Australia — Minister for Defence: Defence Capability Projects Announcement

Deploy­able Air Traf­fic Man­age­ment and Con­trol Sys­tems, Mar­itime Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
Mod­erni­sa­tion, and Con­sol­i­da­tion of Hor­net Struc­tur­al Refur­bish­ment

Today I announce that the Gov­ern­ment has giv­en First Pass Approval for two major Defence capa­bil­i­ty projects: to pro­vide the Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) with new deploy­able air traf­fic man­age­ment and con­trol sys­tems; and to mod­ernise the com­mu­ni­ca­tions capa­bil­i­ty of the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy’s eight Anzac class frigates.

The Gov­ern­ment has also approved the con­sol­i­da­tion of the F/A-18A/B Hor­net struc­tur­al refur­bish­ment pro­grams.

The three announce­ments com­bined will involve expen­di­ture of between $650 mil­lion and $950 mil­lion by the time they are com­plet­ed.

The deploy­able air traf­fic man­age­ment and con­trol sys­tems, to be acquired under Project AIR 5431 Phase 1, will enable the ADF to safe­ly man­age air­space in deployed loca­tions, over­seas or in Aus­tralia.

The air traf­fic man­age­ment and con­trol sys­tems could be deployed in a range of sit­u­a­tions includ­ing in the event of a nat­ur­al dis­as­ter or to sup­port human­i­tar­i­an relief efforts.

Project AIR 5431 Phase 1 is cost capped between $100 mil­lion and $150 mil­lion. Gov­ern­ment will make a final deci­sion on approval for the project in the peri­od 2012–13 to 2014–15.

The new Anzac Frigate com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment will be acquired under Project SEA 1442 Phase 4, part of a com­pre­hen­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tions mod­erni­sa­tion project for RAN ships.

The new mod­ern sys­tems will enable faster infor­ma­tion trans­fer between Navy’s ships which is essen­tial in mod­ern war fight­ing.

Project Sea 1442 Phase 4 is cost capped between $300 mil­lion and $500 mil­lion. Gov­ern­ment will make a final deci­sion on this project in the peri­od 2012–13 to 2014–15.

The Gov­ern­ment has also approved the con­sol­i­da­tion of a range of refur­bish­ment work on the Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force’s, F/A 18A/B Hor­nets into a com­bined pro­gram, with cost-capped expen­di­ture between $250 mil­lion and $300 mil­lion.

This com­bined pro­gram is esti­mat­ed to result in sav­ings of more than $500 mil­lion over the pre­vi­ous­ly planned approach, but deliv­er the same enhanced capa­bil­i­ty result. It will also increase the oper­a­tional avail­abil­i­ty of the over­all fleet of clas­sic Hor­nets.

The clas­sic Hor­nets have been in ser­vice for 25 years. This con­sol­i­dat­ed pro­gram will help to ensure that the Hor­nets con­tin­ue as a key ele­ment of the ADF’s air com­bat capa­bil­i­ty through to the end of this decade when they will be replaced by the Joint Strike Fight­er.

The con­sol­i­dat­ed refur­bish­ment pro­gram will offer ongo­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for Aus­tralian indus­try, with the poten­tial to attract a skilled work­force to the Newcastle/Port Stephens region.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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