Ignoring the lessons from Ukraine

Ukraine Lessons

The government and the ALP continue to turn a blind eye to the military lessons from the Ukraine conflict just as they have ignored the expert advise from the ASPI and others for years.

Warships are obsolete

The sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva by two Neptune anti-ship missiles is another powerful demonstration of warship obsolescence. With 104 surface-to-air missiles, 16 anti-ship missiles and 10 torpedo tubes the Moskva dwarfs the capacity of Australia’s Hobart Class destroyers (48 missiles) or proposed Hunter Class frigates (32 missiles), and yet it could still be sunk with relatively cheap truck-mounted anti-ship missiles.

Despite a string of damning assessments on the Hunter Class frigate design the government is still pushing ahead with the $45 billion frigate project in a desperate bid to buy votes in South Australia.

Tanks are not needed for defending Australia

Similarly despite the endless stream of images of destroyed Russian tanks the government is still planning to spend $18 to $20 billion on more armoured vehicles without any plausible plan as to how these could be deployed and defended in a modern conflict.

Buying even more armoured vehicles is just not a good investment for Australia, even if building them does buy some votes.

What Australia needs

Nine B-21 Raiders instead of nine frigates – saving $36 billion and providing a much more robust anti-ship capability. (Image: Northrop Grumman)
Land-based anti-ship missiles instead of more armoured fighting vehicles. (Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missile transporter shown.)

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  1. Getting the most out of AUKUS could require Plan B-21 (Peter Jennings, ASPI, Jan 2022)
  2. Hunter-class frigate report indicates Australian naval shipbuilding in disarray (Marcus Hellyer, ASPI, Feb 2022)
  3. Navy ‘Pathetically undergunned’ (The Age, Feb 2021)
  4. Australia needs a radical expansion of its land-based strike capabilities (Peter J Dean, ASPI, Feb 2022)
  5. StrikeMaster missile system for the ADF? A Bushmaster variant with a big bite (Brendan Nicholson, Feb 2022)
  6. Now is not the time to buy lots of heavy armoured vehicles (Michael Shoebridge, Mar 2022)
  7. Australia’s navy not equipped to meet the threat from PLA anti-ship cruise missiles (Sam Goldsmith, Apr 2022)
  8. Hunter-class frigates won’t meet the RAN’s needs (Paul Greenfield and Jon Stanford, ASPI, Apr 2022)
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