Of Tactical Consideration
Australia has recently been looking at upgrading their armed forces, especially in terms of replacing their aircraft and also shopping around for new Main Battle Tanks. I have several questions about this, because I feel like this may be the wrong way to be spending the defense budget. Let's get something out of the way first, nobody is going to invade Australia, except for boat people and the occasional busload of obnoxiously loud mainland Chinese tourists. But I'm talking about invading with a conventional army. I think one concern is that Indonesia might invade Australia, which would be really hilarious if you're everyone that isn't Indonesia at that point.Successful military campaign criteria
Problem #1 - Avenue of attack
- Indonesia must control and dominate the air.
- Indonesia must control and dominate the waters.
- Indonesia must control and subjugate the major population centers.
- Indonesia must control strategically critical areas of Australia.
The first problem with an invasion of Australia is that it's a fucking awful plan
that is definitely an expression of lunacy. More to the point, when I was young I read an encyclopaedia that had size comparison charts of things. For Australia, they put our motherfucking moon on the Australian continent to show how big Australia was. On the picture there was a caption saying, "The moon as referenced against the Australian landmass, with space left over
". So Indonesia better be ready to commit to a campaign that amounts to a goddamned moon invasion. More realistically, they must attack the Northern parts of Australia, which is unsurprisingly, where Australia concentrated their most sophisticated anti-air surveillance networks and also their air power.Problem #2 - Logistics
Thanks to a mild convenience known as the ocean, Australia can only be invaded either by air or by sea. Both options are extremely perilous in nature, and very few military campaigns that attempted just a pure air or sea invasion has ever succeeded. Even D-Day in World War II resulted in phenomenal casualties on the part of the allies, against just one SS Panzer division and a mish-mash of irregular and regular German Wermacht troops on the defensive. For Indonesia, their D-Day will resemble all of their landing beaches looking like Omaha Beach, except they won't even make it to the shingles like the American Ranger divisions did. Also, this is even assuming their marines make it to the beach, or even out of their drydocks in Indonesia (we will get to that).
To keep your attack momentum going, and to secure strategic points in Australia, you must establish a command and control base to co-ordinate further attacks. This is commonly known as, "Taking and forming a beach-head
". So in order to secure a beach-head, you have to first - capture enough land and then defend it against inevitable counterattacks
. You have to do this because militarily speaking - you have the ocean to your back and enemy territory on ground facing you, this is the strategic equivalent of poking a termite's nest with your dick whilst lava flows right behind you. After doing that bullshit at the cost of thousands of lives, you'll then need to ferry reinforcements to replenish the guys that died, ferry in supplies so the guys that didn't die...remain not dead and also ammunition so that your guys have something to return fire with. The support and supply fleet has to be as big, if not bigger than the actual invading force because you need all those supplies to keep your offensive going.Problem #3 - Crazy Fake Indo President: Wait, can our troops get to Northern Australia?
No, hypothetical lunatic president of Indonesia. Not only No, but Fuck No
. First of all, even if we disregard Indonesia's complete lack of logistical backbone to sustain such a prolonged, massive offensive campaign against the moon's representative on Earth, there are extremely clear disparities in fighting strength. I'm talking about pre-upgraded Australia. This is an Australia without F-35s or new Main Battle Tanks, though an Australia without F-35s may actually be a much better thing.Our ships can't even control the ocean, which will be the primary source of reinforcements and supplies.
We have six frigates, which are our largest surface vessels - mounted with 76mm (3inch) deck guns as primary weapons. The Australians have fourteen frigates that they can deploy immediately. Four of their older frigates have 3 inch deck guns, but the other ten frigates have 5 inch deck guns - meaning that they outgun us in terms of damage and range if it gets to a gunnery fight. Also no, we can't sink a fleet that huge with our two submarines - considering our two submarines will be too busy avoiding detection
from their six submarines (even though they are quite markedly bad).Our planes can't even control the skies, which will provide the necessary close fire support for our marines.
The first problem is that there is about 500 miles of ocean to cover, even from the closest point in East Timor to Darwin. Most of our air bases are not in that region, but further away. Let's be generous and say that this puts us 700 miles away from Darwin, Australia. We have a large airforce on paper, but in actuality - we have about fifty or less active combat aircraft. These are aircraft that we have weaponry, spare parts and pilots to crew, and fifty is decently respectable amount of planes to be sortying against Australian forces. There's just a couple of issues, including the fact that Australia has about 85 active F-18s, and also the fact that their F-18s will have the ability to loiter
- which means they'll have more fuel to linger around the battlefield to bomb and strafe the unholy Christ out of our poor marines and surface landing craft. They'll also be configured for fast interception, which means they won't have to attach bulky fuel tanks for more speed and agility in air-to-air combat (because they are in home ground, and can refuel much more easily).
So you argue that our pilots are better than Australian pilots, okay then. The other issue is that our jets have about 1,600 mile range if we attach bulky and heavy fuel tanks to them. They need 700 miles worth of fuel to get to Darwin, and then 700 miles worth of fuel to get back to their bases in Indonesia. This leaves about 200 miles worth of jet fuel for them to i) support and escort transport planes or ships and ii) dogfight against Australian F-18s. Our pilots may be well trained and motivated, but they can't fight against the finiteness of fuel, and they certainly won't be able to out-turn an Australian F-18 with bulky external fuel tanks. If they jettison their fuel tanks to engage the RAAF, they will end up ditching in the sea because they ran out of gas.Don't even talk about our tanks
Okay, so we bought over twenty Leopard 2 tanks from Germany. These are really, really good tanks
, and we did something right when we bought these from the Germans. They are much more modernized and would definitely be more than a match for the Australian M1A1 Abrams. Except we have zero way of getting them on the shores of Australia because we don't even come close to controlling the air or sea transport routes.Problem #4 - Massive damage
In the event that our invasion fails (which it almost certainly will), we would have been battling other, more insane pressures back home. Jakarta would be pressed down by the international community for our aggressive action through sanctions and bans, and our populace will despise us for sending their children to their deaths. Seeing us misuse our military equipment in such aggression will result in all of our pending orders for Leopard 2s, F-16s and our new submarines to be cancelled indefinitely. Nobody will trade arms with us and we will have no way to service what shambles and wrecks of what was once our military hardware.Problem #5 - When we lose, everyone will laugh at us
Actually, this'll probably hurt the most.So to the ADF:
You should probably use the money to buy a more sophisticated anti-air missile network, radar, and maritime surveillance aircraft. Or, if you need to upgrade your airframes, you can go with other excellent air superiority interceptors like the Typhoon, Gripen or Rafale.