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It Costs A$27,700 to Outfit a Digger

The War on Terror has resulted in a revolution in Soldier Systems here in the US as well as for our Allies. Prior to the war, the Australian Soldier was outfitted in an ensemble that, other than the 1980s-era DPCU camouflage, very much resembled what his forebears would have worn in Viet Nam.


But, as you can see from this excellent graphic prepared by The Australian, the replacement of the old gear that cost taxpayers just A$3700 is striking. I would even venture to say, that the Australian Soldier is better equipped than his US counterpart with certain items. I’d say, the A$27,700 investment is money well spent.


41 Responses to “It Costs A$27,700 to Outfit a Digger”

  1. Dan M says:

    Those boots are personally bought T8 garmonts not our issued boots.
    We don’t get issued Garmin Foretrex GPS’ either we have to buy our own.
    Gloves we also buy ourselves.

    • Bman says:

      Sounds like thats what they use for budgeting and the bean counters but then tell the low level guys that they dont have it in the budget.

  2. Ken says:

    Every ally is better equipped than us. Shit, our unit just got fielded the M2A1…

  3. Cdmcg says:

    What it doesnt show is the breakdown of price by item. If we saw that you would laugh at how much we have paid for items that are cheaper at full retail as we are terrible at commercial negotiation. Hell we paid Crye $4mil to redesign Multicam to be distinctly Australian and look what we got – Multicam with ADF symbols – Caleb is still pissing himself laughing over that one I bet.

  4. Bman says:

    I agree. Some good equipment. Would like to see how much of that is legit issued and how much is only issued to every squad leader or the like.

    • Bob says:

      You pretty much get it if you go outside the wire Bman – rank and position excluded. Even truck drivers get a version of it.

  5. Matt M says:

    Part of the reason the Ausi’s can afford to do this for thier combat soldiers is not what they issue, but how they issue it. They now “tier” jobs and issue based on what tier your occupation falls in. What a supply clerk gets issued is not what a Grunt gets issued. The US Army needs to follow this if we hope to preserve both force modernization and budget when the later is ever shrinking.

    And yes, the Ausi’s Infantrymen is undoubtabley better equopped then a US Infantryman is.

  6. Trigger finger placement takes away from the message

    • Jay says:

      If you’re a proficient soldier why wouldn’t you have your finger on the trigger. Simple range mentality again…

    • Tom says:

      It may be hard to tell in this picture but the trigger finger is running down the stock, not resting on the trigger.

  7. steave says:

    Aussies will never be better equiped than Yanks while they carry that shithouse F88 styer, id take an M4 over all that stuff any day .

    • Bob says:

      Never heard of an F88 failing in combat. Please enlighten us with your experiences steave.

      • steave says:

        Dude cant shoot an f88 left and right handed brass will smash you in the face, the butt is massive on an f88 harder to shoot well with armour. The thing is much heavier than an m4 with no attachments, have you seen both field stripped the f88 is complex compared to m4. The f88 lacks modularity . The f88 has no bolt release it has its guide rails exposed to dirt an shit where thecocking handle is. The reload on an f88 requires you to pull the old mag off with the mag release situated under the butt rather than just pressing the release with your trigger finger on the m4 – so the m4 has a faster simpler reload. They both shoot similar but the m4 is more ergonomic, modular and lighter. The f88 is iprone to more stoppages due to the exposed guide rails which allows egress of dirt the f88 is definately harder to keep clean. All this is why the m4 is far superior.

  8. greyghost says:

    I think this loadout can be replicated exactly for roughly $15,000 USD or less.

    • straps says:

      Comms platforms (“retail” on an MBITR is something like US$8K), weapon optics and NVGs and possibly the hard plates are a big part of that price.

  9. davan says:

    or $1500 in airsoft dollars

  10. JCHE says:

    G’day Larry, trigger finger placement is a bit tricky on the AUS Steyr but I’m sure you’d know that given your experience with an incredible number of weapon systems.

    The TBAS is fantastic. I was privy to some of the development behind the scenes, never in any official capacity and I can say it is leaps and bounds ahead of the old stuff.

    There are a few whistle blowers out there who won’t ever get credit for kicking up such a stink that Diggerworks was created (think national media coverage).

    • steave says:

      Tbas inferior to off the shelf plate carriers like tyr, and london bridge and twice as expensive

  11. Ben says:

    Considering that the modern US warfighter at large buys the majority of their own equipment who cares?

    Most issued equipment is either beat to death or too cheaply made to put any trust in.

    • Agent K says:


      I probably shelled out at least $5k my last deployment. People ask why I would do such a thing. Easy, because our lives depend on it. With that said we really appreciate those companies who can offer a discount to military. I know it is a lot of money especially for the junior guys.

      • Matt M says:

        Much of the kit used was well made, but not well thought out. IOTV and FLIC systems were durable. Doesnt mean they were WELL DESIGNED, but at least sturdy.

        Accept the FRACU, fuck the FRACU.

        • Ben says:

          The IOTV is cumbersome and the now issues Soldier Plate Carrier is an appalling piece of shit, any fast movements render it loose on you, not much help when you’re scrambling to get out of the way of something.

  12. orly? says:

    How much of the equipment is made in the US?

  13. steave says:

    Not that terrible rifle

  14. Dev says:

    Those boots are horrible. Took them 5 generations of complaints before the CDF issued a directive approving a list of “approved” footwear.

    The Mystery Ranch assault packs more than make up for that though.

  15. Oglee says:

    Can anyone tell me in what way they are better equipped?

    • SSD says:

      Right out of the gate, uniforms.

      • Oglee says:

        Is there anything else though? Yes their uniforms may be better, but I also would not consider fancier uniforms as a way to determine which army is better equipped.

        They also have a rather small military overall which does aid in things such as better uniforms for all.

        • Dev says:

          Well, I’ve been told the TBAS is better than the Interceptor.

          I’ve never used the Interceptor before, so I can’t comment on that one.

          • Oglee says:

            I thought we were far beyond the Interceptor. What happened to the SPCS?

        • Matt M says:

          Again, its not WHAT they issue, its HOW its issued. This is grunt specific hardware, not given to every swinging dick in every MOS. The US Army could learn from that.

          FRACUs sucked big time…

          Better uniform, better PC, better packs. I cant speculate on the electrical gear… Haven’t used their radio/headset/etc…

          • Craig P says:

            In terms of comms equipment they use the Marconi PRR, MBITR and Specialist roles use the Harris 117 (JFO & JTAC). Unless that has changed?