Page 96 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 96

“We have learned over the last 10 years or so that we have to take a holistic approach to replacing these capabilities and ensuring that they are fully integrated.”
Private Lewis McMillian from 2RAR, fights the enemy to secure a helicopter landing zone at Shoalwater Bay Training Area as part of Exercise Hamel 2018.
rop, are anti-radiation weapons, designed to fly in the vicinity of hostile radars, then attack the instant radar emissions are de- tected. These are large systems – Harop has a three metre wingspan with six hours of endurance – but smaller tactical systems are increasingly available for use down to platoon or section level.
The US AeroVironment Switchblade is a 2.5 kilogram single use fixed wing UAV with a tactical precision strike capabil- ity against land and maritime targets and even other UAVs. These have been de- ployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Another is the IAI Rotem, a 4.5-kilo- gram quadcopter which feeds imagery from
tinely carry shotguns, as do special forces breaching teams – with suitable ammuni- tion, a shotgun makes short work of door locks and hinges.
US forces have long employed shotguns as a devastating weapon for close quarter fighting. The ADF hasn’t indicated just what it has in mind.
In June Victorian firm DefendTex was awarded a $1.04 million contract to ex- plore the development of a lightweight modular shotgun system, building on their presentation of technologies from the Army Innovation Day series.
One possibility is an under-barrel shotgun akin to the SL-40 grenade launcher which can be attached to
the EF-88.
The long list of
weapons systems under review con- tains some other interesting capabil- ities, such as remote weapons systems (RWS) and com- mand detonated munitions. RWS, made by Kongs-
berg of Norway and EOS of Canberra, have seen active service in Iraq and Afghani- stan aboard Australian Army ASLAV and Bushmaster vehicles. This versatile capability would appear to have a broader range of applications.
When it comes to command detonated munitions, the Army is familiar with one in particular, the US M18A1 Claymore mine.
This dates from the Vietnam war and re- mains in inventory as a proven means of ini- tiating an ambush or defending a position against massed attack. The US Army is now trialling a smaller version called the Mini- Multi-Purpose Infantry Munition which is not much bigger than a smartphone.
The Army is also familiar with mortars. The current F2 81mm mortar system can deliver a heavy weight of fire but at almost 40-kilograms, it’s not readily man portable.
Under consideration in Land 4108 is a lightweight mortar. Around the world, various systems are in service, such as the US M224, a 60mm mortar and the British M6-895 60mm mortar.
While most Australian infantry soldiers carry a Steyr, special forces, members of the Special Air Service and Commando Regi- ments, have long carried the US M4. That’s because the M4 design makes it more readily configurable with different sighting systems. It’s also more interoperable with weapons carried by partner special forces units.
The Soldier Combat Systems Program works with SOCOMD was part of the bigger capability development process em- ployed within defence.
“We work very closely with them to make sure their specific requirements if possible, can be catered for in these proj- ects,” LTCOL Gower said. “They do have some specific requirements that the con- ventional forces don’t but there are other mechanisms for them to acquire niche ca- pabilities as required.”
its sensors to a tablet computer. Should tactical circumstances dictate Rotem can be weaponised in the field with the addi- tion of one or two standard Mark 26 hand grenades, turning it into a suicide drone. If not used in that role, the aircraft can safely return to its operator for use another day.
The ADF has used shotguns in vari- ous roles. Navy boarding parties rou-
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