Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR JUN 2016 Contents 29
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 21 | JUN 2016
MITCHELL YATES SHEDS LIGHT ON THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY’S
CURRENT GROUND-BASED AIR DEFENCE REQUIREMENT
AND THE INDUSTRY PLAYERS WATCHING ON.
ONE OF THE most crucial elements of modern joint force oper-
ations in a contested battlespace is a modern, organic and deploy-
able ground-based air defence (GBAD) capability. The Australian
Army – and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as a whole – does
not currently possess a cutting edge GBAD capability, and has not
for some time. The issuing of a Request for Information (RFI) in
June 2015 for Land 19 Phase 7B could mean this may not be the
case for much longer.
As the RFI outlines, Defence is seeking “enhancements to, or re-
placement of, the Ground Based Air Defence capability” currently
operated by Army’s 16 Air Land Regiment. The RFI indicated that a
prospective solution would comprise a sensor suite, an effector suite
and a command, control, communications, computing and intelli-
gence (C4I) system.
The 2016 Defence Integrated Investment Program (IIP) – released
alongside February’s Defence White Paper – desires a substantial-
ly more complex capability, revealing Defence’s plans to acquire a
multi-layered and “integrated air and missile defence system”. This
future GBAD system would comprise :
• An enhanced counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM)
capability, equipped with an upgraded ‘sense and warn’ system
and further enhanced at a later time with a “gun system capable
of engaging a range of threats as the last line of defence”;
• A short-range air defence (SHORAD) system, to be acquired by
the early 2020s and;
HANDS UP FOR
PHASE 7 BRAVO
• A medium-range air defence system to be purchased in the late
Given the above, industry sources have indicated to DTR that
there is a lack of clarity regarding exactly what capability Defence
and Army are now seeking. DTR spoke with the Department of De-
fence to try to gain some more insight into the program but drew
little useful detail.
According to a Defence spokesperson, Army’s “definition work
for the future ground-based air defence capability is mature”, and
that the capability being sought will be an integrated component of
the “joint integrated air and missile defence system”. Regarding po-
tential candidate systems, Defence commented that “Army is con-
sidering a range of options” but that “it would be inappropriate to
name any specific examples at this early stage”.
The Australian Army’s existing GBAD capability is operated by 16
Air Land Regt, based at Woodside Barracks in Adelaide, and com-
prises a ‘sense, warn and locate’ (SWnL) force protection battery
operating the Saab Giraffe Agile Multi Beam (AMB) radar, and a
SHORAD battery equipped with Saab’s RBS-70 missile system and
Bolide missiles. The Giraffe AMB radar was purchased in 2010 as
part of an urgent operational requirement (UOR) to provide force
protection for Australian troops operating in Afghanistan, while the
RBS-70 became the Army’s sole GBAD system following the retire-
ment of the Rapier missile in 2005. RBS-70 received a limited up-
grade in Australian service with the purchase of Bolide missiles in
2003/2004, increasing the system’s effective range.
Whilst capable, this GBAD system has long been seen as having
limited utility against modern threats. The issuing of an RFI – and
release of a request for tender (RFT) prospectively set for fourth
quarter 2016 – indicates that Defence is intending to start the process
of enhancing GBAD capabilities in the short term.
The following is a summary of the potential candidate GBAD sup-
pliers and the solutions each will or may offer into the project.
With perhaps the widest spread of air defence missiles available
from a single supplier, MBDA could offer the Common Anti-Air
Modular Missile – Extended Range (CAMM-ER) to fulfil the medi-
um-range requirement set out in the IIP.
CAMM-ER is a late-generation supersonic medium-range air
defence missile that is easily deployable and capable of operating as
either a stand-alone unit or integrated within a battlespace network.
The use of third party target information from the wider battle space
network allows the system to engage targets that are non line-of-
sight from the local launcher or sensors.
At 160kg and 4.2m in length, multiple rounds of CAMM-ER can
be carried by conventional wheeled vehicles. Soft vertical launch
technology minimises launch signature, provides 360° coverage in
all sectors and ease of concealment and deployment. Each launch-
er is scaleable and can carry multiple CAMM-ER missiles, provid-
ing coverage against multiple simultaneous threats out to ranges of
ABOVE: A NASAMS launcher in service with Norway firing an
AMRAAM missile. Raytheon Australia has confirmed it will offer
NASAMS for Phase 7B of Land 19. Image: Kongsberg
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