This defence-concepts page presents an idealised future weapons selection for the Australian Defence Force aimed at the years 2024 to 2030. Structure and equipment recommendations have been shaped around a worst case conflict scenario in which the country must independently counter a numerically superior, and well equipped, expansionist Nationalist/Islamist neighbour that arises within the next 10 years. The site gears the ADF for Nation State, peer vs. peer, war fighting operations in the near future.

This future does not assume any outside assistance from the USA, due to economic collapse, isolationist policies, and/or a natural catastrophe (the eruption of the Yellowstone super volcano or the return of Northern glaciation). Therefore it is imperative that the ADF be readied to independently Defend the Australian Mainland, with secondary tasks to assist in the defence of Singapore, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines from hostile takeover.

The expansion of the Australian military is a top priority, a prudent contingency for a worst case scenario (that hopefully never eventuates), with all assets operating under an 'Air and Sensor Umbrella'.

Listed below are the basic defence priorities needed to fulfil the Primary Mission Goal of the ADF, which is to Defend the Mainland. (This site does not address the first element listed nor provide specific details on the second, but all are vitally important):

#1 Intelligence Monitoring: Elint/Sigint, Satellite (via the US), Strategic UAVs (viable pre-conflict), plus Human (not covered here).

#2 Sensor Technology: long range air (Fighter/AWACs/Drone AEW) and surface (JORN) based radar systems; undersea (SOSUS & submarine) sonar systems; satellite; maritime patrol aircraft; tactical and strategic UAVs; plus visual aids for all Air, Army and Navy machines featuring infra-red (IR) and low-light high-magnification scopes - with similar IR and low light aids for individual soldiers, plus Electronic Warfare systems in all services (not covered here in detail).

#3 Air Supremacy: via Long Range Air Superiority Fighters (also used for strike mission requirements). They are of PRIMARY importance with increased numbers of aircraft being obtained compared to the present inventory. An expanded air force is essential in providing 'air cover' for all other ADF war fighting operations; to compensate for the relatively small size of the other services.

#5 Tactical Air Power: will focus on battlefield support, and be formed around 4th Generation air assets, including training aircraft, with an increased number of attack helicopters, and Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

#6  Army Expansion and Hardening: with two extra 1st Division Brigades (making five the total number of combat brigades), a strengthened 2nd Division Reserve Force, featuring more heavy indirect and direct fire weaponry, including more vehicle and man portable Anti-Tank & Anti-Air weaponry, plus an increase in UAV spotter units, and the addition of loitering munitions (killer UAVs). Mobile air defence systems will be improved. The ADF will also raise a new 3rd Division irregular force equipped with technical vehicles.

#7 Expanded Submarine Force and Navy: submarines will operate as the primary sea-control and strike weapons system using Anti-Ship or Land-Attack cruise missiles. A moderate increase and improvement to existing surface vessel numbers will occur (versus air/missile and ASW threats), with a heightened focus on helicopter/UAV capability.

It should be recognised that not all elements proposed here may be achievable and that many of these elements are highly conceptual in nature.

 *See the side column for a short Editorial Comment on the overall role of the Future ADF. Plus click here to see the present extent of the site, if not already viewing it. This text only represents an introduction to the Future ADF Page. This site is updated from time to time - look out for modifications and/or new material. Note: The website is being updated in early 2018.

Air Force

The Air Force must be centred around an Air Superiority platform in light of the equipment being fielded in the region. These aircraft must kinematically match or beat emerging threat aircraft that include the Su-57, Su-35, J-20, and J-31 types. With projected advances in Radar, Infra Red, and ECM jamming (that can blind radars and reduce detection ranges) Australia cannot accept an intrinsically inferior flying platform like the F-35 that relies heavily on its present day stealth and sensor advantage. A long range air combat fighter, with superior aero performance, is the only viable option.

Establishing air dominance is essential in facilitating all other ADF operations under an AIR AND SENSOR UMBRELLA - enabling our size limited forces to 'punch far above their weight'. Numerous air superiority fighters will provide cover for dedicated tactical bombing aircraft and dual use training aircraft. Maintaining an expanded and strengthened air force should be seen as the most important feature of our Homeland Defence (closely followed by an expanded Army), and is a matter of National Security.

The RAAF's other primary function is to provide a Strategic Strike capability using air-launched cruise missiles and ground-launched hypersonic missiles, to knock out high value targets on land and at sea.

Note: The equipment selection here recognises of two tiers of capability. Aircraft, either drones or piloted, that can be forward deployed into contested airspace, and those that can't. The latter consist of high value support aircraft, or maritime reconnaissance aircraft, that would be prey to opposition stealth aircraft or high speed long range fighters. High levels of manned aircraft will always be required in the event the drones are jammed or hacked and thereby made inoperable or unreliable.

Air Superiority, Strike & Electronic Warfare:


F/A-XX Air Superiority Fighters (120) 


F/A-XX 'Grey Ghost' aircraft with exceptional range and speed, using variable cycle engines, and operating in one and two seat variants, are to provide the backbone for the RAAF. Along with their standard air-to-air missile load the aircraft will also carry at least four extreme short range anti-missile missiles. While their Primary Mission is Air Defence they will have a significant strike/ground attack capability. These fighters will feature IRST, with front, side, and rear facing sensors - since infra red cannot be jammed when ECM jamming reduces radar detection ranges.

F-22A/C Raptors (12)


F-22A/C Raptors of the USAF will be permanently based and maintained within the country and partly crewed by Australian pilots. These aircraft, upgraded with variable cycle engines, IRST, and anti-missile missiles, will be used as specialist air defence fighters.

UCAVs (26)


Two squadrons of UCAVs will be needed for long range strike, recon and picket line air defence missions (using Meteor and Sidewinder X missiles). They will also carry four short range anti-missile missiles. These aircraft will operate in conjunction with the large early warning drones (see later).

FB-23A Long Range Strike Bombers (36)


FB-23As are the primary strike aircraft of the ADF. In addition to carrying air-to-surface weaponry these aircraft will be equipped with a combination two long range self defence missiles and a number of short range anti-missile missiles. This platform will also be able to act as a tanker being configurable for buddy-buddy air-to-air refuelling in contested areas using a drogue system situated in the bomb bay. These aircraft are replacements for the F-111 and are expected to fly manned recon missions if necessary.

EB-23A Electronic Warfare Aircraft (12)


These EB-23 Electronic Warfare variants will act in the role of the EF-111 and are to accompany the FB-23s on long range strike missions.

Long Range Hypersonic Recon Drones (8)


These Hypersonic Drones will provide intelligence information in the absence of satellite imagery and operate over land and sea in high threat environments. They will take the place of slower moving and more vulnerable platforms like the MQ-4C Triton and use RADAR, LIDAR and Photo/IR mapping systems.

Hypersonic Tactical Missiles (1000+)


Truck mounted Hypersonic Tactical Missiles will be operated by the Air Force and have a range of more than 8,000km. The number of missiles required will be upwards of 1000 to 2000 with multiple reloads for the six round launch vehicles (launch tubes will be larger than those featured in the image). The missiles are intended to strike high value targets throughout the region on land and at sea, including airfields, command and control (communications) centres, other high value military facilities, power stations (including nuclear ones) and shipping. These weapons are considered as part of the country's strategic deterrent.


Tactical Air and Training:


Operating under the protection provided by Air Superiority aircraft will be tactical fighter bombers, armed UAVs, and dual use training aircraft operating in the ground attack role. All training aircraft are required to operate as light attack platforms with limited air-to-air combat capability with off boresight targeting.  

F-18F Super Hornets (44) - Block III standard aircraft, featuring IRST and improved range, will operate as multirole 'bomb trucks'. Block IV upgrades will see the introduction of variable cycle engines.



EA-18G Growlers (12) - Block III/IV electronic warfare aircraft will be focused on battlefield support operations.



MQ-9 Reapers (18+) - are to provide near continuous surveillance in support of Army operations and act in the ground attack role. Such UAVs can be used as air defence decoys or scouts for forward deployment of Army rotary wing aircraft. Because of the threat of jamming, manned aircraft systems must still be retained at the current levels presently envisaged.



M-346 Masters (66) - these multi-mission trainers, upgraded with AESA radar, are a key component of the tactical air force with half their number operating in a dedicated ground attack role at all times.



Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos (65) - will carry FLIR pods, air-to-ground missiles, JDAM or LGBs, and be armed with Sidewinders for anti-helicopter operations. Some aircraft may carry (proposed) front and rear scanning AESA air defence radar pods to improve situational awareness during missions.



AWACS & Support Aircraft:


AWACS and AEW aircraft are to be equipped with IRST sensors and routinely carry long range self defence missiles such as the Meteor and short range anti-missile missiles. Piloted high value aircraft, in the event of high intensity war, such as the E-7A Wedgetails, are to avoid forward deployment with drones operating as their eyes and ears. This is a key reason for having drones - because they are semi-expendable. The piloted vehicles would act as command and control centres.

UAV AEW Drones (12) - are to be employed for forward airborne sensing using AESA radar, IRST and have long range and short range self defence air-to-air missiles stored in aerodynamic pods. Multiple drones will operate at any one time.

 
 
E-7A Wedgetail AWACS (6) - will be equipped with IRST and have four long range self defence missiles and at least eight short range anti-missile missiles stored in aerodynamic pods. They will also act as command and control aircraft for drone AEW aircraft.



KC-30A Voyager Tankers (7) - are intended to top up aircraft in low intensity environments or outside of contested airspace. Forward tanking will be undertaken using FB-23s equipped with a bomb bay refuelling system. Up to five A400M Atlas transports will also acquired to be available for use as tankers when necessary (see ADF Air Transport).



C-37A Gulfstreams (5) - are to fly SIGINT/ELINT/ISR/EW missions in support of various ADF operations once air supremacy is achieved or in low threat areas.



P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol (15) - upgraded with a MAD detector, front and rear facing IRST systems and equipped with aerodynamic pods containing self defence missiles.



MQ-4C Triton Maritime Recon Drones (7) - are to be used in low threat environment surveillance but likely withdrawn in high intensity situations where long range 'emerging threat' fighters are in operation. Specific wartime targeting recon will nominally come from hypersonic drones (or satellites).



UAV Maritime Recon Airships (7) - will operate in a similar capacity to the Tritons. They will have multi-day endurance and be withdrawn in times of conflict.



JORN over-the-horizon long range radar is to operate in its present capacity. 


Aggressor Aircraft


MIG-35 Fulcrums (5) - these super-manoeuvrable aircraft are to be used in air combat training exercises and must be updated with the best available systems including thrust vectoring engines. An alternative aircraft may be the SAAB Gripen E.



ADF Air Transport Capability can be reviewed here.


Addendum: Airbases


Airbase facilities are to be strengthened and expanded in the South with prepared stations in the North occupied when necessary. Large scale permanent far Northern deployments are to be avoided in order to lessen the damage caused by cruise missile or airstrikes. All airbases, either in the North or South, are to feature hardened or underground structures with dispersed buildings. Furthermore, anti-air/anti-missile defence systems will be incorporated.

Ground security elements, including in the design of the actual bases, are to be greatly improved to counter commando style attacks. For more information see this article: Hardening RAAF Air Base Infrastructure.

Navy

The Navy's primary task is to control waters around the Australian continent maintaining an above and below water AIR AND SENSOR UMBRELLA using submarines, surface vessels, RAAF air support, and ship-based aviation assets. Development of undersea listening stations, a SOSUS system, if not already in operation, will provide further surface ship and submarine detection capability.

The primary sea control element will be an expanded submarine force able to project power around the Indonesian archipelago and into the near Pacific and Indian Oceans. Submarines will forward deploy ahead of the surface fleet during a time of conflict.

The surface fleet's function, to destroy other vessels, continues with an emphasis on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) combined with a focus on air defence, particularly anti-missile defence. All destroyers and frigates will therefore field multi-layered missile defence systems (CIWS and anti-missile missiles), and have strong ASW sensors with bow and towed sonar arrays. Standard sensor capability must include advanced AESA radar and IR systems.

NAVY destroyers, frigates and submarines will also have a secondary land-attack strike capability being fitted to carry Tomahawk (LAM) cruise missiles. All capital ships, including armed offshore patrol vessels, will routinely employ drones (UAVs*/USVs) and helicopters as part of normal operations.

*Note: Consideration should be made towards developing a long endurance ship-deployable UAV/AEW airship – for use off the LHD ships - to provide extended air and/or surface surveillance on close approach towards potentially threatening areas.


Primary Weapons Systems


Shortfin Barracuda (15)


Shortfin Barracuda Class submarines are intended for many missions, with a focus on offensive operations. They will act as the key strategic strike platform (via Tomahawk LAMs to target Command & Control facilities plus Airfields), as an anti-submarine platform, as an anti-ship platform, plus conduct surveillance and special operations deployments. These boats must include a towed sonar array, carry expendable UAVs, and later field a tube-launched anti-aircraft system for downing ASW aircraft. A total of 15 submarines will be acquired in order to create a continuous building program so when the first vessel is retired an new or upgraded type will follow into production. Three of these submarines may be crewed by New Zealanders and based in their country. (Displacing 4500 tons)


Scorpene S-BR Class Submarines (3)


These Scorpene Class submarines will be taken from the production line in Cherbourg, France, built following the end of the Brazilian Navy's order. They will immediately replace the aging Collins Class submarines in order to prevent a significant capability gap that will arise before the Shortfin Barracuda enters service. The vessels will be acquired with minimal modifications to the S-BR design. As the final Barracudas enter service these vessels may be retired. (Displacing 2000 tons)


Hobart Class Destroyers (3)


Hobart Class vessels are to act in a multi-role capacity in addition to their air defence mission. They must also provide a limited strike capability via the Tomahawk LAM. It should be noted that the present radar system on these vessels is not top-of-the-line and refitting will likely occur at a later date. Work on changes towards a low observable superstructure should also be considered. In addition to an SH-60R helo these ships will carry one or two MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter drones, or a AV-247 Vigilant tiltrotor drone, that can be armed for surface attack. (Displacing 6200 tons)


Type 26 Frigates (12)


The Type 26 Frigates must be optimised for anti-submarine warfare and air defence. They must employ bow and towed sonar as part of their standard configuration. The radar systems on these vessels will be optimised to detect and shoot down low flying missiles at range, as on Daring Class Destroyers, with two CIWS units as the final layer of defence. Like the Hobart Class ships these frigates will be Tomahawk LAM capable and also operate one or two MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter, or AV-247 Vigilant tiltrotor, drones in addition to their SH-60R helo. (Displacing 5400 tons)


OPV85 Offshore Patrol Vessels (18)


The Lurssen OPV85 ships are to be upgraded to become effective war fighting vessels. In addition to a 76mm deck gun they should carry anti-ship missiles, a Rolling Airframe Missile system (or equivalent), and some type of lightweight sonar/torpedo system, or facilitate the operation of an ASW/Surface Attack AS565 MB Panther helo. Usually they will carry two Camcopters (or armed Fire Scout helo/Vigilant titlrotor UAV). In times of conflict the armed UAVs, or helicopter, will provide an advantage over other littoral combatants - particularly against hostile patrol boats and missile boats. (Displacing 1900 tons)


Unmanned Surface Vessels


Two Classes of USVs will be required for armed surveillance, anti piracy, mine detection, special operations and fleet defence:

Ship-Deployable Inshore USVs (1-2 per vessel)


Small USVs are intended for armed reconnaissance in littoral waters. They will have a multi-day loitering capability being able to launch small recon UAVs (two per boat) for closer inspection of inland targets. The boats should be equipped with a FLIR system, have sonar (mine detection), and be radar equipped - plus fitted with a 25mm cannon, and capable of firing both Hellfire (surface attack) and Stinger (anti-aircraft) missiles. These 'lightweight' drones come in two types - a larger 7 ton launch, the Fleet Class USV or similar, for use off capital ships, and a smaller RHIB version for use on Offshore Patrol Vessels.

Blue Water USVs (7)


These larger 500 ton ships are intended for picket line Air Defence and Anti-Submarine warfare; primarily to protect the Canberra Class LHDs. In addition to a torpedo launcher they will feature a VLS fitted with anti air and surface attack missiles to act in the (amphibious) fleet defence role. These drones will have a two month long endurance, needing only to refuel to remain active.


Air-Umbrella Elements: Naval Helicopters and UAVs


The use of aircraft is a key factor in detecting and countering other surface combatants and for coordinating cruise missile attacks and ship based artillery (gunfire support) strikes on land. In this capacity the following aircraft are recommended:

(30+) ScanEagle Drones to be deployed on all capital ships as unarmed scouts.


(30+) MQ-8B Firescout Drones for use on destroyers and frigates, armed with Hellfire missiles, plus S-100 Camcopters (for use on the OPVs).


(18) AV-247 Vigilant Tiltrotor Combat Drones equipped for surface attack with a front and rear facing AEW radar attachment in addition to the normal IRST sensors. These drones are to be deployable to all major fleet vessels.


(20+) Ship-deployable multi-day endurance AEW/maritime patrol UAV Airship Drones to patrol ahead of the surface fleet for use off Canberra, Hobart, and Type 26 Class.


(24+) MH-60Rs - for surface attack and ASW operations from Canberra, Hobart, and Type 26 Class.


(24) Eurocopter Panthers - for surface attack and ASW operations primarily from the OPVs.


(18) EH101 Merlins - for transport and search operations on Canberra Class LHDs.


Note: Where possible the surface fleet will operate with RAAF surveillance comprising MQ-4C Triton drones, UAV Airships, P-8A Poseidons, AP-3C Orions and C-37A Gulfstream Vs.
   

Secondary Vessels:


The following ships are primarily for use in low intensity operations, including border patrol missions; or in higher tempo operations under an established air defence and ASW 'umbrella'. Otherwise these vessels should be fitted for, and training aimed at, supporting humanitarian missions.

Canberra Class LHDs (2)


The Canberra Class LHDs must be equipped with CIWS missile defences and a RAM system. Their primary role is to provide logistical support to the ADF in low threat environments. Their other duty will be to aid in humanitarian operations where the air wing will be supplemented by cheap-to-operate (reserve force) UH-1H Huey IIs. While acting in the combat support role these ships will be equipped with attack helicopters and UAVs (helicopter/tiltrotor/airships) operating in maritime/onshore surveillance, and light attack roles.

The addition of AV-8B Harrier STOVL aircraft should be considered, as F-35s cannot operate on the deck, for limited maritime strike and attack roles, allowing the ADF to project overwhelming power at range against non-peer adversaries.


The numbers of Harriers acquired will be eighteen with six operating on the ship at any one time. AEW helicopters or UAVs will be added in this event. (Displacing 27,000 tons) 

HMAS Choules LDS (1)


This Bay Class ship will be upgraded with CIWS. (Displacing 16,000 tons) 

Endurance Class LDS (2) 


The Endurance Class vessels' primary task, aside from supporting war fighting activities, will be to act as a base for border patrol missions and in low intensity island nation missions, operating in conjunction with OPV85s and Cape Class patrol boats. The ships will be upgraded to carry CIWS. (Displacing 8000+ tons) 

Spearhead Class JHSVs (3)


The Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSVs) are intended for rapid 'in theatre' mobility. These ships must include anti-air/anti-missile RAM systems. (Displacing 2362 tons) 


Remaining Fleet Vessels:

(2) Fleet Replenishment Vessels - Cantabria Class, displacing 19,500 tons. These ships will be modified with an extended helicopter deck able to accommodate CH-47 helicopters. CWIS and a RAM system must incorporated onto these vessels.

(6) Future Mine Sweepers - displacing 1500+ tons.

(4) Future Survey vessels - displacing 2000+ tons.

(6) Future Heavy Landing Craft (Caimen-200 design) replacing Balikpapan Class - displacing 800+ tons.

(18) Cape Class patrol boats of the Australian Border Force operating as in shore surveillance, customs, and fishery vessels - displacing 300+ tons.

(-) Requisition of civilian transport ships - ferries, container ships - during emergency situations.


The Aircraft Carrier Option (1):

The deployment of a CATOBAR aircraft carrier can provide a strategic deterrent against regional shore based air threats (air fields), surface vessels and allows for high aircraft sortie rates against far off land targets. A moving airfield is a huge advantage. Such a platform can provide strong support to all manner of expeditionary operations.


The ship should displace 35,000 tons* and will employ an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). Onboard weapons must include CIWS, anti-air and anti-ship VLS missiles plus (defensive) torpedo/sonar/decoy systems for increased ASW functionality in high threat environments. Regular training operations will include ASW exercises involving Australian submarines.

The secondary function of this ship is as a Landing Platform Helicopter vessel with the section aft of the superstructure to include bays, one on each side, that can be utilised for landing craft - as seen amidships on HMS Ocean. Starboard and stern cargo doors will also be a feature to allow an additional roll-on roll-off cargo capability (see side column for details).

Aircraft Carried (CATOBAR):

(14) F/A-XX Multi-Role Fighters -- with 8 shore based and numbers interchangeable with RAAF aircraft.


(5) UCAVs - used for long range strike, recon and picket line air defence -- with 5 shore based.


(2) EA-18G Growlers (Block III) or (2) 'EA-XX' electronic warfare aircraft -- with numbers interchangeable with RAAF squadrons.


(4) AV-247 Vigilant Tiltrotor Drones will be used as forward deployed AEW sensors, having a removable front and rear facing radar attachment in addition to their IRST sensors. In low threat environments they will be equipped for surface attack missions.


(2) E-2D Hawkeye AWACs platforms -- with 2 shore based.


(3) S-3 Vikings ASW/tankers/SAR (new built) -- with 3 shore based.


(6) SH-60R ASW helos or AW101s.

(2) Eurocopter Panther helos for pilot recovery.


Two shore based Training Squadrons will feature:

(14) T-45 Goshawks -- upgraded and equipped to carry a greater range of ordinance and sensors on their 3 underwing hardpoints. Notable weapons include anti-ship missiles, air-to-ground missiles, anti-radar missiles, AAMs, JDAMs and laser guided bombs.


(14) Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos -- navalised and equipped with tail hooks. The numbers of NAVY Tucanos will be in addition to the total Air Force numbers (65).


All training aircraft must have useful weapons capability as they are also required to act as lightweight multi-role fighters (T-45s) or light attack aircraft (Super Tucanos).

Note: If an aircraft carrier is employed the AV-8Bs, deployed on the LHDs, will be transferred from the Air Force to the NAVY's Fleet Air Arm.

*For further details on the design of this ship and the operation of a second aircraft carrier, see the side information column.

Army

The Army size will increase to a total of five 1st Division Combined Arms Brigades, seven 2nd Division Reserve Brigades, and will add a new irregular National Defence Force (NDF), 3rd Division, consisting of another seven mobile brigades. The expansion of Army Brigades will be facilitated by an expansion of the ADF Cadets program. Overall, Army brigades will be hardened with substantial mechanised and armoured units. Numerous self propelled artillery systems will be acquired so that all units will have improved indirect fire support elements. First and Second Division Brigades will feature improved electronic warfare capability, anti-aircraft systems, expendable killer UAVs, in addition to other UAV types, and have unmanned ground vehicles. More than 350 wheeled IFVs, PMVs and artillery pieces will form part of a rapid reaction force. There will be an overall focus mobility and readiness.

A primary goal is the development of a protective AIR AND SENSOR UMBRELLA in which situational awareness is improved via ground and airborne systems. Individual troops and their ground vehicles will feature high magnification Infra-Red and Night Vision sights, while UAVs and numerous attack helicopters will be employed to project power at range. Such a set up (superior sensing ability) is necessary to compensate for the relatively low number of ground forces.

Widespread use of vehicle and infantry deployed anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW) and thermobaric missile systems will be another feature (including missiles that can be fired from 105 and 120mm guns). A breakdown of Army Division functionality, in terms of equipment, follows. Note: Small arms and Special Forces Units are not covered here.

Ground Forces


1st Division: 5 Combined Arms Brigades of 4500+ soldiers (Armoured/Mechanised Units)


Core Equipment and Weapon Systems:


Main Battle TanksLeopard 2A7 (or better) with 120mm gun.

Tracked IFVs - Linx KF41 with 35mm, 105mm, 120mm gun and ATGW.

Wheeled Recon Vehicles - Jaguar EBRC with 35/40mm gun, 105mm gun, ATGW.

Wheeled IFVs - TAPV & Boxer with 35mm gun, ATGW, 105mm-120mm gun variants plus 120mm mortar fire support.

Wheeled APCs & Light Recon Vehicles - Bushmaster & Hawkei PMVs with 12.7mm gun, ATGW.

Wheeled Artillery - Rhino 155mm, Caesar 155mm, EVO105s, and Towed 155mm M777 guns.


Amphibious Units: 


Tracked APCs - Arisgator M113 with 12.7mm gun, 40mm grenade, 81mm mortar, ATGW.

Wheeled IFVs - Terrex2 with 12.7mm gun, 105mm gun, ATGW.


Key supporting elements:


Unmanned Ground Vehicles: Wheeled mine detection road vehicle and smaller trailer mounted off-road tracked UGV for close combat fighting.
UAV launch & recover, including Killer UAV drones.
Electronic Warfare attack & defence, drone jamming.
Anti-Air/Missile vehicles incorporating guns and (medium/long range) missiles.


2nd Division: 7 Reserve Force Brigades of 2500+ troops (Motorised/Mechanised Infantry/Cavalry Units)


Core Equipment and Weapon Systems:


Wheeled Light Recon Vehicles - Hawkei PMVs with 12.7mm gun, ATGW.

Wheeled IFVs - TAPV with 12.7mm gun, ATGW.

Wheeled APCs - Bushmaster PMVs with 12.7mm gun, 81mm mortar, ATGW.

Tracked APCs - M113AS4 with 12.7mm gun, 81mm mortar, ATGW. M113s will eventually be replaced with CV90/35 IFVs.

Technical Vehicles - Hilux with 12.7mm & 7.62mm guns, 81mm mortar, ATGW.

Wheeled Artillery - EVO105s and Towed 155mm M777 guns.


Key supporting elements:


Unmanned Ground Vehicles (limited numbers).
UAV launch & recover, including Killer UAV drones.
Electronic Warfare attack & defence, drone jamming (limited numbers).
Anti-Air/Missile vehicles incorporating (guns and short range) missiles.


3rd Division: 7 Irregular NDF Brigades of 2500+ troops (Mobile Infantry/Cavalry Units)*


Core Equipment and Weapon Systems:


Wheeled Light Recon/Lead Element VehiclesHawkei PMVs with 12.7mm gun, ATGW.

Technical Vehicles - Hilux with 12.7mm & 7.62mm guns, 81mm mortar, ATGW.

Wheeled Artillery - EVO105s (limited numbers)


Key supporting elements:


UAV launch & recover, including Killer UAV drones.
Electronic Warfare attack & defence, drone jamming (limited numbers).
MANPAD Anti-Air missiles.

*3rd Division is a National Defence Force recruited from the civilian population with reduced physical requirements where candidates will need to pass aptitude tests and background checks before being accepted to training. Training will be less involved than that of the standard Reserve troops. The NDF will be taught combat tactics and strategy including the philosophy and reasoning behind war and service in defence of the country. Live fire ranges will be established close to the population centres, from which 3rd Division members are recruited, to allow easy training of the force. Their standard equipment, making the division highly mobile, will consist of more than 5000 up-armoured technical vehicles armed with heavy machine guns, 81mm mortars, and anti-tank guided weapons. Mine resistant Hawkei PMVs will act as the lead vehicle for columns of NDF technical vehicles.


Expanded ADF Cadets Program


In order to facilitate the growth of the Army 1st and 2nd Division, and to allow for the creation of 3rd Division (the National Defence Force), and to also enable the raising of a very large Irregular Civilian Infantry Force at short notice, the ADF Cadets program will be expanded to more schools throughout the country. Basic weaponry skills will be taught that allow students to operate assault rifles, heavy machine guns, mortars, and anti-tank weapons in conjunction with programs that encourage physical activity with some teaching on the philosophical aspects of war and of service in defence of the country - that the world is not a peaceful place and that negotiation from a position of strength is preferable to being the victim.


The ADF Online Gaming Community


The ADF is to partner with an online gaming platform, such as Call of Duty, to establish a first person shooter experience that pits Defence personnel against "Orange Force" that will occupy areas in Northern Australia, where the enemy will have air support, artillery, and field weapons systems comparable to the ADF. Other options will include counter insurgency missions in the Indo-Pacific region, or in other locations around the world. Players will gain some measure of familiarity with the necessary tactics and weapons that might be encountered in real world scenarios, especially in open field environments found on the Australian continent. The game takes inspiration from the United State's platform, America's Army.


For specific information on Army ground force equipment types see ADF Vehicles, ARMOUR, Artillery and Support

For specific information on Army air transportation see ADF Air Transport (Fixed and Rotary Wing)


Air-Umbrella Elements


It is essential that land forces operate under air cover wherever possible in order to detect and act upon opposing forces at range. The following are core aviation components associated with ground force operations:

Armed UAVs (20+)


These large drones, MQ-9 Reapers (or MQ-1C Grey Eagles), are to act as scouts and provide near continuous surveillance with a secondary ground attack role. Such UAVs will forward deploy ahead of Army rotary wing aircraft and act as air defence decoys where needed. Up to two Squadrons would be fielded with total aircraft numbers between 20 to 30 aircraft. The large UAVs are intended to supplement the smaller RQ-7 Shadow and Scan Eagle battlefield drones. Because of the threat of jamming or hacking, manned aircraft systems must still be retained at the current levels presently envisaged. These aircraft will be operated by the Air Force.

Future Equipment: Tactical multi-day endurance UAV balloon-type airships, that can shadow patrols and provide real time imagery, will take the place of some fixed wing UAVs. A low cost multi-day, long endurance, balloon-airship UAV will use a hybrid power system featuring solar panels and a gasoline engine.


Attack Helicopters (44)


The number of attack helicopters must be significantly increased in order to provide close air support for the relatively small numbers of ADF ground troops. They must be ship deployable and carry air-to-air missiles for self-defence. Tiger ARHs are to be replaced by off-the-shelf AH-64E Apache or USMC AH-1Zs. Future equipment will include coaxial rotor gunships.

Scout Helicopters (27)


The S-97 Raider should be acquired that can also act as a light fire support aircraft whilst maintaining a useful level of utility.

Lightweight Battlefield-Recon UAVs (100+)


Models such as the RQ-7 ShadowScanEagle, and Wasp III will accompany motorised, mechanised, and armoured units and be deployed from specialised UAV carrying Bushmaster PMVs. These drones are intended to operate at some kilometres from their ground units.

Killer UAVs (Loitering Munitions)


Switchblade UAVs and similar types of loitering munitions, essentially flying bombs, will be fielded from the specialised UAV carrying Bushmaster PMVs. Many rounds will be carried in order to conduct precision strikes on targets detected by other drones.

Common Vehicle Carried UAVs


Aside from specialised vehicles that are intended to operate UAVs at range many individual vehicles will carry easy-to-deploy quadcopter, or similar, drones as a redundancy measure and as a close in layer of support. Such drones must be able to carry lightweight munitions such as a grenade or mount a rifle. Further in the future each vehicle will come equipped with its own set of relatively small rechargeable, and armed, UAVs that will fly ahead autonomously in areas requiring surveillance.

Squad Level UAVs


Each infantry Squad should carry two small UAV drones that are normally folded away in a slim case with an iPad or iPhone controller. These drones are for use in high threat environments - in situations where locating enemy positions is very difficult. Typically this would be when under sustained fire from unseen opponents or when entering a hostile village or urban environment.

Addendum: Equipment and Sensor Notes 


Night Vision and IR Scopes, with high magnification are necessary for all front line units. Vehicle mounted sights must be upgraded to include very high magnification detection equipment and individual soldiers fitted with similar capabilities.



Substantial increase in Anti-Tank and Anti-Air weapons systems will occur, reiterating the point made in the introduction, which includes both man-portable and vehicle mounted varieties. The importance of such missile systems, in combination with high magnification scopes, cannot be overstated. A demonstration of Anti-Tank Guided Weapons in combat can be viewed in the second half of this video. Thermobaric anti-personnel warheads will be part of the inventory alongside anti-armour types. An upgraded Carl Gustav M4, using smart fire-and-forget munitions that lock onto the intended target, will also be added to the inventory.



Lightweight Tactical Periscopes are to be made available for looking around and over cover. Infantry in combat need make use of cover, and in situations where the incoming fire is heavy or time is short, sticking a periscope up for a quick look can only help in the decision making process.



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Strategic, Economic and Societal Considerations

Without an overall long term Socio-Economic Strategy internal and external forces could act to undermine the systems and structure needed to facilitate the defence of the country. Any significant degradation of the Australian economy or society will impact the ability of the ADF to maintain its current equipment and personnel.

In order to develop and retain wealth within the country - to support the ADF's revenue base, and protect our overall economic independence - business, trading and taxation laws have to be biased strongly in favour of Australian (based) companies and employment. Economic policy must be geared against offshore profiteering, tax minimisation, harmful monopolisation, and foreign acquisition of national assets. Failure to act here would respectively find the country's wealth extracted, inaccessible, concentrated, and/or captured by overseas interests. Maintaining a strong level of internal productive activity, that creates jobs and provides a level of practical capability, is the most important economic consideration.

To further stimulate economic activity the cost of living (utilities-energy and rates) must be minimised. The deprivatisation of utilities should be considered since profiteering in these monopolistic or rigid markets (there is no real competition) has driven costs upwards whilst providing poorer services. Moreover, profiteering has led to vital infrastructure being poorly maintained. The lowering of council rates can be achieved by a drastic reduction in Government expenses, with a mindset of service rather than of self importance and entitlement. Huge reductions in exorbitant public service salaries, at National, State and Local levels will be required. It is a fact that all Government institutions draw their funding, for the most part, from personal income and business, taking away money from the productive side of the economy. While funds must be spent on infrastructure and services, including police and hospital funding, costs must not be allowed to go out of control.

Outside of simply increasing/protecting the revenue base, and controlling expenses, policies must be enacted, in the National Interest, so that levels of internal functionality and self sufficiency are maintained for practical strategic reasons. Action should be taken in the following areas (that repeat some of what has already been outlined):

# Maintenance of a domestic oil refining capability and the creation of strategic fuel reserves in multiple locations.

# Maintenance of a domestic technological and industrial capability, including vehicle manufacturing outside of the defence sector.

# Maintenance of a domestic arms industry.

# Maintenance of the country's food self sufficiency and independence, protecting this industry from GMO monopolists or other threats.

# Maintenance of a physically and mentally healthy civilian population, which includes promotion of  sporting activities, nutrition, and social/psychological conditioning programs that encourages self confidence, effort, and respect for others (where the adult population is reminded of the need to set a good example for their children). Good manners must be promoted over a culture of negative or resentful attitudes. The population also needs greater self awareness of various vices, and their consequences, although risk/reward concepts are not to be discouraged.

# The Establishment of a National Investment (Industry) Fund to facilitate sovereign productive activity (that can work in cooperation with the Public Bank).

# The Establishment of a Public Bank, such as the Bank of North Dakota, allowing direct control over credit facilitation, including debt forgiveness. A public banking system would protect against money market meltdowns acting as an alternative source of fiat capital. The Public Bank can provide low interest lending throughout select areas of the economy, partnering with community banks, to build infrastructure or in financing public housing projects.

# Requirement of Financial Institutions (Commercial Banks) be insulated from overseas financial market collapses (likely from a Derivatives Market apocalypse - see HERE also.)

# The creation of a National Lottery Fund, in partnership with an existing Lottery Corporation, to act like the UK's National Lottery - intended to fund local community or heritage projects.

# Severe restrictions placed on foreign ownership of businesses to no more than 25%. The National Investment Fund, and internal entrepreneurs, can replace this source of capital.

# Taxation on overseas sourced products and components must be set at a higher rate than domestically produced goods.

# Floating Tariffs enacted to protect strategically important industries such as steel and car manufacturing that adjusts upwards or downwards depending on the value of the Australian dollar and takes into account 3rd world wage conditions and the disregard of environmental expenses in these countries. Import quotas, or bans, on particular goods and materials could also be used.

# Tobin Tax placed on financial markets that could potentially generate billions of dollars from speculators and penalise manipulative trading practices.

# Establishment of Laws against using Tax Heavens or other forms of manipulation that unfairly hides profits that have been generated in locations outside of these Tax Havens.

# Elimination of negative gearing on property in order to drive investment into industry and businesses - to avoid the creation of a rentier class.

# Ownership of residential property restricted to permanent residents, in order to stop unfair distortions of the domestic housing market. Foreign capital, at the time of writing, is strongly contributing to a housing market bubble and making residential property unaffordable for many citizens. Any substantial downturn in the property market will be absorbed by the Banks, following the example of Iceland, where mortgage debt was reset to 110% of the market rate.

# Immigration levels - are to be kept extremely low to suit economic and environmental needs (on a largely arid continent) - favouring skilled labour - to prevent pressure put upon the domestic economy and services. Importing people that add to unemployment levels or to an underclass of society is to be avoided. All unnecessary immigration must be kept to a minimum to alleviate the strain placed upon (water, infrastructure) resources and to avoid cultural conflict (that is presently evident in Europe). Immigration from countries with incompatible (regressive/non-secular) cultures should largely be stopped. Leaders of our nation must also not use immigration from wealthy sections of much larger countries to inflate house prices or drive apartment building demand that also leads to high density (poor) standards of living. People do not appreciate living like rats, which is one of the reasons (not the only one) we see migration. The existing population, if allowed to vote on the issue of mass migration, would vote against such policies. The bottom line is that no unnecessary stress should be placed on the economy and resources. If deemed economically desirable, money should be allocated to pay for non-citizens to leave the country. For those trying to make a humanitarian argument in favour of mass migration - you cannot fix the problems of the world by "virtuously" inviting in the entire world. That is no way to manage populations or economies. Additionally, it must be remembered that migrating to another country is not a right, it's a privilege.

# The cutting of high level Government salaries across the board (mentioned earlier) at the National, State and Local levels, should occur within a 5 year time frame. There will be an elimination of publicly funded salaries that exceed $150,000 per year, or thereabouts. People should want to serve the state for the greater good, to live modestly, and not join a privileged ruling class that comes at the taxpayer's expense. The State will provide what is needed when in office in order to fulfil various roles. Current $400,000 local government salaries are simply not acceptable.

# Those in public office must be subject to extreme transparency that involves film and/or audio recording of all meetings with various lobbyists (whether from industry or NGOs). It will be illegal to have off the record contacts, with severe consequences to those circumventing the law. All lobbyists must adapt to this new open system. Working in government must be like living in a house with glass walls.

# A ten year ban must be imposed on those working in the Government sector from working with any business or industry group with which they've had contacts. This is to prevent the revolving door cronyism that sabotages good decision making. Industry lobbyists of all sorts must be kept at arms length, so they can be objectively evaluated, and real value-for-money competition allowed. These restrictions should also be applied when it comes to working with foreign nations.

It is essential to recognise that the Economic Foundation, which facilitates the funding of military operations, not be divorced from defence planning. Further to this is the need for people within the country to be on the "same page" and be "pulling together" in defence of the nation and its wealth.

Thanks for visiting Future ADF Page!

As you might be aware, a great deal of what's proposed here, at the linked pages, is wishful thinking. However, with a big imagination some of these things may come to fruition. Please treat this page as a conceptual exercise and change the structure or substitute other equipment choices to suit your own thoughts on how the ADF should be equipped in 2024-2030.