15 Juni 2009

Australia’s 2009 Defence White Paper 2009 (2)

15 Juni 2009

What the White Paper Means for the Royal Australian Navy
Collins class submarine-will replace by more lethal submarine (photo : ABC)

The 2009 Defence White Paper sets out a new capability direction with a significant focus on enhancing our maritime capabilities for the 21st century, the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP announced today.

Over the next 20 years, the Navy force structure will include new major destroyers and frigates, submarines, amphibious ships, offshore combatant vessels, naval combat helicopters and other advanced enabling capabilities. “This force will operate closely with air combat and maritime surveillance and response aircraft to establish sea control, and project force across our vast maritime environment,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“The ability to establish local sea control is essential to maintaining freedom of navigation in our immediate region, protecting the ships that carry the life blood of our economy, preventing attacks on Australia or its offshore territories and resources, and supporting land forces.

“The White Paper lays out a clear pathway towards the development of a larger and more potent maritime force with improvements across all capabilities,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Key capability decisions relevant to this enhanced maritime force include:
-- A fleet of 12 new Submarines to replace the current six Collins Class;
-- Enhancements to the weapons systems of the three new Air Warfare Destroyers, with consideration of acquiring a fourth vessel in the future;
-- A fleet of eight new larger frigates, with an emphasis on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) to replace the current ANZAC Class frigates;
-- Continuation of acquisition of two new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships that will invigorate the Australian Defence Force’s amphibious capability;
-- A new Strategic Sealift ship based on a proven design to strengthen the Navy’s amphibious and transport capability;
-- A fleet of at least 24 new naval combat helicopters, equipped with dipping sonars to detect submarines at greater ranges;
-- Six new MRH-90 helicopters that will replace the general utility service previously provided by the Sea King fleet;
-- 20 new Offshore Combatant Vessels equipped with modular mission systems that will incorporate the capabilities presently provided by the separate patrol boat, hydrographic and mine hunter fleets;
-- Six new ocean-going heavy landing craft with greater range and speed than the aging Balikpapan class Landing Craft Heavy; and
-- Replacement of the Navy’s oldest supply ship, HMAS Success, with a new replenishment and logistic support ship which will enter service at the end of the next decade.

The Government will also provide additional funding for 700 positions within Navy’s workforce structure. This initiative will address the significant workforce challenges presently being experienced by Navy and will meet future requirements associated with the significant capability upgrades foreshadowed by the 2009 Defence White Paper.

Navy has already announced its plan to increase the size of the submarine workforce through a new approach as part of the New Generation Navy strategy. By providing targeted incentives for submariners that include training, adjusting crew numbers and formations, conditions of service, seatime and other initiatives, Defence will ensure that the current shortfalls are addressed, and that a robust submarine workforce is built for the future.

Combined with a range of recruitment and retention initiatives and strategies, this new approach will provide the basis for a larger and more sustainable submarine force.

The New Generation Navy project, which seeks to address these workforce pressures, is the basis for improvement in the retention of Navy personnel through improved leadership, more effective organisational structures, streamlined training procedures and better sharing of the workload across Navy.

These changes will enable Navy in the longer term to reliably and consistently meet its operational commitments and deliver a world-class maritime capability for the nation’s security. (ends)


What the White Paper Means for the Australian Army

Abrams main battle tanks-have deployed to the army (photo : Aviation Week)

The 2009 Defence White Paper will deliver an Army for the 21st century equipped with the world class technology that it needs and deserves. It will provide significant funding to increase the combat power and survivability of the Army as well as enhancing its ability to operate as a modern networked, mobile and highly adaptable force.

This funding will be used to improve and enhance a number of elements of the Australian Army, including:
-- A new Combat Vehicle System which will provide around 1100 vehicles with greatly improved firepower, protection and mobility. The System will be equipped with the Army’s integrated battle management systems from inception;
-- Around 7000 support vehicles to completely replace the various fleets of wheeled transport and logistic support vehicles and trucks;
-- Greatly improved communications and command and control systems for land forces;
-- improved mobility through the acquisition of seven new CH47F (Chinook) medium lift helicopters;
-- enhanced firepower through new artillery, both self-propelled and towed, as well as replacement mortars and a new direct fire anti-armour weapon; and
-- continued investment in increasing the effectiveness and protection offered to individual soldiers in dismounted close combat.

Over the next 20 years, the Army force structure will include land combat and combat support forces (infantry, armoured, artillery, combat engineers, and aviation) that are able to operate as combined-arms teams. They will be supported by enabling combat support elements (intelligence, signals and construction engineers) and combat service support systems (logistics and health).

“Land forces must be capable of conducting joint land combat in a complex operational environment and be able to defeat incursions onto the Australian mainland, territories and offshore installations,” said the Minister for Defence, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP. “To do this they must also be highly mobile and adaptable within the physical and social environments they find themselves. Together with the other elements of the Australian Defence Force they must be capable of assuming a leadership role for a coalition combat, stabilisation or reconstruction operation.”

“Our conventional land forces will continue to be based on three combat brigades (of around 4000 troops) consisting of multiple battalion-sized units. The growth of the two additional infantry battalions established under the Enhanced Land Force initiative will continue.”

The Army will be able to combine its combat and combat support units to generate 10 battalion-sized ‘battlegroups’ tailored for a wide range of operations.
The generation of operationally-ready land forces will be enhanced by the formation of Forces Command, located in Sydney, which will be responsible for all individual and group training. Forces Command will also take charge of the deployable logistics organisations supporting this process, along with a helicopter brigade comprising three battalion-sized units of reconnaissance, lift, and utility helicopters. Headquarters 1st Division, located in Brisbane, will re-roled to be able to provide troops with final, mission specific, preparation for operations. Headquarters Special Operations Command, located at Bungendore, will continue to provide the majority of individual, group and mission specific training for Special Forces personnel.

The Army also generates our Special Forces capability. Special Forces provide unique capabilities due to their specialised selection, training and equipment.

“Australia’s Special Forces will continue to receive the best equipment and training we can provide with incremental improvements planned and funded over the coming decade,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“Our Special Forces must be capable of undertaking strategic surveillance and reconnaissance, offensive action, strategic strike missions, high-end counter-terrorism and counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction operations, hostage recovery, special protection duties in high-threat environments, and other specialised roles, some of which are classified in their entirety.”

The Government is determined to further enhance the reforms currently being undertaken by Army under the ‘Adaptive Army’ initiative. The Government has directed Defence to develop a detailed implementation plan by the end of 2009, ensuring that the Army’s internal balance and mix of full-time and part-time land force elements can meet these objectives. This plan will be developed within the strategic guidance and funding parameters contained in the 2009 White Paper. (ends)


What the White Paper Means for the Royal Australian Air Force

F-35-committed to purchase 100 aircrafts (photo : ABC)

The 2009 Defence White Paper, released today, delivers an Air Force for the 21st century that will be better equipped, fully networked and better prepared to meet Australia’s air power requirements.

“A potent and flexible air combat capability is a cornerstone of Australia’s defence posture. Control of the air over our territory and maritime approaches is critical to all other operations in the defence of Australia,” said the Minister for Defence, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP.

“The White Paper will ensure Air Force maintains its regional air superiority through the acquisition of around 100 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, along with the Super Hornets as a part of the bridging air combat capability.

These aircraft will significantly enhance Australia’s deterrence, and provide a robust offensive capability should circumstances necessitate,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Through the combination of highly skilled people, multirole combat fighters and assets such as Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft, advanced weapons, air-to-air refuelling aircraft and command, control and surveillance capabilities, the Air Force will continue to offer the Government air superiority, maritime strike, long-range strategic strike, offensive air support and close air support capability options.

Australia’s future Air Force will include a balance of conventional and uninhabited aerial platforms that will enhance the future anti-submarine warfare capability of Air Force and significantly enhance Australia’s maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance coverage. The White Paper also strengthens and rebalances the Air Force’s strategic (inter-theatre) and operational (intra-theatre) air-lift capability through the acquisition of new aircraft.

The 2009 Defence White Paper outlines the following key capability priorities for the Air Force:
-- Around 100 fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and associated weapons systems;
-- Half of Australia’s F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet fleet will be configured on the production line to enable them to be converted to the EA-18G ‘Growler’ electronic attack variant should later strategic circumstances dictate;
-- Delivery of five KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport for air-to-air refuelling, that will increase the range and endurance of combat and surveillance aircraft;
-- Six new Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft to provide surveillance, command and control functions to other networked Australian Defence Force platforms;
-- Eight new Maritime Patrol Aircraft, which will provide advanced antisubmarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities as well as sophisticated maritime search capabilities;
-- Approximately seven new high-altitude, long-endurance Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), to compliment the new Maritime Patrol Aircraft and replace the current AP-3C Orion fleet with a more comprehensive and advanced maritime surveillance capability;
-- Enhanced air transport capability options through the acquisition of a further two additional C-130J Hercules to bring the total fleet number to 14 aircraft;
-- Up to 10 new tactical battlefield airlifters with a significantly greater range, speed, payload and protection measures that the retiring Caribou;
-- New and upgraded systems to collect and fuse air surveillance information from multiple sources, in order to create a Recognised Air Picture of the Australian Defence Forces’ primary operational environment;
-- Improved military air traffic control, navigation and communications systems that will permit closer alignment of the national systems for both military and civilian air traffic management;
-- The use of modern technology to deliver improved training outcomes through the application of high fidelity simulation and mission rehearsal systems.

“The Royal Australian Air Force is entering a period of significant change. The Air Force is actively positioning and preparing its workforce to address these demands through organisational restructuring and modest growth in key capability areas,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. “The end result will be a far for more versatile and far more capable Air Force, with a wider range of advanced surveillance, transport and air combat options that ever before in our nation’s history’” Mr Fitzgibbon added.

(Defense Aerospace)

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