Contemporary Operating Environment

'Coming to Terms with the Modern Way of War: Precision Missiles and the Land Component of Australia's Joint Force' by Colonel C. Smith & Dr A. Palazzo

By Mick Fry May 14, 2019

Click here to access the paper

This paper written by Colonel Chris Smith and Dr Albert Palazzo was published in December 2016 as Australian Army Research Centre Occasional Paper. Its objective is to 'spark discussion about the future of Australia's land forces in light of advances in land-based precision technologies'. The paper provides an understanding of how precision missiles are changing the character of war and how these capabilities favour the defender. The authors discuss how the acquisition of precision missiles will enhance the Australian Defence Force's ability to meet Australia's strategic defence interests by enhancing deterrence, enabling the ADF to keep potential threats far from our shores and potentially reducing the loss and devastation of war. This discussion is followed by a consideration of the probable effect that a precision missile capability will have on tactics and force structures, and a discussion of the Australian Army's level of readiness for the changing character of war that the proliferation of precision weapons brings. The authors then detail the characteristics of a future Australian land force and how the land force must be able to act.



Mick Fry


Mick Fry is a member of the Cove Team.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

Add new comment

Cove App


Fast access to The Cove anywhere, anytime. Additional feature of receiving notifications for new content.

Reflective Journal


Record your reflections in a structured way to improve your performance.