Research and development
Army conducts conceptual research around the themes and concepts of future land warfare and seeks to inform the production of key reports and publications.
The Australian Army publishes the Army Research and Development (R&D) Plan annually as part of the Army Modernisation Plan. It articulates the questions that Army needs answered to inform modernisation and to make key capability development decisions in the short, medium and long term. Questions are prioritised and derived from the development needs of Army Projects and a deeper analysis of the capability needs required to execute future operating concepts in the assessed future operating environment. Questions are organised along Army’s seven modernisation lines of effort [Human Performance, Force Protection, Land Combat, Situational Awareness, Command, Control & Communication, Force Design and Logistic Support].
Army’s R&D questions are primarily answered through rigorous scientific analysis by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). Army also utilises the expertise of our allies and partners, academia (through the Army Research Scheme) and other organisations with subject matter expertise. Army staff and leadership analyse the answers to inform Army modernisation and make key capability development decisions.
As detailed in the Army Modernisation Plan, Army modernisation is the transformation of the current Army into future Army such that Army remains a capable, credible and relevant force. Modernisation is achieved through a continuum of processes, decisions and actions. Modernisation includes the development and adoption of new concepts and doctrine, adaptation of force structures, and introduction and renewal of major systems, personnel policies and facilities. The Army Research and Development Plan is the foundation for the collection and development of decision support information to support Army modernisation.
The Army Research and Development plan has an enduring relevance to Army's modernisation processes. The Plan streamlines Army's research activities while providing enhanced accountability and transparency regarding decisions about future capability.
In the short-term, the Plan ensures Army's continued relevance in the current operating environment and informs strategic perspectives of the future operating environment. The medium- and long-term implications include the establishment of benchmarks around research lines of effort and allow Army to chart its modernisation initiatives' progress. The Research and Development Plan will allow Army to remain at the forefront of evolution and revolution in land warfare to enhance detection and mitigation of potential strategic shock.