Australia’s strategic answer to China.

Discussion in 'East Asia & The Pacific' started by Jutland, Dec 6, 2017.

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  1. Jutland

    Jutland Officer Candidate

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    I am new here, and do not know if this topic has been covered before.

    China, looking south towards south-east Asia, and further on to Australia, needs to watch its back if it contemplates an invasion of these regions. China has Russia to worry about, so can only allocate a fraction of its forces to any invasion south and south west. Japan was in a similar position in WW2.

    Australia, by contrast, does not need to watch its back. Further south is nothing but the Great Southern Ocean, so Australia can allocate all its military resources to its northward approaches.

    Australia is an island nation, so the Navy is the most important part of its defence. A hundred years ago, increasing naval strength was easy - buy more dreadnoughts. It is more complicated today; anti-ship missiles have replaced big guns, and anti-aircraft missiles protect against hostile aircraft. Submarines are a serious threat to any invasion fleet. Large multi wheel land based missile launchers are a possibility against hostile shipping closer to shore.

    Australia does not project much naval power, so does not need an aircraft carrier.

    So the shopping list is:
    Missile cruisers, say a billion dollars each.
    Submarines, say a billion dollars each.
    Maritime patrol aircraft, including airborne radar, say $50 million each.
    Anti-ship aircraft, using Australia as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, say $50 million each.
    Multi wheel anti-ship missile launchers, using the coastal roads, say a few million dollars each.

    A$15 billion is about 1% of Australia’s GDP, and defence spending is about 2% of our GDP. If defence spending went to 5% of GDP, then increasing our naval power makes an invasion expensive for potential invaders, mainly China, but also Indonesia. Germany tried to invade Britain in 1940, over a mere 30 km of sea, but abandoned the plan when Germany could not secure sea and air superiority The reverse invasion was D Day, and was a huge industrial effort.

    I remember Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, and I thought that the Australian emphasis on infantry activity at the time diverted public attention from the military reality of defending Australia.
     
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  2. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    To be honest I don't really see Australia facing many threats in the present or future even if China becomes a much more powerful nation with several aircraft carriers, I don't see Indonesia as a big problem. I think the main reason why Australia was a target in WW2 was because it was still heavily linked to the British Empire in terms of providing large amounts of troops and resources to the war effort. With that being said I don't think the UK or Australia would be seriously involved in a conflict involving China as both countries have very good trade relations with China and really have no interest in any American Adventure in the Pacific.
     
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  3. BlueHawk

    BlueHawk Captain

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    Are you asking if Australia have a chance against China to day. I think yes and reason is that Australia have better tech than Chinese. The strategic line for Australia is to be strong with other Nation. Just the same way Europe is to day. America is the only country who lead the way and have a big Army. Australia will never be there.
     
  4. YarS

    YarS Lieutenant Colonel

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    Talking strategically, Australia have a rather good position (far away from main war theatrea), good stocks of Uranium, Titanium, low density of population. After WWIII she have a seriouse chance to became Mistress of Seas, especially if they will made some kind of puppet "USA government in the exile" and gather remains of US NAVY, US Air Force and most educated and rich refugees from America and Europe, also being neutral state that trading Titanium and Uranium with all fighting sides.
     
  5. Jutland

    Jutland Officer Candidate

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  6. Jutland

    Jutland Officer Candidate

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    Thank you for replying to my post

    I was not able to include all my thoughts in one post. I know that any large scale naval threats from China will be met by an anti-China naval coalition. I already knew that Australia already has several missile destroyers, call them what you will. I know there is some confusion about definitions for cruiser, destroyer, frigate. I knew that Australia has maritime patrol aircraft, and a nephew of mine commands one. My username will give a clue as to my thoughts on Australian defence.

    I will read the 2016 Australian White Paper on defence. I have read the 1986 Paul Dibb report on Australian defence, and was interested in his idea of area denial. Australia has about the same land area as China or the United States, so long range submarines seem a better idea.

    Indonesia is a potential threat, and has been for about as long as I can remember. I visited Indonesia in 1980, and at that time Indonesian TV news and weather had a map of the Indonesian archipelago as background, with the northern part of Australia looming up from the bottom of the picture. There were no place names on the partial map of Australia, and I expect that few Indonesians, then and now, know the huge difference between the lush, tropical geography of Indonesia, and the hot, dry geography of Northern Australia.
     
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