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Australia selects the Boeing AH-64E

RavenOne

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The ADF selects The Boeing AH-64E to replace the Airbus Tiger ARH



B2CF96AE-F0FA-4FE0-8AED-C10455FF732B.jpeg
 

GTX

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It's not a surprise - it has been expected this would be the outcome of Land 4503 for quite some time.
 

yasotay

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Agree with GTX that AH64 was always the front runner. Only chance Bell had was the marinization argument. Now all they have to worry about is Boeing getting its QC issues dealt with.
 

FighterJock

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How many Apaches are under contract for the Australian army? 22 or will they order more this time.
 

Pioneer

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I must say, I'm still majorly pissed with the whole Tiger saga.
I wish I could pick a multi-billion dollar toy from new and say 'ah barleys, we don't like or want these Tiger's anymore...please Defence Minister can we have a second bite of the cherry?'
I still think it's somewhat ironic that the Army keep refering to these attack helicopter's - be it the Tiger or the Apache as "armed reconnaissance helicopters".
I guess one good think out of this, is that there will be a far greater chance of these "armed reconnaissance helicopter" actually being deployed in support of Australian troops in our next government's adventure.

P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


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Pioneer
 
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CJGibson

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P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


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Pioneer

Winter is coming?

Chris
 

Volkodav

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I must say, I'm still majorly pissed with the hole Tiger saga.
I wish I could pick a multi-billion dollar toy from new and say 'ah barleys, we don't like or want these Tiger's anymore...please Defence Minister can we have a second bite of the cherry?'
I still think it's somewhat ironic that the Army keep refering to these attack helicopter's - be it the Tiger or the Apache as "armed reconnaissance helicopters".
I guess one good think out of this, is that there will be a far greater chance of these "armed reconnaissance helicopter" actually being deployed in support of Australian troops in our next government's adventure.

P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


Regards
Pioneer
I struggle to think of a single well planned, well executed, non FMS Australian Defence acquisition from the late 90s to late 2000s. Interestingly this period coincided with the gutting of defence engineering capability, both uniform and civilian as part of an economy drive, as well as the replacement of the "perceived" failed procurement system with a new organisation, the DMO an organisation that failed at everything it was meant to do better.

Then even worse there was the Kinnard review that appears to have been designed to select the option that no one actually wants. It aimed to down select to a single highly developmental evolved option, incorporating everything the parent service could ever want, and an existing option that was not allowed to be developed or changed to meet Australian requirements in any major way, and ruled out all the perfectly good enough options that fell in between. The end result was the evolved option was always seen as too risky by the political classes leading to the selection of the existing option that was seen as lower risk and cheaper. The over confidence that the existing option was Military Off The Shelf meant that insufficient resources were allocated to what was usually still a highly complex, years over due procurement, resulting in greater but but unperceived risk.

Australia has done very well to recover some very bad decisions, making good completely stuffed up procurements and totally delusional support assumptions. Some projects have been saved, some should have been cut loose much earlier, some came good but were killed for political reasons anyway, personally I feel Tiger is one of them. Add insult to injury, while Tiger has been performing very well once development was completed and the support side sorted, its being replaced, primarily because insufficient airframes were acquired to fill the roles the type now has, while the maintenance hog MRH90, that is still underperforming in every role, is being retained.
 

Pioneer

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I must say, I'm still majorly pissed with the hole Tiger saga.
I wish I could pick a multi-billion dollar toy from new and say 'ah barleys, we don't like or want these Tiger's anymore...please Defence Minister can we have a second bite of the cherry?'
I still think it's somewhat ironic that the Army keep refering to these attack helicopter's - be it the Tiger or the Apache as "armed reconnaissance helicopters".
I guess one good think out of this, is that there will be a far greater chance of these "armed reconnaissance helicopter" actually being deployed in support of Australian troops in our next government's adventure.

P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


Regards
Pioneer
I struggle to think of a single well planned, well executed, non FMS Australian Defence acquisition from the late 90s to late 2000s. Interestingly this period coincided with the gutting of defence engineering capability, both uniform and civilian as part of an economy drive, as well as the replacement of the "perceived" failed procurement system with a new organisation, the DMO an organisation that failed at everything it was meant to do better.

Then even worse there was the Kinnard review that appears to have been designed to select the option that no one actually wants. It aimed to down select to a single highly developmental evolved option, incorporating everything the parent service could ever want, and an existing option that was not allowed to be developed or changed to meet Australian requirements in any major way, and ruled out all the perfectly good enough options that fell in between. The end result was the evolved option was always seen as too risky by the political classes leading to the selection of the existing option that was seen as lower risk and cheaper. The over confidence that the existing option was Military Off The Shelf meant that insufficient resources were allocated to what was usually still a highly complex, years over due procurement, resulting in greater but but unperceived risk.

Australia has done very well to recover some very bad decisions, making good completely stuffed up procurements and totally delusional support assumptions. Some projects have been saved, some should have been cut loose much earlier, some came good but were killed for political reasons anyway, personally I feel Tiger is one of them. Add insult to injury, while Tiger has been performing very well once development was completed and the support side sorted, its being replaced, primarily because insufficient airframes were acquired to fill the roles the type now has, while the maintenance hog MRH90, that is still underperforming in every role, is being retained.
Thanks for your viewsVolkodav
At the end of the day, the thing I've never been able to get my head around is the fact that Australia once again selected an immature design, which hadn't had all its inherent bugs ironed out, it selected a design which realistically has no intraoperative commonality with our principle allie (hence I truly believe our inability/unwant to deploy them overseas.)

Will the Australian Army be able to maintain and operate this new and latest Apache independently? After all the AH-64A was deemed too expensive, too technical for it to be selected for AIR87, was it not.

I could and would like to say more regarding this political driven spending spree, but I'll reframe.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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sferrin

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P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


Regards
Pioneer
Have you heard of China?
 

TomcatViP

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Reading posts that seems to me beyond any reality check, I invite my fellow respected members to browse the forum history.
Among all the information posted, there are some extensive documented narrative describing the poor serviceability of Australian Tigers with such a low mission rate than less than a handful of airframe were available at best across the Australian continent at any time.
Last but not least, performances, even as marketed, are well bellow Apache standards, especially under the last iteration, the model E.
The jump in capacity and serviceability is meant to be remarkable and can only provide Australia with a better defense.

Airbus performances as delivered has been a money pit for the Australian taxpayers. It's only noteworthy that a design predating their last acquisition was selected, to retire them early, should we emphasize. A rare fact among defense purchases around the world.
 
Last edited:

Pioneer

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P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


Regards
Pioneer
Have you heard of China?
Yes sferrin, I'm accutly aware of China, the same regime in which this exact same government was so comfortably in bed with up until COVID, then it does this amazing about turn 'focus' on the same hand that feeds it, as if it was willed by our principle ally...
I have to admit, I'm so relieved to see our military refocusing on conventional warfare, which has been growing as obvious as a bull in a China shop, as opposed to this total and utter focus on this bullshit 'war of terrorism'.
My whole issue sferrin is that China hasn't grown over night, it's openly exserted it intent for over a decade, which Australia has been so massively and willing to contribute, and yet all of a sudden, Australia is buying arms like kids in a lolly shop.
Much of the equipment Australia has purchased has been like a fanfare of sorts, with little, if any strategic focus or intent of their operability, let alone how do we maintain it in time of war, let alone peacetime - the Tiger, NH90 and the M1 Abrams are just a couple of examples. Our purchasing of platforms seems to have very little forethought to the operability with our principle ally - the U.S., whom we've served diligently since 2001. Our focus of purchasing ships has gone from the U.S. to Spanish and now Britain, oh and let's not forget the French subs...Where is the focus, the logistic commonality, the supply chain?
I hate to say it, but it looks as if the Australian government is more focused on "business dealings" than warfighting, what with their seemingly endless 'Captain's Picks' and curtailing of stringent bidding and evaluation - to the point that the Auditor General is asking 'what the f@#£?', oh and let's not forget the clever 'we want to be a big arms dealer to every screwed up regime, we once would have condemned and or critised.
I'm sorry, but I really have to ask what is actually perceived as 'need' and what is actually 'bling factor' that the ADF is purchasing?
Can we effectively operate and maintain it in a wartime situation?
Is the equipment/platforms excessive to real Australian Military needs?
No I'm sorry sferrin, but in a nutshell, what I'm afraid of here, is that this government (over the time of its three Prime Minister's) have/has become very comfortable with their own little cozy 'Australian Military/Political Industrial Complex', where business dealings with taxpayers money has become just like kids buying lollies in a lolly shop.

The ADF has in reality struggled to get reasonable funding over the past 30-40 years, and yet in the past eight years, the flood gate miraculously seems to have just been left open, without question, without serious scrutiny.

If a war is coming with China, as I'm adamant it is, my concern is with the Digger's and not the politicians and the lucrative deals they made behind close doors, under the vale of 'National Security' and 'Corporate confidentiality, as we've recently seen with the Thales and Rheinmetall like:
"While it found Defence was effective in detailing its requirements and evaluating the tender process, the report said a number of aspects lacked other details and skipped steps, resulting in being "partially effective".
It added there were "gaps" in relevant documentation relating to the tender process as well as shortcomings in the project's management of conflict of interest
."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05...on-against-auditor-over-hawkei-report/9792734

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/st...-tender-process-partly-effective-audit-finds/


Regards
Pioneer
 
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sferrin

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P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


Regards
Pioneer
Have you heard of China?
Yes sferrin, I'm accutly aware of China, the same regime in which this exact same government was so comfortably in bed with up until COVID, then it does this amazing about turn 'focus' on the same hand that feeds it, as if it was willed by our principle ally...
I have to admit, I'm so relieved to see our military refocusing on conventional warfare, which has been growing as obvious as a bull in a China shop, as opposed to this total and utter focus on this bullshit 'war of terrorism'.
My whole issue sferrin is that China hasn't grown over night, it's openly exserted it intent for over a decade, which Australia has been so massively and willing to contribute, and yet all of a sudden, Australia is buying arms like kids in a lolly shop.
Much of the equipment Australia has purchased has been like a fanfare of sorts, with little, if any strategic focus or intent of their operability, let alone how do we maintain it in time of war, let alone peacetime - the Tiger, NH90 and the M1 Abrams are just a couple of examples. Our purchasing of platforms seems to have very little forethought to the operability with our principle ally - the U.S., whom we've served diligently since 2001. Our focus of purchasing ships has gone from the U.S. to Spanish and now Britain, oh and let's not forget the French subs...Where is the focus, the logistic commonality, the supply chain?
I hate to say it, but it looks as if the Australian government is more focused on "business dealings" than warfighting, what with their seemingly endless 'Captain's Picks' and curtailing of stringent bidding and evaluation - to the point that the Auditor General is asking 'what the f@#£?', oh and let's not forget the clever 'we want to be a big arms dealer to every screwed up regime, we once would have condemned and or critised.
I'm sorry, but I really have to ask what is actually perceived as 'need' and what is actually 'bling factor' that the ADF is purchasing?
Can we effectively operate and maintain it in a wartime situation?
Is the equipment/platforms excessive to real Australian Military needs?
No I'm sorry sferrin, but in a nutshell, what I'm afraid of here, is that this government (over the time of its three Prime Minister's) have/has become very comfortable with their own little cozy 'Australian Military/Political Industrial Complex', where business dealings with taxpayers money has become just like kids buying lollies in a lolly shop.

The ADF has in reality struggled to get reasonable funding over the past 30-40 years, and yet in the past eight years, the flood gate miraculously seems to have just been left open, without question, without serious scrutiny.

If a war is coming with China, as I'm adamant it is, my concern is with the Digger's and not the politicians and the lucrative deals they made behind close doors, under the vale of 'National Security' and 'Corporate confidentiality, as we've recently seen with the Thales and Rheinmetall like:
"While it found Defence was effective in detailing its requirements and evaluating the tender process, the report said a number of aspects lacked other details and skipped steps, resulting in being "partially effective".
It added there were "gaps" in relevant documentation relating to the tender process as well as shortcomings in the project's management of conflict of interest
."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05...on-against-auditor-over-hawkei-report/9792734

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/st...-tender-process-partly-effective-audit-finds/


Regards
Pioneer
My name is "sferrin" BTW not "sferrin".
 

GTX

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How many Apaches are under contract for the Australian army? 22 or will they order more this time.
There is no contract yet - it has to be negotiated and the deal will most likely be a FMS buy anyway. That said, the number is planned to be 29.

As for the Tiger saga and why its is even being replaced, remember first that the Tiger has had a long sorry history (see here for some of this). This is not all the fault of its design though Airbus do bear much responsibility for lies (going right back to the acquisition phase some 2 decades ago) and poor performance. The fact that the Land 4503 requirement was first flagged officials back in 2016, just over a decade after the first aircraft was delivered and about 5yrs since the last one is telling.

It is also true that it actually fit the original operational requirement quite well (on paper at least) - that being for an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, essentially a replacement for the Kiowas and Bushrangers, thus giving a primary reconnaissance platform with a secondary fire support/armed escort role. It was never intended to be a heavy 'tank buster' type even if the Apache (even back then) was what the Army boys and girls wanted. And by the way, one of the main reasons why Army never got the Apache back in the early 2000's was due to the price difference. Perhaps the only platform at the time that might have been better would have been the RAH-66 Comanche but...

As to the Land 4503 competition itself, Airbus did have a shot at keeping the Tiger in service with its proposed upgraded version. That said though, they monumentally failed in not 'answering the mail' of the requirement offering only 22 upgraded Tigers along with an additional seven H145Ms to the ADF to make up the numbers to the LAND 4503 stipulated 29 airframes. Having spoken to some of the Airbus people, they will quietly admit that this was a bad move but one they were forced into through inability to get additional airframes. Add that then to the Army's already dim view of Airbus (on both Tiger and their MRH90) plus the fact that Army originally wanted.

I am curious to see exactly what will be in the final agreed contract. Will the AN/APG-78 Longbow radar be fitted...to all? Will the T901 engine be given a look - I would love to see it but at this stage it isn't proposed I believe.
 
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GTX

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P.S. I'm sorry to be political, but I truly can't believe the amount of money the Australian government is spending on new weapons projects - never seen anything like it in my 50-years....


Regards
Pioneer
Have you heard of China?
The Australian Army is definitely going 'heavy and hard' with not only Apache but also M1A2, M1074, M1150, Boxer CRV, AS-9/AS-10, KF41/AS21, MLRS (in the form of something such as M142 HIMARS) all either entering service or being looked at over the next 5 - 10yrs. And whilst China is definitely a concern, to think this is all aimed at China is a serious misreading of intent. In any case, Australia's quantity of equipment would be paltry against the Chinese behemoth. I think it is more aligned to ensuring Australia is well equiped and able to stand 'safely' on any potential future battlefield in the future and indeed, is well placed to serve for a number of decades to come. In regard to this last aspect, also remember that many of the platforms being replaced were in service for quite some time and their replacements will also need to be in service for quite some time moving forward.
 

Volkodav

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Reading posts that seems to me beyond any reality check, I invite my fellow respected members to browse the forum history.
Among all the information posted, there are some extensive documented narrative describing the poor serviceability of Australian Tigers with such a low mission rate than less than a handful of airframe were available at best across the Australian continent at any time.
Last but not least, performances, even as marketed, are well bellow Apache standards, especially under the last iteration, the model E.
The jump in capacity and serviceability is meant to be remarkable and can only provide Australia with a better defense.

Airbus performances as delivered has been a money pit for the Australian taxpayers. It's only noteworthy that a design predating their last acquisition was selected, to retire them early, should we emphasize. A rare fact among defense purchases around the world.
Only 22 airframes were acquired to replace the the unarmed 1970 built Kiowas (1960s design with 1950s tech), insufficient spares and support were put in place, combined with a crippling risk adversity in higher levels of defence. Following the loss of the German Tiger in Africa the Australian fleet was grounded well after other operators resumed flying, even though it was known the accident was due to a maintenance error by a contractor.

Tiger was still developmental when it entered service in Australia, lots of work was done to achieve IOC then FOC but by then the political classes had already decided to replace it. The problem was an inexperience buyer that didn't really understand what it wanted, let alone what it needed.
 

Volkodav

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More:


How many Apaches are under contract for the Australian army? 22 or will they order more this time.
There is no contract yet - it has to be negotiated and the deal will most likely be a FMS buy anyway. That said, the number is planned to be 29.

As for the Tiger saga and why its is even being replaced, remember first that the Tiger has had a long sorry history (see here for some of this). This is not all the fault of its design though Airbus do bear much responsibility for lies (going right back to the acquisition phase some 2 decades ago) and poor performance. The fact that the Land 4503 requirement was first flagged officials back in 2016, just over a decade after the first aircraft was delivered and about 5yrs since the last one is telling.

It is also true that it actually fit the original operational requirement quite well (on paper at least) - that being for an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, essentially a replacement for the Kiowas and Bushrangers, thus giving a primary reconnaissance platform with a secondary fire support/armed escort role. It was never intended to be a heavy 'tank buster' type even if the Apache (even back then) was what the Army boys and girls wanted. And by the way, one of the main reasons why Army never got the Apache back in the early 2000's was due to the price difference. Perhaps the only platform at the time that might have been better would have been the RAH-66 Comanche but...

As to the Land 4503 competition itself, Airbus did have a shot at keeping the Tiger in service with its proposed upgraded version. That said though, they monumentally failed in not 'answering the mail' of the requirement offering only 22 upgraded Tigers along with an additional seven H145Ms to the ADF to make up the numbers to the LAND 4503 stipulated 29 airframes. Having spoken to some of the Airbus people, they will quietly admit that this was a bad move but one they were forced into through inability to get additional airframes. Add that then to the Army's already dim view of Airbus (on both Tiger and their MRH90) plus the fact that Army originally wanted.

I am curious to see exactly what will be in the final agreed contract. Will the AN/APG-78 Longbow radar be fitted...to all? Will the T901 engine be given a look - I would love to see it but at this stage it isn't proposed I believe.
Ironically if not for Airbus support the army would be incapable of delivering the current capability, if Boeing is incapable of providing the same level of technical support Airbus has, Apache will fail. Australia has a big problem with lack of depth of technical and engineering acumen within the ADF due to the short sighted gutting of said capability as a cost saving / efficiency gain in the late 90s. Scary thing is, there is now a generation of millennial ex ADF technical and engineering personnel, who came through since the cuts, who have no idea what they don't know and in fact see themselves as knowledgeable experts, despite not having completed any of the training required to progress to higher levels within defence.
 

Hood

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With Boeing supplying the majority of the RAAF fleet, I'm sure the Army can build on that to gain a decent product support package.
 

Grey Havoc

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With Boeing supplying the majority of the RAAF fleet, I'm sure the Army can build on that to gain a decent product support package.

That would indeed be the logical approach...
 

Volkodav

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With Boeing supplying the majority of the RAAF fleet, I'm sure the Army can build on that to gain a decent product support package.
It will be the standard Australian defence industry process of pretty much the same people changing the logos on their "distinctive" blue polo shirts. One bloke I know was working on Tiger with Boeing, changed to Airbus when the contract was amended to cover his position, who due to his experience will undoubtedly switch back to Boeing when Apache enters service.
 

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I think France Army aviation wouldn't spite on a handful of "free" Tiger airframes even with all the usual caveats (different requirements and subsystems). If only as spare sources, they could be useful.
 
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