The current equipment and forthcoming acquisitions for the Australian Army serve good purpose such that Future ADF Page can only suggest an increase to regular and reserve force units plus the following additions that focus mainly on advantages in detecting opposition forces:
# 1 Squadron of large Fixed Wing UAVs/UCAVs
These drones (MQ-9 Reapers) are intended to supplement the smaller RQ-7 Shadow and Scan Eagle battlefield drones. The function of such UAVs is to provide near continuous surveillance during operations with a secondary ground attack role. Such UAVs can be used as air defence decoys or scouts for forward deployment of Army rotary wing aircraft. Up to two Squadrons could be fielded with total numbers of between 20 to 30+ aircraft. Because of the threat of jamming, manned aircraft systems must be retained at the current levels presently envisaged.
# Increased Numbers & Modification of the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH)
The numbers of attack helicopters need to be increased to at least 30, or even doubled from 22 to 44 machines, to help compensate for low numbers of Army personnel. The above picture shows unmodified Tiger ARHs. Proposed changes would have the under slung gun moved further back and the primary sensors placed in the nose as seen on the AH-64 Apache. Furthermore, a mast mounted radar system should be installed for air defence and anti-helicopter, or anti-COIN-aircraft, missions. For full details see the side information column.
# Tactical Airship and Helicopter UAVs
The development of a small low cost multi-day, long endurance, balloon-airship UAV, that can shadow Army patrols, will be needed to provide real time imagery. Motorised units should also carry limited numbers of easy-to-deploy quadcopter, or similar, UAVs to suppliment the larger ScanEagle-type battlefield drones.
# 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.
# Light weight Tactical Periscopes for looking around and over cover.
# Night Vision and IR Scopes, with high maginifications for all front line units. Vehicle mounted sights must also be upgraded to include very high magnification detection equipment.
# Substantial increase in Anti-Tank and Anti-Air weapons systems including 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.
# Expansion of the Army to include an additional 1st Division Brigade.
# Strengthening of Reserve Army Units, the 2nd Division, with current equipment set to be phased out of 1st Division units.
# Addition of a large Motorised Irregular Army Division, 3rd Division, with reduced physical requirements and training time, equipped with more than 5000 armoured technical vehicles and armed with heavy machine guns and ATGWs.
# Expansion of the Army Cadets program in order to facilitate the growth of the Army and allow for the creation of a very large Irregular Civilian Infantry Force at short notice.
ADF Army Vehicles can be reviewed here.