Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare have added the AP-3C Orion’s Air 5276 Phase 8B ESM upgrade program to the list of ‘Projects of Concern’, while Project Air 5402 to acquire five Airbus Military KC-30 tanker/transports remains on the list, despite the aircraft recently gaining Spanish military certification.
Air 5402 is running more than 18 months late, with the main focus of the project now on addressing further schedule risk, and to keep working with contractor Airbus Military to ensure delivery and acceptance of the first two aircraft by the end of the year.
“I toured the aircraft conversion centre in Brisbane last week and was briefed on progress,” said Minister Clare. “Our focus is now on working with Airbus Military in Spain on developmental activities to support timely completion of testing and supporting activities.”
Added to the list was Air 5276 Phase 8B to provide an electronic support measures (ESM) systems upgrade for the AP-3C Orion fleet.
“The advice to me from the Defence Materiel Organisation is that BAE Systems, awarded the prime contract in 2007, is currently 18 months behind the delivery schedule for the upgraded electronic support measures equipment,” Minister Clare said.
“I look forward to the DMO and contractor demonstrating a renewed effort toward delivering this important capability to the Australian Defence Force as soon as possible.”
Other aerospace project which remain on the updated list include Air 5077 Phase 3 for the Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft and Air 5333, the Vigilaire surveillance and command and control system. The total number of projects placed on the list since 2008 has risen to 17, with six removed – five due to remediation and one due to cancellation.