Bushmaster PMV - The Army has ordered a total of 1,052 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles to date, with deliveries commencing in mid-2005. Bushmasters primarily equip the Motorised Infantry 7th Brigade, B Squadron, 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment also operate armoured vehicles in support of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, and 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, as well as the heavy weapons and support elements of two mechanised battalions and three light infantry battalions.
/ ASLAV - The Army operates 257 ASLAV-25 vehicles, in a variety of roles including formation reconnaissance, as an infantry fighting vehicle, armoured ambulance or recovery vehicle.
M1A1 Abrams - 59 M1A1 Abrams and seven M88 Hercules were purchased to replace the Leopard AS1 in service with the 1st Armoured Regiment. The first M1 equipped sub-units of the regiment became operational in mid-2007. The Abrams is the most powerful vehicle in the Australian inventory. While retaining the gas turbine engines, the Australian Abrams tanks use diesel fuel instead of the kerosene based JP-8 that powers American Abrams tanks. In January 2015 it was announced that a request for a possible military sale of up to six M88A2 Hercules had been submitted by the Australian Government to the United States with a contract value of $47 million. It is believed that this request is to allow the redistribution of the M1A1 and its support vehicles to each Multi-role Combat Brigade as opposed to entirely within the 1st Brigade under Plan Beersheba.
Nary HMT 400 - The Army has purchased 31 Nary patrol vehicles for use by the SASR, its size and light weight allow it to be ferried by a Chinook helicopter. Its namesake comes from Warrant Officer David Nary who was the first Australian soldier killed during the Iraq War. In addition 89 Supacat HMT Extenda have been ordered as part of the Australian Army's JP2097 Ph 1B (REDFIN) program.
L119 Hamel Gun - The 105 mm field artillery is currently used by Reserve units.
M777 howitzer - Thirty-five 155 mm M777s were ordered as part of the first phase of the Land 17 project to replace the Army's inventory of towed artillery, with initial deliveries beginning in late 2010. An additional 19 guns were purchased in late 2012 instead of the self-propelled guns previously planned, bringing the total order to 54.
M198 howitzer - Thirty-six 155 mm M198 howitzers are currently used by Reserve artillery regiments.
The Sikorsky S-70A-9 Black Hawk is the Army's primary battlefield lift/utility helicopter. The helicopters were assembled by Hawker de Havilland. Eventually to be replaced by the MRH-90. To be reduced to 18 operational aircraft in 2014–15.
/ F88 Austeyr - a derivative of the Austrian Steyr AUG STG-77 assault rifle. It is the ADF's standard individual weapon, which replaced the L1A1 SLR and the M16A1 rifle from front-line service in the late 1980s. The rifle uses an Australian 5.56×45mm cartridge with a modified propellant. According to the ADF, the modified bullet is more accurate and goes further but costs more to make. The F88 Austeyr can use the 5.56×45mm NATO round but under continued use, damages the barrel. The rifle has a 508 mm barrel and an integral 1.5x magnified optical sight inside the carry handle. The weapon is manufactured under licence in Australia by Thales Australia (formerly Australian Defence Industries Ltd). Variants include:
F88C Austeyr - carbine variant, fitted with a 407 mm barrel and is normally issued to personnel serving with space constraints and weight constraints (e.g. Cavalry, Light Horse and Paratroopers). It is also currently used by Reserve units but is in the process of being phased out.
F88S-A1 Austeyr - updated version that is issued to front-line combat infantry units. The rifle has the full length 508mm barrel and has a flat top receiver with a long MILSTD 1913 'Picatinny' rail to accommodate specialised optical devices and accessories.
F88S-A1C Austeyr - updated 407 mm barreled carbine variant, with a MILSTD 1913 'Picatinny' rail.
F88S-A2 Austeyr - an evolutionary upgrade of the current rifle to fulfill an operational capability gap. Deliveries of several thousand were completed in late-2009 to selected units for overseas service. Technical improvements in the F88SA2 include: a larger Picatinny Rail on top of the weapon, a modified sight housing, and a side rail mount for a torch and Night Aiming Devices (NAD). The colour of the weapon has also been changed to khaki to reduce the recognition signature. This variant is currently replacing all previous models.
Enhanced F88 (EF88) - latest variant to improve modularity featuring extended accessories rail, a fixed barrel and bolt catch release and black finish instead of the tan and green used on the previous F88. 1RAR will begin to re-equip with the EF88 from June 2015 with a wider roll out from 2016.
AW50F - the AW50F is the largest-bore variant of the Arctic Warfare sniper rifles suited to the anti-materiel role. It is chambered for the .50 BMG cartridge, and is primarily used with Raufoss Mk211HEIAP rounds. The AW50F was designed with an Australian-designed and manufactured barrel.
Blaser 93 Tactical 2 - a straight-pull bolt-action sniper rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. The rifle has been observed in service with special forces and infantry units in Afghanistan.
Heckler & Koch HK417 - 'Marksman Rifle System' used by infantry and special forces units to fill the gap between a sniper rifle and 5.56mm derivatives.
SR-25 - a semi-automatic7.62 x 51 mm sniper rifle. It has recently been observed in service with reconnaissance and special forces units of the Australian Army. It has seen service in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.
Automatic grenade launcher that fires grenades at a cyclic rate of 325-375 rounds per minute, giving a practical rate of fire of 60 rounds per minute (rapid) and 40 rounds per minute (sustained). Usually vehicle mounted by Australian special forces units.
F88A2 rifle and the Australian Multicam Pattern (AMP) combat uniform
There are three major combat uniforms worn by the Australian Defence Force, they are:
Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform - DPCU is the standard combat uniform worn in terrains that feature green and brown-shaded flora. The pattern has been in service since the late 1980s.
Disruptive Pattern Desert Uniform - DPDU is the Desert Combat uniform worn by Australian Defence Force personnel in theatres where the terrain is arid. It uses the same pattern as DPCU, but with the colours changed to suit the desert terrain. This uniform was instituted in the early 2000s, to meet the need for personnel serving overseas in Southwest Asia
MultiCam - in late 2010, the ADF announced that Multicam will be the standard pattern for all regular Australian Army personnel in Afghanistan after trials were conducted by special operations units. Multicam, it is said, provided "... troops with greater levels of concealment across the range of terrains in Afghanistan – urban, desert and green." Previously, depending upon the terrain, Australian troops had to alternate between green and desert colored DPCUs. Furthermore, the Defence Material Organisation has since announced that they had obtained a licence from Crye Associates to locally produce Multicam and for a new uniquely Australian pattern to be developed by Crye to replace DPCU uniforms.
The current issue of DPCU is known as 'DPCU-NIR' - or Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform - Near Infra-Red. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation has developed materials for use in combat uniforms which will reduce night-vision detection, and it has been integrated into this uniform, which also sports a new cut and shape, the NATO-style front rank epaulette, zip-fastening, sleeve pockets and Velcro tabs.
The Army has began to roll out their new state of the art rifle, the Enhanced F88 (EF88). The new rifle has several new features including improved modularity featuring extended accessories rail, a fixed barrel, bolt catch release and a black paint scheme. It was confirmed in July 2015 that the contract for 30,000 EF88 rifles had been approved with full roll out starting in 2016.
The Army had previously planned on replacing the F88 with the Advanced Individual Combat Weapon (AICW) by 2010–2012. The most notable feature of the AICW is a grenade launcher with 3 stacked rounds that uses electricity to fire off the grenade. The AICW had aimed to provide the infantry soldier with the ability to fire multiple grenades without having to reload, and to switch between 5.56 mm ballistic rounds and 40 mm grenades without changing sights, trigger or stance, giving the operator more versatility and reduced reaction times in combat. The AICW has all but disappeared from the Army's sights and it is unlikely to ever make a return. The company responsible for the ACIW, Metal Storm Limited was placed in voluntary administration in 2012.
The Army decided to procure the Mk 47 Striker 40 mm lightweight automatic grenade launcher in mid-2015, and plans to begin receiving units within one year.
In December 2011, the Thales Hawkei PMV (Protected Military Vehicle) was selected as the preferred tender for the Army's requirement of a light 4x4 armored car with a potential order for 1300 vehicles. The seven-tonne Hawkei has been described as a 'baby' variant of the Bushmaster having been developed by the same manufacturer.
Under LAND 400 the ASLAV and M113s will be replaced, with the project to acquire a Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), a Manoeuvre Support Vehicle (MSV) and an Integrated Training System (ITS). The ASLAV fleet is planned to be replaced from 2020, and the M113s from 2025. On 19 February 2015 the tender was opened for the replacement of the ASLAV, listing a requirement for up to 225 armored vehicles to provide the future mounted combat reconnaissance capability. The remaining requirements of the project will be confirmed by the upcoming Defence White Paper; however, it is expected to include an infantry fighting vehicle—a capability currently only partly provided by the in-service M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier—as well as a manoeuvre support vehicle, and an integrated training system. The project is valued at more than $10 billion and is expected to acquire approximately 700 vehicles.
The Army as part of a joint program with the RAN under Air 9000 Phase 7B are seeking future advanced training and light support helicopters. The helicopters being offered by industry are: Eurocopter EC-135 (from Boeing-Thales), Bell 429 (Raytheon-Bell) and Agusta A109 (from BAE-CAE-AgustaWestland).
^"New assault rifles for Australian commando force". International Defence Digest. Jane's International Defence Review. 5 September 2000. Retrieved 24 August 2012. The 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (commando) (4RAR) (Cdo) will receive several hundred Colt M4A5 5.56mm assault rifles ...
^Juchniewicz, Nathan (21 July 2011). "New weapon to go the distance". Army News: The Soldiers' Newspaper (Canberra: Australian Department of Defence). p. 3. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
^Armstrong, Dave (2012). "The M14 EBR - a Continuing Evolution"(PDF). dtic.mil, slide presentation. Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane). p. 9. Retrieved 6 June 2012. The Australian SAS borrowed a quantity of MK 14 MOD 0 Rifles, one of which was used to earn a Victoria Cross by Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith in October of 2010. He had been providing Sniper Cover from the Air when his Assaulting Services were needed on the Ground.
^"First look at Hawkei". bendigoadvertiser.com.au. Bendigo Advertiser. 3 October 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2012. The baby brother of the Bushmaster, the Hawkei is a seven-tonne vehicle that has the same protection design as the highly successful Bushmaster.