Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR DEC-JAN 2017 Contents 33
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 27 | DEC/JAN 2017
dtrmagazine.com | Follow us now on
TOP: The 300km range ATACMS MGM-140 missile. Image: US Army
ABOVE: A US Army M142 HIMARS conducts a fire mission
during Exercise Dragon Strike, Florida 2015. Image: US Army
THE LAND-BASED ASM
SYSTEM WILL ENABLE
DEPLOYED LAND FORCE
UNITS TO ENGAGE SHIPS AND
WATERCRAFT FROM POSITIONS
ON LAND TO ENHANCE
SEA CONTROL AND FORCE
DTR examines the operational rationale and expected
features of the ADF’s two new land-based strike capabilities.
THEY CAME OUT of left field for the most part. The first industry
knew of them was upon release of the 2016 Defence White Paper
(DWP) last February. Two offensive strike capability acquisition
projects, both land-based, both intended to be employed in littoral
and archipelagic environments.
One seeks a long-range rocket (LRR) system, the other a deploya-
ble, land-based anti-ship missile (ASM) system. The LRR system is
planned for procurement through Land 8113, whilst the land-based
ASM will be introduced via Sea 4100 Phase 2.
According to the DWP, the LRR will be acquired in the mid-
2020s (the official Land 8113 timeline is 2023-2030) and provide a
long-range precision fires capability to complement the Australian
Army’s M777A2 155mm towed howitzers in support of deployed
land forces. The LRR may have an engagement range out to around
300km, which would be an entirely new and step-change capability
for Army. Enhanced command, control, communications, comput-
ing and intelligence and high levels of airspace and target co-ordina-
tion will be required to support the LRR capability.
Additional facilities may also be required as part of the LRR ca-
pability, including gun bays, workshops and simulators at a yet to
be chosen garrison location as well as compatible training areas and
The Defence Integrated Investment Program (DIIP) has Land
8113 budgeted for AUD$750 million to AUD$1 billion.
Sea 4100 Phase 2 is the second procurement activity of Sea 4100
(Maritime Strike Capabilities), with the first planned to deliver a
Harpoon ASM replacement for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN)
Air Warfare Destroyers, ANZAC-class frigates and the Future Frig-
ate under Sea 5000.
The land-based ASM system, also a completely new capability cat-
egory for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), will enable deployed
land force units to engage ships and watercraft from positions on
land to enhance sea control and force protection. Presumably when
deployed to some of the most remote regions on the Australian
mainland, the land-based ASM systems ‘could also contribute to
protecting vital offshore assets such as oil and natural gas platforms’.
Bundled under the banner of ‘Maritime Anti-Ship Missiles and
Deployable Land-Based Capability’ in the DIIP with a similarly un-
helpful cost band of AUD$4-$5 billion, Sea 4100 Phase 2 is listed as
having a 19-year program timeline: 2018-2037. In business, any pro-
gram with a 19-year timeline is generally and quite rightly known as
more dream than plan.
A Defence source confirmed with DTR, that the Sea 4100 Phase
2 capability is, in fact, likely to be acquired around the mid-2020s.
Army is currently in the requirements definition mode for both
capabilities, with these under development in close collaboration
with the RAN and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The require-
ments will be based on enabling concepts, the experience of Austral-
ia’s allies in operating similar weapon systems and ongoing desktop
“Only once the requirements for the LRR and land-based ASM
systems are defined will we determine specific system numbers and
performance specifications,” DTR was told in mid-November.
In its endeavours to understand where the requirements for
both projects stem from, DTR has learned that the answer lies in
the ADF’s focus on joint operations in littoral and archipelagic
The ‘Australian Maritime Strategy 2013’ (now replaced by ‘Aus-
tralia’s Military Strategy’), used as an input during the recent Force
Structure Review, acknowledged the complex archipelagic nature of
our near region across the north and highlighted the importance of
the littoral environment for future ADF operations.
This strategy, DTR is informed, implicitly required the ADF to
hold a balanced force structure that is capable of ‘joint archipelagic
manoeuvre’ focused on denying an adversary’s access to, or ability
to control, key routes within an archipelagic or littoral environment.
Land-based strike systems contribute to the joint force in this en-
vironment by providing complementary and relatively inexpensive
persistent strike options. Unlike strike aircraft, the land-based strike
system remains effective regardless of weather and its presence is
not reduced by time on station or payload versus fuel load versus
range issues that beset combat aircraft on offshore, expeditionary
Links Archive DTR NOV 2016 DTR FEB 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page