A rather ambitious program to ensure the national security of the nuclear power plant has faced the problem of a lack of combat capabilities in a number of key areas. First of all, these are the underwater opportunities fleet, the ability of the surface fleet to conduct landing operations and the need to strengthen the Air Force. All this forced the Australian government in the 2000s to begin implementing a large-scale long-term program. It provides for the modernization of the aircraft already in service. weaponsand the purchase of a wide range of advanced weapons and equipment.
John Howard, Australian Prime Minister in 1996-2007, made the increase in defense spending one of his main policies. During his reign, military spending grew by about 47% in real terms and amounted to about 1,8% of GDP. However, then, due to the global financial crisis and the internal political struggle, the military budget was reduced to about 1,6% of GDP. The White Paper for 2013 year fixed the commitment of the previous government to increase defense spending to 2% of the country's GDP. The new government of the liberal-national coalition led by Premier Tony Abbott, who came to power in September 2013, also supports these plans. Declared inadmissibility of reducing military spending.
Summer 2013 of the year appeared newsthat the AU government plans to move the country's main naval bases to the northern strategic direction. According to Canberra’s military experts, it is from there that the main threat to the continent will come in the future. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (until September 2013) said: “All possible threats to our national security in the future will come from the northeast, north, and northwest. This logic has worked to shape our country's defense policy over the past 30 years. It will remain valid in the future. ” Placing the main forces of the Navy in the north will make it possible to respond faster and more efficiently to all possible AU challenges, as well as all sorts of crises in the APR. Thus, Canberra acknowledged that in the future the region will face serious military-political crises. The politician said that all or the bulk of the Australian defense infrastructure and the Navy will be transferred from the vicinity of Sydney on the southeast coast to Queensland - the northeast of the green continent and to the Perth area - southwest Australia, the Indian Ocean coast.
The current base system was created during the two world wars, when the main military bases were concentrated in the south and southeast of the continent. These were the most populated and developed territories, so this decision was quite reasonable. At the same time, modern threats emanate precisely from the north, and the north and north-west coasts are now much better mastered than before. At the same time, bases and defense infrastructure in the north are not considered as a kind of “defense line”, but as strong points for the echeloned deployment to the north of the Green Continent, for conducting active operations in the southern part of the APR. It is planned to modernize the airfield network in order to enhance the operational capabilities of the Royal Australian Air Force in the northern direction. At the same time, exercises will be intensified, including with the US Armed Forces, to conduct air, sea and ground operations to the north.
It should be noted that the Australian Armed Forces have a rich combat experience: Australian troops participated in the First and Second World Wars, in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, in the Iraqi and Afghan campaigns, in peacekeeping operations in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Since 1999, the Australian military has taken part in 100 overseas missions. Currently, about 3 Thousands of Australian troops continue to participate in 14 operations.
Canberra plans to roll out the main foreign operations of the Australian Armed Forces. So, during the year the Australian contingent will withdraw from Afghanistan. Operations of Astute and Tower will be curtailed - joint actions of Australian and New Zealand troops to maintain stability in East Timor. The White Paper notes an obvious improvement in the situation in East Timor, which makes it possible to transfer the mission of maintaining order to local forces. The same thing happened in Solomon Islands - operation Anode. There, with the help of Australians, local police were formed. The Australian Defense Forces will be reoriented towards the priority tasks of protecting their own territory and maintaining stability in the South Pacific. This should increase the ability of the Australian Armed Forces to provide security for the Green Continent and adjacent areas.
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Navy plays a key role in ensuring the security of the Green Continent. Australia is actively preparing the fleet for landing operations. In 2007, the Canal Royal Australian Navy ordered two Canberra-class universal landing ships from the Spanish shipbuilding company Navantia. The basis of the project is a Spanish ship with a displacement of 27 thousand tons of the Juan Carlos I type. This is a strategic force projection ship. Each ship can carry about 1,1 thousand fully equipped paratroopers (according to other sources, the full load is up to 2 thousand soldiers), the air group can count up to 24 multi-purpose helicopters. On the ship for landing, an inclined internal dock is designed, which can accommodate 4 landing boats. In addition, the ship can carry up to 150 combat vehicles, including main combat vehicles tanks Type M1A1 Abrams. Each Canberra Trampoline class ship on deck can also be used to launch drones, and is considered suitable for short take-offs and vertical landings of aircraft such as Harrier and F-35B. In fact, it can be used as a light aircraft carrier. The ship has a developed medical system, which allows them to be used as hospitals during military operations and natural disasters. The ships have two operating rooms, a hospital room, equipped with everything necessary for intensive care, a dental office and a laboratory.
In the summer of 2012, the second UDC for the Australian Navy, Adelaide, was launched in Spain. The ship will be given to Australians in 2014. The first ship is already in Australia and will be put into service in the first quarter of the year 2014. The adoption of these powerful ships is a major leap for the Navy and the Australian Defense Forces as a whole.
In addition, the expeditionary capabilities of the Royal Navy and its ability to conduct expeditionary, peacekeeping operations, have been greatly enhanced by the purchase of the ship "Shulz". This is the former British Larks Bay UDC. The length of the ship 176 m, width - 26,5 m, draft - 5,8 m. The displacement of the ship dock is 16200 tons. The ship has a cruising range of 8000 miles. On the flight deck you can immediately place two medium helicopters. Landing capacity of the ship: 350 soldiers (700 when overloaded), 24 main tank or 150 light trucks. Landing vehicles became part of the Australian fleet in 2011 year. Another assault landing craft was received in 2012 year. The fleet received the ship Ocean Shield. The length of the ship Ocean Shield is 105 m, width - 21 m, displacement - 6500 tons. Ocean Shield is capable of military service in sub-Antarctic latitudes and can carry out peacekeeping, patrol and reconnaissance missions. A similar ship, Ocean Protector, is currently part of the customs and border guard forces and performing patrol operations.
The second key project of the Australian Navy is the construction of destroyers of the new generation of air defense type AWD (Air Warfare Destroyer) "Hobart." While in the series of three ships. These ships are to replace outdated Adelaide type frigates built by 2016's (2020 ships) in the 1980-4 year. The new destroyer project was unveiled in 2006 year. The destroyer must solve the problems of air and missile defense. The project is based on the design of the ship of the Spanish Navy. It is believed that this destroyer will be one of the most advanced warships in the world. The total cost of the construction of the first batch of destroyers AWD will be 8 billion US dollars. The lead air destroyer was laid in the fall of 2012 of the year. The destroyer is to join the fleet in 2016 of the year. In October, 2013, the Australian air defense destroyer, was installed on the Aegis radar mast for the weapon control system (SLA). It will have four octagonal phased antenna arrays of the Aegis AN / SPY-1D marine defense system (V). Aegis system allows you to search and track hundreds of targets. The destroyer will have a vertical launcher on 64 missiles, 2 universal 76,2-millimeter gun mounts and 4 anti-aircraft gunships. The ship will have Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Standard Missile (SM) anti-aircraft missiles of various modifications, as well as anti-submarine weapons - two torpedo tubes. The displacement of the destroyer 7 thousand tons. In addition, the ships will receive a hangar for one helicopter.
At the same time, the combat effectiveness of ships already in service increases. In particular, the Anzac-type frigates are being upgraded. Modernization of the frigates comes from 2004 year: they received torpedo tubes MU90 Impact caliber 324 mm, new machine guns, launchers on 32 anti-aircraft missiles RIM-162 ESSM, false targets for removing the Nulka missiles and a system for detecting and bypassing mines. In addition, the modernization of the frigates SAM systems has begun, they will receive the CEAPAR radar with PAR, the Vampire NG infrared search and tracking system, the Sharpeye navigation radar system and the Saab CMS advanced fire control system. The anti-ship power of frigates will be enhanced. In 2020-e years, plan to begin replacing these frigates with destroyers of the type "Hobart." The Navy is also conducting a program to upgrade the Collins-type submarines (6 units). In 2012, the 12 submarine construction project was approved, 41 billion dollars would be allocated for them. Promising ships - "Submarines of the Future", will be built in Australia. New submarines will have a conventional air-independent power plant. The Royal Navy will also receive deck-mounted helicopters of the new construction, while plans are to buy 24 US anti-submarine helicopters MH-60R. They should replace the 15 of old PLO S-70B helicopters. In addition, the fleet received 6 multipurpose helicopters MRH90. They were commissioned in the summer of 2013. In total, the Australian Armed Forces ordered 46 of such helicopters: 40 for the army and 6 for the Navy.
Bookmark lead destroyer Hobart project AWD.
In the framework of the re-equipment and re-equipment of the Australian ground forces, the ground forces will be based on three mixed combat brigades of the 1 division. The 1 Brigade is mechanized deployed in Darwin, the 3 Infantry is in Townsville, the 7 is motorized in Brisbane. The staff of the brigades will include both military personnel, re-training or part-time reservists. As a result, for each combat brigade there will be two reserve ones that can be deployed, if necessary, with already trained personnel. The headquarters of the 2 Division is located in Sydney. In addition, there are special forces: air force special regiment, 2 commando regiment and incident response regiment.
The Australian White Paper provides for the modernization and replacement of existing weapons and vehicle fleets. According to the plan for 2013-2016. Australian Defense Ministry plans to upgrade for 1 billion dollars 59 tanks M1A1 Abrams and a total of half a billion - a billion dollars ground-based air defense. Other programs include the mass production of Bushmaster Australian BRTs; in 2012, the government ordered 214 additional vehicles (more than 800 BTRs were already in service); the contract for the supply of 2014 SUVs will be implemented by 1200; in 2009, 4 155 mm howitzer M777A2 (35 howitzer) was purchased, in 2012, another two additional batteries (19 howitzer explorations) were also updated; Eurocopter Tiger ARH; in 2011, Australia bought the US military transport helicopters CH-22F Chinook, they will go into service in the 2010 year and replace the outdated versions of these helicopters - CH-47D; the army will receive an 2014 MRH47 multipurpose helicopter. At the same time, work is underway on the transition to digital communication and control systems, the modernization in this area should be completed by 40 year.
Royal Australian Air Force
Australian Air Forces will have to be based on up to 100 advanced F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, the cost of the contract is estimated at almost 10 billion dollars. They should replace a fleet of approximately 70 fighter-bomber and combat training F / A-18 Hornet variants A and B. The aircraft were delivered in 1986-1990. and are in poor condition. In October, 2013 launched the first F-35 Lightning II for the Australian Air Force. The first two subtle fifth-generation fighter-bomber will be given to Australia in 2014 year.
In the period from 2010 to 2012, the X / NUMX F / A-24F Super Hornet multi-role fighter was delivered. The contract amount was about 18 billion US dollars. Of these, 3 machines by the 12 year will be converted into E-A-2020G Growler electronic warfare aircraft. Due to the delay in the implementation of the contract for the supply of promising F-18, in the spring of 35, the Australian Defense Ministry placed in the US an order for the delivery of a second batch of F / A-2013 Super Hornet fighters from 18 aircraft, half of the machines will also be in the version of the E-E -24G Growler. In addition to aircraft, the Australian Department of Defense ordered General Electric's 18 F54-GE-414 engine and X / NUMX AN / APG-402 radar.
In 2006-2008 4 strategic military transport aircraft Boeing C-17 Globemaster III were received. In 2011-2012. two more MTC were ordered and received. Transport Aviation will also reinforce 10 Alenia C-27 Spartan tactical military transport aircraft. They were ordered in 2012, the amount of the contract was $ 1,4 billion. In the summer of 2012, the sixth and last AWACS aircraft Boeing 737 AEW & C was adopted. The aircraft for early warning and control was created on the basis of the Boeing-737-700ER passenger aircraft. In the summer of 2013, the Australian Ministry of Defense signed a contract to upgrade 33 Hawk Mk.127 combat trainers. Air refueling is provided by 5 Airbus A330 MRTTs. The capabilities of naval patrol aircraft will be strengthened by ordered from the United States 8 Boeing P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft. In addition, patrolling and reconnaissance capabilities are enhanced by the purchase of drones. Australia plans to receive 2019 MQ-7C Triton marine patrol drones by 4. The cost of this contract is estimated at up to $ 3 billion.
Thus, Australia does not officially name its adversary, but it is obvious that this is China. Canberra seeks to develop its military-political potential, increasing its influence in the APR, primarily in the South Pacific and South-East Asia. The focus is on the north and north-west direction. The Australian government is implementing a large-scale program of modernization and rearmament of the armed forces, seriously increasing their capabilities. Particular attention is paid to the naval forces as key to the defense of the Green continent, as well as to the modernization and rearmament of the Air Force. Canberra is ready not only to repel an external threat, but also to take part in operations in the Asia-Pacific Region, Southeast Asia and even at the global level. With the aim of deterring China and securing the status of an independent regional power for the Australian Union, Canberra is actively developing military-political relations with many countries in the region, with one as a patron (island states of the South Pacific), with others as an equal partner.