List of equipment of the Australian Army

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From left to right, a Chinook, Black Hawk and Tiger helicopter

Armoured vehicles[edit]

A M1A1 Abrams tank and a M113AS4 personnel carrier.
  • Australia / Canada 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.
    Under LAND 400 Phase 2 the ASLAV is slated to be replaced by a new Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) beginning in 2021. The selection has been narrowed down to either the Finland Patria AMV (which will be fitted with a BAE Systems Hagglunds CV9035 35 mm two-person turret) or the Germany Rheinmetall MAN Boxer (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) (equipped with a 30 mm or 35 mm Lance two-person turret). Employing either of these ARVs will represent a quantum leap in both the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Australian Army's light armored forces. The final selection is set to be made in early 2018, with 225 units being acquired in the following combat configurations: Reconnaissance & Counter Reconnaissance (129), Command & Control (26), Joint Fire (Artillery Spotting) (8), Surveillance (17), Ambulance (15), Repair (20) and Recovery (10).[1]
  • United States 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 2016 an additional six M88A2 Hercules were acquired.[2]
    Beginning in around 2025 Australia is slated to upgrade its M1 fleet under LAND 907 Phase 2, and will likely follow the US Army’s tank modernisation/refresh lead by adopting the digital M1A2 SEP V2 (System Enhancement Package, Version 2), which is currently the most advanced M1 Abrams variant in US service.[1] "Right sizing" the tank fleet to a total of 90 units by acquiring an additional 31 M1s at that time is also probable.[3]
  • United States M113 - The Army now has 340 M113AS4 and 91 M113AS3 in service in seven variants.[4][5] The vehicles are used in the armoured reconnaissance and armoured personnel carrier roles. The Army had operated 840 M113A1 vehicles in nine variants.[4]
    The M113 family of vehicles is scheduled to be replaced under LAND 400 Phase 3 beginning in around 2025. The program envisions acquiring 450 new tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) in the following eight variants: Infantry Fighting Vehicle (transport for 8 dismounts, the size of a standard army infantry section) (312), Command & Control (26), Joint Fire (Artillery Spotting) (16), Engineer Reconnaissance (11), Ambulance (14), Recovery (14). Repair (18) and Combat Engineer (39). Leading contenders include the Germany Lynx (Rheinmetall armoured fighting vehicle), the Germany Puma (IFV), and the Sweden Combat Vehicle 90. Additionally LAND 400 Phase 3 calls for acquiring 17 tracked combat Maneuver Support Vehicles with a range of capabilities including dozer, digger, crane, obstacle destruction, route marking, clearance of surface laid explosives and a fascine.[1]

Utility, Reconnaissance and Support vehicles[edit]

  • Australia 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.[6]
One of the first RMMV HX trucks to be handed over to the Australian Army on 7 April 2016. From 2016 RMMV HX trucks will replace the Unimog and Mack fleets
  • Australia Hawkei PMV The Army has ordered 1,100 Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicles – Light (PMV-L) to partially replace the Land Rover Perentie. It is smaller and around half the weight of the Bushmaster. It is able to be carried underslung by the CH-47F Chinook helicopter.[7]
  • United Kingdom / Australia Land Rover Perentie – 5,000+ Land Rovers were originally acquired as a fleet of light duty vehicles for transporting stores, equipment and personnel. As of 2017 fewer than 1,500 remain in service.
  • Germany G-Wagon The Army has purchased a total of 2,268 G-Wagons to partially replace the Land Rover Perentie. There are eight G-Wagon variants including several in a specialized 6X6 configuration, including Mobile Command Post, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Ambulance.[8][9][10] Some 4X4 variants are transportable by the RAAF's Alenia C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifters.
  • Germany Unimog, United States Mack R series and United States International Harvester S-Series – Current mainstay of medium and heavy truck fleets used for transporting stores, equipment and troops.[11]
  • Germany RMMV HX - Under Project LAND 121 Phase 3B Army is in process of acquiring a comprehensive fleet of Rheinmetall MAN medium and heavy military trucks to replace its Unimog, Mack R and IH S vehicles. In 2016 a total of 2,536 trucks were ordered, configured for a wide variety of roles and in a mix of standard and protected (armored cab) variants. Configurations include: Medium 4X4 - Tray (766 standard + 616 protected), Tray w/Crane (96 + 141), Tipper (15 + 24); Medium 6X6 – Recovery (14 + 15); Heavy 8X8 – Integrated Load Handling System (ILHS) (323 + 236), Tipper (66 + 33), Tanker (22 + 0), Tractor (Heavy Trailer Hauler) (89 + 21); Super-Heavy 10X10 – Recovery (22 + 37). In addition to personnel and general cargo medium Tray trucks are able to carry the following specialized mission pallets: Special Stores, Maintenance, Personnel & Cargo (protected and secured), and Combat Engineer. Heavy ILHS trucks are also capable of transporting those pallets as well as the following larger mission modules: Water Storage, Water Storage w/Pump, Fuel Storage, Fuel Storage w/Pump, Heavy Stores, Flatrack (portable open cargo platform), Gun Stores, Gun Ammunition, Command Post, Bridge Erection, and Propulsion Boat and Floating Support Bridge. Beginning in 2018 a total of 1,070 additional medium and heavy MAN military trucks are likely to be acquired under LAND 121 Phase 5B, primarily for use as training vehicles.[12][13]
  • United Kingdom HMT Extenda - The Army purchased 31 HMT Extenda MK1 Nary patrol vehicles for use by the Special Air Service Regiment to replace the Long Range Patrol Vehicle to provide armoured protection from IEDs.[14] Its namesake comes from Warrant Officer David Nary who was the killed during pre-deployment training in Kuwait for the Iraq War. In addition, 89 HMT Extenda MK2 have been ordered for the 2nd Commando Regiment that will be reconfigurable in four configurations.[15][16][17]

Watercraft[edit]

  • United States LCM-8 - 15 medium size coastal / inland waterway landing craft fitted with 2 x 12.7mm HMG to be in service until 2027.[18][19]
  • United States LARC-V - 12 amphibious vehicles to be in service until 2027. Withdrawn from service in 1993 and reintroduced in 1998 after upgrade.[18][19]

Artillery[edit]

  • United Kingdom 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.[20] An additional 19 guns were purchased in late 2012 instead of the self-propelled guns previously planned, bringing the total order to 54.

Air defence[edit]

  • Sweden RBS-70 - Thirty upgraded RBS-70 short range air defence weapon systems are currently divided between two Air Defence Batteries within the 16th Air Land Regiment.[21] More sophisticated Bolide missiles have now been purchased.[22]
  • Norway NASAMS - In April 2017 the Australian Government awarded Raytheon a contract to produce an unspecified number of NASAMS systems for use with the Australian Army.[23] The batteries, possibly mounted on Hawkei PMVs, will be used by the 16th Air Land Regiment.[24]

Aircraft[edit]

Name Origin Type Number[25] Notes
Airbus Helicopters ARH Tiger France France Armed reconnaissance helicopter 22 Modified and upgraded version of the Tiger HAP. These helicopters are planned to be phased out by the mid-2020s by the formal Tiger ARH replacement project.
NHIndustries MRH-90 Taipan France France Medium lift/utility helicopter 41 (+ 6 joint with Navy)[26] Replaced the UH-1 Iroquois in 2008, and the Black Hawks in 2017.
UH-60 Black Hawk United States United States Medium lift/utility helicopter 20 The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk was the Army's primary battlefield lift/utility helicopter. The helicopters were assembled by Hawker de Havilland. Replaced in utility and transport roles by the MRH-90, with 20 aircraft remaining in service with the 6th Aviation Regiment until 2021 to support special forces missions.[26]
Boeing CH-47F Chinook United States United States Heavy lift helicopter 10[27]
Bell 206 Kiowa United States United States Training Helicopter 12 To be replaced by the Eurocopter EC135 in 2018
Eurocopter EC135 T2+ Germany Germany Training helicopter 15 (Joint with Navy)[28] Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) shared with the Navy

Unmanned aerial vehicles[edit]

Name Origin Type Number[25] Notes
AAI RQ-7 Shadow United StatesUnited States Reconnaissance and battlefield surveillance 18[citation needed]
ScanEagle United StatesUnited States Reconnaissance and battlefield surveillance

Infantry weapons[edit]

F88S-A1 Austeyr, shown fitted is:
- a standard issue carry handle/1.5x power sight,
- M203 grenade launcher
- and an AN/PEQ-2 night aiming device.
SR-25 rifle, Heckler & Koch USP sidearm and Multicam uniform.
MAG-58 fitted with 3.4x Elcan Wildcat sight.
Assault rifles and carbines

L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle

Used by the Australian Federation Guard with bayonet attachment.

  • Austria / Australia 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 round with a modified load. According to the ADF, the modified projectile is more accurate and goes further but costs more to make. The F88 Austeyr can use the 5.56×45mm NATO USA made round, but it causes increased barrel damage and over heating.[citation needed] 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.[29] 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. 1RAR will begin to re-equip with the EF88 from June 2015 with a wider roll out from 2016.[30] The ADF has ordered 30,000 of these rifles.[31]
  • United States M4A1 Carbine - used by various Australian special forces units. Its official designation in Australia is the M4A5.[32]
Precision rifles
Machine guns

Pistols[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Self-Loading Pistol 9 millimetre Mark 3  Belgium Semi-automatic pistol 9mm Browning High-Power 9mm IMG 1526.jpg The Self-Loading Pistol 9 millimetre Mark 3[37] is the standard issue service pistol of the Australian Defence Force.
Heckler & Koch USP  Germany Semi-automatic pistol 9mm HKUSP.png The Heckler & Koch USP is used by various special forces units.

Submachine guns[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Heckler & Koch MP5  Germany Submachine gun 9mm MP5.jpg Primarily used by special forces units.

Shotguns[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
Remington Model 870 and 870P[38]  United States Shotgun 12-gauge Remington M870 12 Gauge.jpg Used by both Special Forces and Military Police personnel. It is also used in specific roles within the infantry.

Grenade launchers[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
M203 grenade launcher  United States grenade launcher 40×46mm Australian soldiers Afghanistan March2010.jpg Attaches to the F88 (RM Equipment M203PI) and M4 (Colt M203-A1) rifles.
Mk 19 AGL  United States automatic grenade launcher 40×53mm MK19-02.jpg 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.
Mk 47 Striker LWAGL  United States automatic grenade launcher 40×53mm MK47.jpg Mk 47 Mod 1 Lightweight automatic grenade launcher (LWAGL) is 36% of the weight of the Mk 19, has a further range than the Mk 19 and is fitted with Lightweight Video Sight (LVS2) sighting system. It will be issued to infantry battalions from late 2016 and to Special Operation Command units from early 2017.[39]

Anti-armour[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
66 mm Short-Range Anti-Armour Weapon (M72 LAW)  United States anti-tank rocket launcher 66mm 231167-3-4-Afghanistan.jpg A single shot disposable anti-armour weapon
L14A1 Carl Gustav Medium Direct Fire Support Weapon  Sweden recoilless rifle 84mm Carl Gustav recoilless rifle.jpg Primarily used in the anti-armour role.
Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM)  United States guided anti-armour missile 127mm Australian Army soldiers firing a Javelin missile.jpg

Mortars[edit]

Name Origin Type Calibre Photo Notes
F2 81mm Mortar  United Kingdom
 Canada
Mortar 81mm 81mmMORT L16.png

Grenades and anti personnel mines[edit]

Name Origin Type Detonation Photo Notes
F1 fragmentation hand grenade  Australia Frag grenade Fuse Australian Army soldiers throw a grenade RIMPAC Exercise 2014.JPG Manufactured by Thales Australia. It has a lethal range of 6 m (20 ft) and has a fuse time of 4.5 to 5.5 seconds.
M18A1 Claymore Antipersonnel Mine  United States Anti-personnel mine Remote US M18a1 claymore mine.jpg It is called an "Anti-Personnel Device" due to the Commonwealth of Australia agreeing not to use mines of any type.[citation needed]

Bayonets[edit]

Name Origin Type Photo Notes
M9 Bayonet  Australia Bayonet Bayonet-Knife M9 w Scabbard.jpg The Army's primary combat knife used by all personnel and attached on the F88 Austeyr and the M4 carbine.

Combat uniform of the Australian Army[edit]

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.[40][41] 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.[42]

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.[43]

Future equipment[edit]

Infantry weapons[edit]

The Army has begun 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. 2,500 Steyr Mannlicher SL40 grenade launchers have also been ordered.[44]

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.[citation needed] 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.[29]

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.[45]

Armoured vehicles[edit]

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.[46] The seven-tonne Hawkei has been described as a 'baby' variant of the Bushmaster[47] 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.[48] 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.[49] 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.[50] The project is valued at more than $10 billion and is expected to acquire approximately 700 vehicles.[51]

Aircraft[edit]

The Army is reorganising its aviation element, through the purchase of 22 ARH Tiger attack helicopters and 30 MRH 90 Taipan utility helicopters (30 helicopters out of a total purchase of 46, which will be divided between Army, Fleet Air Arm and a joined MRH 90 training base). Furthermore, 7 CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters will be purchased to replace the Army's five remaining CH-47D Chinook helicopters. In addition, the Army will also acquire a number of UAVs (including a number of Boeing ScanEagles and 18 RQ-7 Shadow) which will equip the 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment, at Enoggera Barracks, Queensland.[52] Smaller UAVs being trialed include the AeroVironment Wasp III and Black Hornet Nano.[53]

Previously it was planned that the MRH-90 would eventually replace all of the Army's Black Hawks, with the Black Hawk fleet planned to be reduced to 18 operational aircraft in 2014–15 as part of the phased withdrawal of the type from service.[54] However, in December 2015 it was announced that 20 Black Hawks will remain in service with the 6th Aviation Regiment until the end of 2021 to provide aviation support to special forces.[26]

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).[55]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]