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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

[img]http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/84455b555aca40e680769ed6895cb23c?width=650[/img]
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.

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