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Aussie defence force

i found this in one of our news papers what do you think

Upgrade launches forces on a $52bn shopping splurge

On the list ... USS Pinckney, which sails into Sydney this month.

On the list ... USS Pinckney, which sails into Sydney this month.
By Frank Walker
January 15, 2006

AUSTRALIA'S Defence Force is about to embark on its biggest weapons buying spree since World War II, spending $52 billion on new planes, ships and tanks.

The massive expenditure will make Australia's navy, army and air force the most powerful and high-tech military in the region well into the 21st century.

The spending splurge comes not to combat the war on terror, but because much of the Defence Force's most costly equipment is 30 years old and has to be replaced.

Pressure from international arms firms to sell Australia the big ticket items is intense.

This month the new American destroyer USS Pinckney will sail into Sydney on a mission to persuade the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to splash out.

The US ship has the latest anti-air warfare Aegis system and is designed to protect fleets from air and missile attack.

The ADF plans to spend $6 billion buying three such ships and is looking at a future cut-down version of the Pinckney as well as the existing Spanish F100 destroyer.

The US Navy is pulling out big guns to win the contract and the ship will host Defence Minister Robert Hill and other ministers on board when it visits during the Navy's Sea Power Conference starting in Sydney on January 31.

The destroyers will be the most powerful warships in the navy, but not the biggest. Two new 22,000 tonne amphibious assault transport ships costing more than $1 billion each are to be decided on in 2007. ADF is looking at a French design that resembles a mini aircraft carrier.

The spending spree continues in the air force where the Government plans to lay out $16 billion on 100 American-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

But the cost is likely to blow out beyond the current $160 million per plane as the US is cutting back its orders. The F-35 is still being tested and isn't due until 2012.

Defence insiders believe the Government will curtail its plans and announce next month that it will buy just 50 to 60 of the F-35s.

Big new transport planes are also on the RAAF wish list. The $200 million McDonnell Douglas built C-17 Globemaster can carry 120 troops or the heavy M1 Abrams tank, far more than the existing trusty Hercules.

New surveillance drones to help the Orion aircraft are also being considered. The US built Global Hawk unmanned drones, costing $45 million apiece, could be patrolling Australian northern waters in the next decade.

Big bucks have already been tied in by the army. In June the first of 59 second-hand American M1 Abrams tanks the ADF has bought from the US Army will arrive.

The Government has just announced there will be an extra $1.5 billion in May's budget to recruit another 1500 troops for the more mechanised army.

Another $3 billion is being spent on 7000 units of army field equipment such as helicopters, trucks, jeeps and trailers.
The big ticket items

NAVY: Three anti-aircraft and anti-missile destroyers costing $2 billion each; order to be finalised in 2008. Two large transport ships; estimated cost $1 billion each; type to be finalised in 2007.

AIR FORCE: 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters costing $160 million each; due by 2012; final decision on the order in 2008. Global Hawk unmanned surveillance drones costing $45 million each. Larger transport planes; the $200 million Globemaster could be chosen.

ARMY: 59 M1 Abrams tanks costing a total $530 million arrive in June. 7000 pieces of field equipment such as trucks, armoured personnel carriers and jeeps costing $3 billion

The Duke

:sh :f :yak
By The Duke: posted on 15-1-2006

The australian Government has finally realized that if they're going to continue backing Bush, they need to be able to defend themselves. LOL
By YCON: posted on 15-1-2006

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