Minister for Defence Minister for Defence Materiel: Projects of Concern – Update

Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today updated the Projects of Concern list, announcing the cancellation of the LCM2000 Watercraft project.

LCM 2000 Watercraft

This project was approved by the previous Government in 1997 and involved the construction of six watercraft for the Landing Platform Ships Kanimbla and Manoora.

The project has suffered a number of problems.  Most critically, the dimensions and weight of the watercraft  meant they were unsuitable to be launched from these ships and are not fit for alternative Australian Defence Force  use.

Accordingly, the project has been cancelled and Defence will now begin plans to dispose of the vessels.

MRH-90 Helicopter

Mr Smith and Mr Clare also announced that a high-level comprehensive diagnostic review of the MRH-90 helicopter project would occur this month.

As reported in both the Defence Annual Report and the ANAO Major Project Report released last year, the project has suffered delays of 12 months for the Navy’s helicopters and 18 months for the Army’s helicopters.

Delays are due to a series of key issues, including engine failure, transmission oil cooler fan failures and the poor availability of spares.

The former Government  approved the order of 46 MRH-90s to replace the Army’s Black Hawk and Navy’s Sea King fleets.

13 MRH-90 helicopters have been accepted by Defence to date and are currently being used for testing and initial crew training.

Minister Smith said that the full diagnostic review would be supported by external specialists. It will provide recommendations to Government on the actions necessary to fully implement this important project.

Projects of Concern:

The Projects of Concern list was established by the Government in 2008 to focus the attention of Defence and Industry on remediating listed projects.

This process has been successful in remediating a number of key complex and challenging projects.

Projects are put on the list when there are significant challenges with scheduling, cost, capability delivery or project management.

Since September 2010, the Government has added two projects to the list (Electronic Support Measures upgrade for AP-3C Orion aircraft and Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles).

This brings the total number of projects placed on the list since 2008 to 18. Seven of these have been removed – five due to remediation and two due to cancellation.

Later this month the Minister for Defence Materiel will meet with the CEOs of companies who have projects on the list to discuss their plans to remediate the projects.

These meeting will now occur twice a year to ensure there is a focus at the top of Government, Defence and industry to remediate these projects and ultimately take them off the list.

Minister Clare also indicated he was developing plans to further strengthen the Project of Concern process. These reforms will be released in the next few weeks.

The current Project of Concern list is below.

Project Description
CN10 Collins Class Submarine Sustainment and Projects
AIR 5077

Phase 3

‘Wedgetail’ Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft
SEA 1448

Phase 2B

Anti-Ship Missile Defence radar upgrades for ANZAC Class Frigates
JOINT 2043

Phase 3A

High Frequency Modernisation (HFMOD) – communications and data exchange capability for sea, air and land forces
AIR 5333 ‘Vigilare’ – Aerospace surveillance and command and control system
JOINT 129

Phase 2

Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – airborne surveillance for land forces
LAND 121

Phase 3

‘Overlander’ replacement field vehicles, trailers and modules for land forces (‘Medium Heavy’ class of vehicles only)
JOINT 2070 Lightweight torpedo replacement for ANZAC and ADELAIDE Class Frigates
AIR 5402 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft – Air to Air Refuelling Capability
AIR 5276

Phase 8B

Electronic Support Measures upgrade for AP-3C Orion aircraft
AIR 5418

Phase 1

Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles

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