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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/14/2006 7:19:23 PM EDT
www.smh.com.au/news/national/forces-on-52bn-shopping-splurge/2006/01/14/1137119007860.html

Upgrade launches forces on a $52bn shopping splurge

By Frank Walker
January 15, 2006

AUSTRALIA'S Defence Force is about to embark on its biggest weapons buying spree since World War II, spending $52 billion on new planes, ships and tanks.

The massive expenditure will make Australia's navy, army and air force the most powerful and high-tech military in the region well into the 21st century.

The spending splurge comes not to combat the war on terror, but because much of the Defence Force's most costly equipment is 30 years old and has to be replaced.

Pressure from international arms firms to sell Australia the big ticket items is intense.

This month the new American destroyer USS Pinckney will sail into Sydney on a mission to persuade the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to splash out.

The US ship has the latest anti-air warfare Aegis system and is designed to protect fleets from air and missile attack.

The ADF plans to spend $6 billion buying three such ships and is looking at a future cut-down version of the Pinckney as well as the existing Spanish F100 destroyer.

The US Navy is pulling out big guns to win the contract and the ship will host Defence Minister Robert Hill and other ministers on board when it visits during the Navy's Sea Power Conference starting in Sydney on January 31.

The destroyers will be the most powerful warships in the navy, but not the biggest. Two new 22,000 tonne amphibious assault transport ships costing more than $1 billion each are to be decided on in 2007. ADF is looking at a French design that resembles a mini aircraft carrier.

The spending spree continues in the air force where the Government plans to lay out $16 billion on 100 American-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

But the cost is likely to blow out beyond the current $160 million per plane as the US is cutting back its orders. The F-35 is still being tested and isn't due until 2012.

Defence insiders believe the Government will curtail its plans and announce next month that it will buy just 50 to 60 of the F-35s.

Big new transport planes are also on the RAAF wish list. The $200 million McDonnell Douglas built C-17 Globemaster can carry 120 troops or the heavy M1 Abrams tank, far more than the existing trusty Hercules.

New surveillance drones to help the Orion aircraft are also being considered. The US built Global Hawk unmanned drones, costing $45 million apiece, could be patrolling Australian northern waters in the next decade.

Big bucks have already been tied in by the army. In June the first of 59 second-hand American M1 Abrams tanks the ADF has bought from the US Army will arrive.

The Government has just announced there will be an extra $1.5 billion in May's budget to recruit another 1500 troops for the more mechanised army.

Another $3 billion is being spent on 7000 units of army field equipment such as helicopters, trucks, jeeps and trailers.
The big ticket items


NAVY: Three anti-aircraft and anti-missile destroyers costing $2 billion each; order to be finalised in 2008. Two large transport ships; estimated cost $1 billion each; type to be finalised in 2007.

AIR FORCE: 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters costing $160 million each; due by 2012; final decision on the order in 2008. Global Hawk unmanned surveillance drones costing $45 million each. Larger transport planes; the $200 million Globemaster could be chosen.

ARMY: 59 M1 Abrams tanks costing a total $530 million arrive in June. 7000 pieces of field equipment such as trucks, armoured personnel carriers and jeeps costing $3 billion.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:25:45 PM EDT


Oz Oz Oz....Oi Oi Oi
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:26:05 PM EDT
I'm really, really, really looking forward to it. Its not the best stuff that we could get (New M1s, Raptors, and Wasp LHDs would have been better), but you buy what you can afford.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:37:53 PM EDT
The hippies are gonna go nuts.

Oh yeah........

<­BR>IT'S GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:42:06 PM EDT
hhhmmmmm, gettin worried about the ROPers eh? Or is this going to be to protect the ROPers from the "anti muslim rioters"? LOL
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:49:45 PM EDT
Excellent news. The Aussies have been good allies, and this spending will help them and us.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:53:55 PM EDT
No, over here, "Its John W Howard's Fault" because he's seen as GWB's bootlicker by the lefites.

And yup, they're going to go nuts. They'd rather see our $13B annual defence budget go into the welfare and environment bottomless pits.

But we're buying BIG TANKS!!!!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:54:21 PM EDT
I'd like to help them any way I can... Surplus more of that sweet, sweet ADI 7.62x51mm goodness by the crate.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:54:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lert:
I'm really, really, really looking forward to it. Its not the best stuff that we could get (New M1s, Raptors, and Wasp LHDs would have been better), but you buy what you can afford.



At least it's better than what Canada is doing
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:57:34 PM EDT
Look to the north and see China, look a little to the west of that, and you have India. Two and a half billion people with nukes and more and more weapons. Not to mention the most populous Muslim nation on earth a sailboat's ride from your north shore.

I'd go ahead and get the 'biggie size' on the defense package, mates.

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:00:36 PM EDT
Are they still using the old AUG with built-in optic? Or have they upgraded to the flat-top reciever version?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:01:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
I'd like to help them any way I can... Surplus more of that sweet, sweet ADI 7.62x51mm goodness by the crate.



A BIG +1 there
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:04:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:
Are they still using the old AUG with built-in optic? Or have they upgraded to the flat-top reciever version?



The one with the built in optics.
Over here, we call it the F88 Austyre. We bought the original ones off the shelf, which had some pretty big problems. ADI bought the licence to produce them over here, modified and upgraded them.

We sold the dodgy batch to New Zealand

BTW, they're working on a Metal Storm add-on. Its very cool.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:07:05 PM EDT
With a MetalStorm add-on to the AUG the Aussie infantry will now have its very own "SMITE" option!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:08:46 PM EDT
Love the Aussies, well as long as their not ass-ending my Hummvee with a LAV-25, it did leave a scratch.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 8:09:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By giacutter:
Look to the north and see China, look a little to the west of that, and you have India. Two and a half billion people with nukes and more and more weapons. Not to mention the most populous Muslim nation on earth a sailboat's ride from your north shore.

I'd go ahead and get the 'biggie size' on the defense package, mates.





+1!



With THOSE kind of neighbors, $52 Billion would be just a START!


Everyone would be eating vegemite sammiches until we had an assload of Aegis/M1a1/Metalstorm goodness if I was PM!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:20:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 10:24:15 PM EDT by weptek911]

Originally Posted By giacutter:
Look to the north and see China, look a little to the west of that, and you have India. Two and a half billion people with nukes and more and more weapons. Not to mention the most populous Muslim nation on earth a sailboat's ride from your north shore.

I'd go ahead and get the 'biggie size' on the defense package, mates.




China maybe, India never. I think the other billion or so muzzies to their north (Indonesia etc. ) might have something to do with it.

Oh, and I hope our Australian friends know how much we love them here. Australians have been with us in every war including Viet Nam. Great friends and allies.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:30:27 PM EDT
yea, me too
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:31:30 PM EDT




Good for the Aussies

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:35:22 PM EDT
One of our most consistent allies. I guess the roots of the countries are the same.
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