The army has to date taken delivery of 22 Hawkei test vehicles and another 100 are in the process of being built in Bendigo in Victoria under the low-rate initial production phase of the acquisition.

These are being subjected to all manner of trials to confirm their mobility, protection and communications characteristics.

Because of the amount of power they generate, vehicles have to be electromagnetically screened so that their location cannot be detected by hostile forces and also so that they are resistant to jamming and other forms of electronic interference — as well as physical attacks.

Full-rate production is scheduled to begin in early 2019 and end in 2022. As well as the vehicles themselves, the army is purchasing more than 1000 trailers that will also be assembled in Australia.

The production line will stay open if more vehicles are bought for other projects such as the ground-based air-defence system being developed under the Land 19 Phase 7 program, for which Hawkeis could carry radars and missiles.

Thales also expects some export sales and, with the Australian Army as a reference customer, there is reason for optimism, even in the notoriously parochial military vehicle market.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/arm...




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[*] posted on 29-10-2017 at 09:00 PM


I definitely hope the Reserve RAAC units get these, a ground based ISR capability would be very useful for the reserve brigade battle groups...



In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 12:36 AM


Australia first stage to acquire NASAMS missile system with Raytheon

Posted On Monday, 13 November 2017 09:29

Australian Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, November 8, 2017, announced a major milestone in the Short Range Ground Based Air Defence project. Minister Pyne said a $12.1 million contract has been signed with Raytheon Australia for the first stage of the project to acquire NASAMS air defense missile system, which is worth up to $2 billion.


NASAMS short-range air defense missile system at MSPO Defense Exhibition in Poland (September 2017)

“This will include Risk Mitigation Activities to inform the final system configuration, which will create up to 10 new jobs,” said Minister Pyne. “The year-long Risk Mitigation Activity will examine the system’s use in an Australian context.”

“It’s a significant project and the work will ensure we make the right decisions to protect our troops.”

“The Australian Government has committed to the highly successful National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), which will be adapted to Australian requirements.”

“Importantly, this work will investigate potential capability enhancements to inform the NASAMS’s final system configuration, including integration with existing Australian Defence Force equipment.”

“This will include integration testing with CEA Technologies’ phased array radar system and Thales Australia’s Hawkei and Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.”

“The Short Range Ground Based Air Defence system will provide the inner most layer of Australia’s enhanced integrated air and missile defence capability, operated by Army’s 16th Air Land Regiment.”

Raytheon will also hold workshops around Australia later this year to engage with Australian industry about supply chain opportunities. Defence will use Raytheon’s work to complete a detailed analysis prior to returning to Government for final consideration in 2019.

Recently Indonesia and Lithuania have announced the signature of contracts for the acquisition of NASAMS short-range air defense missile system manufactured by the Norwegian Company Kongsberg. It was designed and developed jointly by Raytheon from United States and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace from Norway, primarily for the Norwegian Air Force.

The missile system can engage 72 targets simultaneously in active and passive modes. The primary missile of the system is the AIM-120 AMRAAM which hit aerial targets at a maximum range of 33 km with a maximum altitude of 15,000m.
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 05:53 AM


Concensus? A good choice?



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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 12:43 PM


I think so. Especially if they can get the option of an AIM-9X in a box as well...maybe the same box set. Would cover all bases and de-risk a single successful countermeasure. (I worry about those tricky russians and our leaky secrets these days)
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 02:53 PM


Don't like the choice, but understand why it was made, uniformity of supply between Army and RAAF as both would be using the same missile.

Reloading this system will not be quick as it needs to be for a Swarm attack.
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 05:39 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Don't like the choice, but understand why it was made, uniformity of supply between Army and RAAF as both would be using the same missile.

Reloading this system will not be quick as it needs to be for a Swarm attack.


With NASAMS-ER (ESSM hybrid) in development and box launchers replacing the earlier rail setup, how long before we see these quad packed or with a booster for vertical launch? ESSM ashore? CEA radar? Now that would be synergy.

I think we are going to need a bigger truck.
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 06:14 PM


We have a choice of bigger trucks................the 8x8 MAN version has already been chosen for the German GBADS, the British CAMM family, and displayed in at least one version for MICA.............3 x quad-packed launchers if/when they go ESSM VLS...................
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[*] posted on 16-11-2017 at 09:02 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Don't like the choice, but understand why it was made, uniformity of supply between Army and RAAF as both would be using the same missile.

Reloading this system will not be quick as it needs to be for a Swarm attack.


This isn’t the C-RAM ‘kinetic’ solution, it’s an RBS-70 replacement... I like this system’s ability to engage multiple targets compared to an RBS-70 though... I think it’s about damn time Army got a reasonable and modern SAM capability.

Out of interest, which system would you prefer?




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 23-11-2017 at 11:01 PM


Military choppers failed on reliability, says Defence


An Army MRH-90 Taipan. Picture: Wesley Monts

RORY CALLINANThe Australian9:52PM November 23, 2017

The unreliability and under-­performance of two of Australia’s military helicopter fleets has caused a lack of jobs for pilots and a reduction in training operations at Army Aviation.

These are the latest problems to be associated with the Tiger attack and reconnaissance helicopter and the troop transport MRH-90 Taipan, according to notes in the Defence Department’s annual ­report.

Both helicopter fleets, which together cost more than $5 billion, have been notoriously unreliable, with the Taipan running five years behind to reach final operational capability due next year and the Tiger reaching FOC last year — seven years late and then only with a number of caveats.

The annual report says there has been reduced overall training due to the ability to absorb pilots into units as a flow-on from the ­choppers’ underperformance.

“High maintenance liability continues to impact rate-of-effort achievement,” it says. “There was reduced training at the Army Aviation Training Centre due to the ability to absorb pilots into the operational unit.”

The report singles out the MRH-90, saying “reliability, availability and maintainability deficiencies continued to impact the fleet”.

“Availability levels have not yet been achieved for transition of the MRH-90 into the Special Forces support role,’’ it said. “Flying was suspended twice during 2016-17 due to technical information management issues, with corresponding rate-of-effort achievement.”

Among the roles the Taipans were supposed to undertake was as a replacement for the ageing Black Hawk helicopters flying special forces.

The report said the Tigers’ rate of effort had been estimated to fly 4800 hours over the year but attained 3971 while the Taipans were due 7000 but only managed 5348.

It revealed the MH-60R Seahawk had been estimated to fly 4800 hours but only managed 4037 because of a lack of crew.

Defence spent $153,258,683 on consultants. It conducted 259 fraud investigations with 24 per cent of completed investigations resulting in criminal, disciplinary or administrative action.

Defence kept secret the details of 248 contracts, standing offers or variations valued at $434,141,533 which were exempt from publication on the government’s tender list under the FOI Act.

Defence did not respond to requests for comment at the time of going to press.




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[*] posted on 23-11-2017 at 11:07 PM


Same old story. Why do I get the feeling these problems will be the hallmarks of these platform’s careers within ADF?



In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 24-11-2017 at 12:56 AM


Their short careers I hope. With some luck, they can get by long enough for Future Vertical Lift to offer a giant leap forward.



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[*] posted on 24-11-2017 at 02:36 PM


Minister Opens Air Defence Industry Showcase

(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Nov 24, 2017)

The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today opened an Adelaide industry showcase to help local suppliers win work on the Short-Range Ground Based Air Defence System.

It’s one of seven events around Australia which will provide local businesses with an opportunity to showcase their capabilities and join the supply chain of Raytheon Australia, the company selected to deliver the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), and its partner Kongsberg.

“The Turnbull Government is encouraging Australian industry participation in this project, which is worth up to two billion dollars,” Minister Pyne said.

“The LAND 19 Phase 7B project will modernise our military while creating local jobs through subcontracting opportunities in assembly, systems design, integration, testing and evaluation as well as sustainment.”

“I am impressed with the calibre of the local suppliers who participated in the Adelaide industry showcase and I look forward to seeing the results of this engagement when the Turnbull Government gives the project final approval in 2019.”

“Participation in this project will also provide opportunities for local businesses to join Raytheon and Kongsberg’s global supply chain and support future NASAMS programs around the world, boosting Australian exports.”

More than 180 local companies have registered to present their capabilities to Raytheon.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 28-11-2017 at 03:41 PM


Army's Battlespace Communications into the next phase

28 November 2017



The Commonwealth has finally made the official announcement regarding a contract worth up to $1.4 billlion for the next tranche of Army's battlespace communications system.

Land 200 Tranche 2 contract notices concerning limited tenders to Harris Communications and Elbit Systems totalling $763.8 million were published on Austender in September.

Harris Communications Australia will deliver the tactical communications network, including encrypted radios, and Elbit Systems of Australia will enhance the Battle Management System (BMS) software, which tracks ADF units, delivered under Land 200 Tranche 1.

Land 200 is made up of various phases of three projects, JP 2072, Land 75, and Land 125, and is delivering capability throughout Defence in tranches that commenced in 2011 and are expected to be completed between 2021-2022.

The latest tranche will complete deliveries of equipment rolled out under earlier phases to the remainder of Defence and provide technical refresh of equipment previously delivered in Tranche 1 and 2.

Harris Communications was announced as the preferred tenderer for the JP 2072 (Land 2072) Phase 3 component of the program in April 2016. Harris will provide an integrated tactical communications network for voice and data services to tactical forces over line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight applications.

The solution will include tactical radios and other systems and technology from Harris as well as partner companies. Boeing Defence Australia will sub-contract to Harris during the phase, a reversal of their roles under JP 2072 Phase 2B.

Under Project Land 75 Elbit Systems has been providing the BMS, which will continued to be rolled out to Army units and integrated into additional vehicle platforms under Tranche 2.

Read more at http://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/army-s-battlespace-...
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[*] posted on 30-11-2017 at 04:32 PM


NH-90 Helicopters Doing Better in Australian Service

by Mike Yeo - November 29, 2017, 2:20 PM


The Australian army is preparing to introduce the MRH-90 in support of special forces operations. (Photo: Mike Yeo)

Ten yers after taking delivery of its first NH Industries (NHI) NH-90 helicopters, the Australian Army is finally preparing to use them in the most demanding role. Because of poor performance issues, the army unit that supports operations by the country’s special forces was obliged to retain its Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawks. But now the 6th Aviation Regiment is planning to introduce the type—which is designated and named the MRH-90 Taipan in Australia—in 2019. The Army is enjoying increased flying hours and reduced maintenance hours on the type in 2017.

A report on the MRH-90 by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in 2014 noted that the original self-defense door gun impeded “a range of cabin workflow requirements” including fast-roping operations by special forces troops. So the Army will be introducing a new gun mount, according to Lt. Col. Kim Gilfillan, commanding officer of the 5th Aviation Regiment, which already operates the type.

Speaking exclusively to AIN during a recent visit to his base at Townsville, Gilfillan said the new mount will be able to fire the Dillon M134D 7.62mm minigun as well as the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), while allowing Special Forces operators to conduct missions using the new fast roping, rappelling and extraction system (FRRES) at the same time.

Other cabin and configuration issues also meant that the MRH-90 has been unable to support the deployment of three combat troops simultaneously by fast roping. The ANAO report also highlighted issues with the sustainment of the helicopters, with aircraft availability, maturity and sustainment costs unable to meet planned targets.

However, Major Jason Long, officer commanding the 5th Regiment’s Technical Support Squadron, told AIN that the "rate of effort" (ROE) has gone from 1,775 airframe hours (AFHRs) in 2016 to 3,300 AFHRs so far in 2017, with the final figure for the year expected to double that achieved in 2016.

Long also said that maintenance man-hours per flight hour had reduced to about 31 from the 45 previously experienced by the regiment. This was attributed to the regiment’s battle rhythm, production planning and control improvements and also better spares and maintenance staff support from Airbus Helicopters.

NHI is a joint venture between Airbus and Leonardo, which is represented in Australia by Airbus.  
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[*] posted on 1-12-2017 at 09:47 AM


So it's taken ten years to get to the point where the MRH-90 can undertake the that were roles being undertaken by Black Hawks less than 12 months after coming into service.

Remind me again why the helo this was considered such a great choice?




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[*] posted on 1-12-2017 at 09:50 AM


Australian Army to purchase 225 CRVs



A BAE Systems Australia-Patria AMV35 8x8 vehicle negotiates a training circuit at Puckapunyal army base in Victoria. The venture is competing with Reinmetall’s Boxer to supply the army’s future combat reconnaissance vehicles.

NIGEL PITTAWAYThe Australian12:00AM December 1, 2017

With a decision on the army’s Land 400 Phase 2 armoured fighting vehicle purchasing program due early next year, both competitors are developing work packages for local industry, ready if needed.

The Australian Army will acquire 225 wheeled eight-wheel-drive combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs) in the project.

In a future purchasing phase, the army will acquire a tracked infantry fighting vehicle.

Both phases, together valued at about $10 billion, represent the largest vehicle replacement program in army’s history.

BAE Systems Australia and Patria have teamed to offer their AMV35 CRV for Phase 2, which is valued at between $4bn and $5bn.

The team is competing with Rheinmetall Defence Australia, which is proposing the Boxer CRV.

Since the end of October, BAE Systems Australia has announced three more work packages, which will benefit regional Victoria and NSW, as part of its Australian Industry Content proposal and it says that more than 60 Australian companies, from almost every state, have now won work on the AMV35 bid.

In the latest announcement, the company says Milspec Manufacturing of Albury, NSW, AME Systems of Ararat in Victoria and Melbourne-based Marand Precision Engineering will provide a range of components, together valued at about $70 million. It is estimated the three work packages will add 105 jobs in the Australian manufacturing industry.

Marand will manufacture the turret shell for the AMV35s at its facility in Geelong under the deal. This work is in addition to the manufacture of the vehicle’s hull, earlier awarded under a separate contract. BAE Systems Australia has previously said it will establish a military vehicle centre of excellence at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne, should it win Phase 2.

“For us the focus has also been about regional jobs and recognising the importance of bringing business opportunities from Land 400 into some of the regional centres around the country and the opportunity to re-employ some of the people coming out of the automotive industry, who have directly transferable skills,” BAE Systems Australia’s vice-president for Land 400, Brian Gathright says.

“We start by looking at our relationships with local industry, to identify and develop that capability which will make small to medium enterprises stronger in the defence space,’’ Mr Gathright says.

“ But while we’re doing that, we are assessing what it will cost to bring that work into Australia, because there has to be an economic business case for doing so.”

Mr Gathright says that during the course of its studies into local industry capability, the company has found that much of the manufacturing work can be performed domestically at no cost premium.

“In fact, in some cases it’s more cost-effective to do the work in Australia than it is to import the components,” he says.

“That is something that not everyone expected to see and there’s actually an economic advantage to AIC beyond just the work that is done in Australia.”




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[*] posted on 1-12-2017 at 12:49 PM


Five Eyes test new tech in exercise for reducing urban combat risks

By: Nigel Pittaway   9 hours ago


Soldiers conduct a building clearance as part of CUE17 conducted in Adelaide, South Australia. (Australian Department of Defence)

ADELAIDE, Australia — This year’s Contested Urban Environment field exercise is due to conclude Dec. 1 after more than a week of activities designed to test new and emerging technologies to protect both war fighters and the civilian population in a complex urban warfare environment.

Approximately 100 Australian Defence Force personnel and more than 80 scientists and researchers from Australia, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom took part in CUE17, which began Nov. 20, in the South Australian city of Adelaide.

CUE17 is part of the Contested Urban Environment Strategic Challenge, run under the Five Eyes’ Technical Cooperation Program, and it is the first field exercise run under the program, which has previously been conducted as a desktop simulation exercise. Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance between all five of the countries participating in CUE17.

The exercise was held with the full support of the South Australian state government and utilized the recently vacated Adelaide Dental Hospital and Royal Adelaide Hospital buildings, creating a realistic challenge during several different scenarios.

Australian lead for the event, Justin Fidock from the Defence Science and Technology Group, or DST Group, said the aim was to determine benefits that can be derived from the integration of wide-area aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, ground-based sensors, and target sharing for war fighters operating in difficult and complex urban environment.

“Basically we are integrating ground- and air-based sensors and using multiple methods to draw insights into technology, with a strong emphasis on qualitative data,” he said.


The operations hub for the 2017 Contested Urban Environment Strategic Challenge is a hive of activity with new technology being tested by the five nations involved. (Australian Department of Defence)

Various new and emerging technologies from Australia, the U.S. and Canada were selected for CUE17, including DST Group’s Defence Experimentation Airborne Platform; a Beechcraft 1900 aircraft configured for Wide Area Surveillance Activity Based Intelligence, or WASABI, with an Angel Fire 2 96-megapixel camera; a Selex Galileo PicoSAR synthetic aperture radar; and a Wescam MX-20HD full-motion, high-definition video sensor.

Other DST technologies included Evolutionary Layered ISR Integration EXemplar Architecture ISR enterprise software; social media analysis systems; and the ability to track targets using existing public infrastructure, such as CCTV cameras.

“The challenge is to understand which sensors from which nation fit into the ISR ‘picture’ and how we push that down to the user,” Fidock said.

U.S. technologies fielded for the event included the DragonFly 360-degree, full-motion video camera system mounted on the corner of one of the high-rise buildings to simulate a tethered UAV, which would typically be used in a real scenario.

Also being trialed was a 3-D common operating picture sensor.
“That allows us to do mission planning in a 3-D environment, so you know where to put the sensors to identify where dead spots are,” explained U.S. lead Susan Toth, from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

“Then when live events are going on, as sensors are going off, it alerts onto the common operating picture and that allows rapid recueing. For example, we demonstrated a scenario where a Canadian ground sensor detected an activity and we were able to auto-cue the Australian WASABI aircraft’s sensors and send the information to the user via tactical data link.”

The next field activity under the Technical Cooperation Program, CUE18, will be hosted in Canada, and the 2019 event will take place in the United States.
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[*] posted on 1-12-2017 at 02:38 PM


More on this................

Australia Enters an A$1.4 Billion Army Digitisation Phase

By Tamir Eshel - Nov 28, 2017


First Assistant Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Ivan Zlabur examines Land 200 Tranche 2 Battlefield Management System equipment.. Photo: Australian Defence.

The Australian Defence Department approved today the second phase of the army digitization program known as LAND 200.

The program comprises the Land 75 and Land 125, each separated into Tranche phases. Delivering a holistic Land networking solution for two Army Brigades, Land 200 also supports the training and simulation establishments, Special Forces and other Services.

The $1.4 billion worth project will enhance the Australian Defence Force’s digital command, control and communications systems, particularly with the mechanized forces. Harris and Elbit Systems are the two foreign suppliers are supplying the hardware and software for the project. The two companies are expected to support hundreds of local jobs through local subsidiaries that will support the program through its lifespan.

LAND 200 Tranche 2 delivers tactical communications network, including encrypted radios provided by Harris, and Battle Management System (BMS) software, delivered by Elbit Systems under the LAND 200 Tranche 1. Together they form the Battlefield Command System, which allows commanders to plan, monitor, direct and review operations in real time. Elbit Systems is the prime contractor of the Australian Army’s BMS and it supplies, integrates, installs and supports the Battle Group and Below Command, Control and Communications (BGC3) system for the Australian Army’s Land 75 part of the program. The BGC3 is comprised of a BMS for soldiers, Vehicle Mounted Commanders and Headquarters/Command Post Staff.

The BMS and battle command network Battlefield Command System will integrate with weapon systems in Australia’s tanks and future combat vehicles, increasing decision speed and the ability to share information across the battlefield.

LAND 200 is made up of various phases of three projects, JP 2072, LAND 75, and LAND 125, and will deliver capability throughout Defence in three Tranches between 2011 and 2021-2022.


The current program will provide radios and BMS to support the existing and new protected vehicles, including the new Hawkeye PMV-L. Photo: Australian Defence.

LAND 200 Tranche 1 was launched in November 2009 and included delivery of new radios and battle command systems between 2011 and 2014. Under the first Tranche, the Army received the radios that provided a modern digital backbone and Battle Management System (BMS), spanning the dismounted soldiers, light combat vehicles and Protected Mobility Vehicles (PMV), Unimog and G Wagons.

The current LAND 200 Tranche 2 phase continues with PMV and G-Wagon installations, as well as the installation of radios and systems into the M113AS4s armored personnel carriers (APC), LAND 121 Medium Heavy Trucks, and PMV-Light. (Hawkeye).

This phase will also include the introduction of platform-specific BMS integrated into the Tank and ASLAV); Brigade Headquarters software applications for all headquarters functions including interoperability with key Joint and Coalition systems; this procurement also introduces a new digital soldier radio; modification of the current soldier Battle Management Systems to reduce weight and size whilst enhancing capability.

The third and final phase of LAND 200, Tranche 3, that will commence through 2022, will complete deliveries to the remainder of the Australian defense force and provide technical refresh for equipment previously delivered in Tranche 1 and 2.
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[*] posted on 3-1-2018 at 04:43 PM


The Australian Army has adopted a new fighting system?


Australian Army adopts Marine Corps-style hand-to-hand combat training

By: Kyle Rempfer   10 hours ago

U.S. Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit participate in Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training aboard the USS Iwo Jima on Nov. 24th, 2017. (Cpl. Jon Sosner/ Marine Corps)

The U.S. Marine Corps’ Martial Arts Program has been the Corps’ flagship close quarters combat program for well over a decade, teaching Marines to engage the enemy with hand-to-hand combat, edged weapons and weapons of opportunity.

Now, the Australian Army is following their lead. Down-under, Australian commandos have refined their own unarmed combat courses following the lessons they learned in recent battles.

The Australian Army intends to introduce this suite of unarmed combat courses as part of the force’s new approach to integrated combat, according to the Australian Army’s Director of Training and Doctrine Brig. Mick Ryan.

“Over the next 12 months, [the] Army will introduce a new shooting continuum and an unarmed combat training regime that will form part of a coherent approach to combat spanning from recruits through to Special Forces,” Ryan said in an Australian Defence Force press release. “Part of the unarmed combat training, known as the Army Combatives Program, will eventually become mandatory training for all Army personnel.”

The Australian Army previously taught a unarmed combat course called Military Self Defence, but “combat operations over the last decade have led both Special Forces Command and the Infantry Corps to move away from MSD, developing a separate suite of unarmed combat courses,” Brig. Ryan said.

The new initiative was largely influenced by Paul Cale, a former soldier in Australia’s elite 2nd Commando Regiment. During a 2007 night raid in Afghanistan, Cale was forced into a deadly scuffle with a Taliban commander, according to his account of the event in multiple interviews.

After that incident, he went home and began to flesh out a new program to better prepare his fellow commandos and infantrymen.

“Our guys, before Afghanistan, we would have thought we would just shoot them ... but people fight for their lives,” Cale said in a video posted to Kinetic Fighting’s website. “People don’t just stand there like targets, and when you’re that close with the enemy, you need to have the ability to fight hand-to-hand.”

Cale is now the chief executive officer for Kinetic Fighting, where he helped develop the new suite of techniques, and continues to teach other combat courses like tactical driving and close-quarters shooting.

The new combatives program, building off the work of special operators and infantry personnel, will be taught across the entire army. Yet there will be different levels of the course taught to army personnel depending on the likelihood of combat within their own military specialty.

However, Ryan stressed that the emerging program is not a martial art in the traditional sense. Instead, it will be combat-focused, teaching both “lethal and non-lethal techniques relevant to soldiers,” he added.

The levels of training will be broken down into four cohorts, according to Kinetic Fighting.

Level 1: Mandatory training across the Army that equips individuals to survive a physical encounter and retain their weapon.

Level 2: Discretionary training for any individual, equipping select personnel or trades to apply lethal and non-lethal techniques.

Level 3: Mandatory training for infantry, teaching them to apply lethal and non-lethal techniques.

Level 4: Mandatory training for special operators, teaching them to apply lethal and non-lethal techniques as part of a Special Forces team.

“A soldier’s primary weapon from the 19th century until now has been the firearm, and it’s about enhancing that firearm capability to work with less lethal force while still having a firearm with you,” Cale told News.com.au. “It’s not like going from being a shooter to a quasi-martial artist.”

“Once they learn this, it’s a non-perishable skill,” Cale said of the new program. “It will be so tightly linked to the shooting that it will be a very easy extension of their current skills.”

See article below:

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2018/01/02/australian-...
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bug2
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 09:49 PM


Australian army deploys new Hawkei protected vehicle in Iraq

Posted On Saturday, 06 January 2018 12:37

According to the Australian Defence Business Review website, Australian Army and Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group CASG, in charge of military acquisition have deployed a number of new Hawkei 4x4 Light Protected Vehicles to Iraq for operational trials with Task Force Taji, a combined Australian-New Zealand military training force located at the Taji Military Complex northwest of Baghdad.


Hawkei 4x4 light protected vehicle in 4 doors configuration (Picture source Australian MoD)

The operational trial of the Hawkei 4x4 light protected vehicle by the Australian army in Iraq, is expected to take place until mid-2018. The Hawkei vehicles are deployed in Iraq in two and four door configuration.

The Hawkei vehicle was originally designed to meet an Australian Defence Force (ADF) requirement as part of a wider project to replace the ADF's fleet of operational support vehicles, Project Land 121 Phase 4 – Protected Mobility Vehicle (Light) or PMV-L.

In October 2015, it was announced that the Australian army will order 1,100 Hawkei vehicles t replace part of the Army's ageing Land Rover fleet. It is classified by the Australian Army as light protected mobility vehicles.

The Hawkei vehicle is manufactured by Thales Australia, which also makes the Bushmaster armoured personnel carrier, in Bendigo. Boeing, Plasan Sasa and PAC Group are partners of Thales, supporting the Hawkei project.


Hawkei 4x4 light protected vehicle in 2 doors configuration (Picture source Australian MoD)

The Hawkei 4x4 light protected vehicle was designed to offer high level of protection against modern ballistic and mine explosion threats. A high level of built-in blast protection is combined with ballistic protection that can be scaled to match the operating environment.

The Hawkei vehicle is motorized with a Steyr V6 diesel engine manufactured by Steyr Motors GmbH, Austria coupled to a 8-speed automatic transmission. It can run at a maximum road speed of 115km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.

The vehicle is based on a 4x4 wheeled drive with independent coil suspension.

The Hawkei can be fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station (RCWS) which can mounted on the roof of the crew compartment. The RCWS can be armed with 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and 12.7mm machine guns, 40mm automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles with day/night observation devices.
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[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 01:15 PM


Major upgrades for Australia’s heavy armour assets to be discussed in February

Julian Kerr - Jane's Defence Weekly

12 January 2018

Plans to upgrade the Australian Army’s fleet of M1A1 AIM (D) Abrams main battle tanks and acquire an under-armour bridging and breaching capability will be discussed with industry on 22 February, the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra has disclosed.

The two programmes will be jointly managed. Their combined cost is placed at between AUD1.75 billion to AUD2.5 billion (USD1.3-1.87 billion) in the DoD’s integrated investment plan.

The Capability and Sustainment Group (CASG) within the DoD said the purpose of the industry consultation day was to gather information and analyse industry capability and capacity to support the two future projects.

(124 of 352 words)
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[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 02:16 PM


That's serious money being proposed to be spent on the Koala's, anyone got any ideas as to what's on the table?



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[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 05:43 PM


I'd dispute the koala tag, though I understand the basis of the accusation.
With regards to what is being planned, at least a few commentators are fairly sure that RAAC are manoeuvring to trade in our M1A1 AIM for M1A2 SEP v3, either by means of upgrade or by swapping the vehicles we've got for the newer ones. This would align the corps more to the US army than the USMC, and would possibly help plug us into their supply systems on deployment.
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[*] posted on 14-1-2018 at 04:47 AM


It’s hardly RAAC manoeuvring, it’s the plan and has been spoken of publically by HLS among others. Personally the interesting thing will be whether they are delivered with DU armour or not. Plus the obvious question of how many.

Most of that money will be spent on the new armoured breach capability however. It will be interesting to see which way they go - a single vehicle variant with multiple add on components for whatever is needed, or specific variants for each task.
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