Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence
CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
Amphibious ships need to defend Australia
Both Lonergan and White miss the point that a hard hitting defence force should be both balanced and prepared for all out war.
Lonergan states “The ADF’s developing amphibious operating concept (PDF) doesn’t envisage high-intensity conflict or major war……. Emphasis is being placed on military support to humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery, evacuation operations from unstable areas, peace-enforcement, peace-keeping, and, domestically, Defence Aid to the Civil Community (DACC)”.
Concerned citizens and Australian taxpayers never spent billions of dollars for these ships to be primarily used for “humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery”. Their first use is for the defence of Australia. They should be part of a battle group capable of amphibious operations in hostile territory. The battle group should closely follow the example of the US marines who have had many decades of firsthand experience in amphibious operations.
As for White’s 24 diesel electric dinosaur submarines, the invading force will overrun these in a few hours and then outrun them to the Australian coast. If the submarines were nuclear powered and could silently operate at 32 knots submerged indefinitely, the enemy would certainly get a hiding.
But there needs to be both nuclear submarines well out from our coastline harassing the enemy fleet and there needs to be a battle fleet of Australian ships under the cover of air bases in Northern Australia. This battle group should have 20 F35B VTOL stealth attack aircraft on each of our amphibious ships capable of attacking the enemy with long distance anti-ship missiles whilst the air force with the aid of fuel tanker aircraft gives cover to the fleet.
When the enemy lands on our shore the fleet could retire and regroup by replacing the F35 Fighters with helicopters and troops to be used in co-ordination with the army and air force to oppose the enemy forces.
Australia badly needs US marine size aircraft carriers for the F35B stealth fighters which could be built in Australia.
China should be the driving force for a crash modernization of the Australian defence force. It is nuclear armed. It has over 2 million troops it can call on. It has a full arsenal of ballistic missiles including anti-ship missiles. It has complete range of cruise missiles and tactical weapons.
China shows every intention of expanding its influence and borders with military threats.
The citizens of Australia deserve to be protected by a fair dinkum defence force capable of credibly assisting the US to remain influential in the Indo-Pacific region in the interests of peace and stability. The alternative is to wake up one night to see an enemy soldier driving a bayonet into your guts as is happening in so many parts of the world today.
Such a force would accomplish everything Lonergan suggested as well as providing us with a more effective defence force.