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Output Two: Navy Capabilities

Force Structure

Forces: Major Surface Combatant | Navy Aviation | Patrol Boat | Submarine | Afloat Support | Mine Warfare | Amphibious Lift | Hydrographic

Major Surface Combatant Force

Provides a capability for major surface combatant operations, comprising six Adelaide-class guided missile frigates and four Anzac-class frigates, rising to eight.

Achieved. The fourth Anzac-class frigate, HMAS Stuart, was commissioned in August 2002. The fifth Anzac-class frigate, Parramatta, was delivered in June 2003. All eight Anzac-class frigates are expected to be in service in 2006.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by CDF for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. The level of current operations reduced access to ship collective training in some warfare disciplines, and career and professional training for individuals, with medium-term effect on core skills.
Quantity:
6 guided missile frigates - 1,233 FMC days(1) 6 guided missile frigates - 1,140 FMC days (93 per cent). The level of current operations reduced access to ship collective training opportunities and increased the level of maintenance activities.
4 frigates - 813 FMC days 4 frigates - 770 FMC days (95 per cent). The level of current operations reduced access to ship collective training opportunities and increased the level of maintenance activities.
Note
  1. Full Mission Capability (FMC) refers to the unit's ability to operate in accordance with its designed capability. Target FMC days are determined for each Force Element Group by aggregating total days for the unit in commission (365), less all days when a unit is programmed to be in major maintenance, leave periods or conducting initial operational training work-up. This can be a limitation in capturing full employment of ships on deployment, and for this reason a new measure, Unit Ready Days, has been introduced for 2003-04.

Navy Aviation Force

Provides a capability for naval aviation operations that will be enhanced by the introduction of Super Seasprite helicopters. These aircraft will provide a number of embarked flights for the Anzac-class frigates. Seahawk helicopters, already in service, provide flights for embarkation in guided missile frigates. A Sea King helicopter squadron is maintained to undertake maritime utility operations, including troop transport and a range of logistic tasks.

Achieved. Seahawk and Sea King helicopters met all planned operational commitments as well as a number of short notice additional taskings. These operational commitments resulted in a shortfall in training output, particularly for Seahawk.

Squirrel helicopters met the majority of training targets. Training shortfalls were a result of limited aircraft and instructor availability in conjunction with the Squirrel's current role limitations.

Kalkara operations in support of Navy and Air Force training and missile testing met tasking assignments.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Partially Achieved. Operational commitments resulting in non-availability for training, have caused a degradation in some core skills, in particular, anti-submarine warfare proficiency. Shortages of aircrew and delays in the full introduction of the Super Seasprite also affected training.
Quantity:
12 Squirrels - 4,000 hours 12 Squirrels - 3,577 hours (89 per cent). The shortfall was caused by reduced aircraft availability due to modifications, scheduled servicing following unplanned flying in support of firefighting activities, and poor weather. Unfilled qualified instructor positions also exacerbated the flying and training shortfall.
7 Sea Kings - 2,000 hours 7 Sea Kings - 2,293 hours (115 per cent). The overfly was due to operational requirements in support of national objectives. 2002-03 saw the Sea King rate of effort being the highest for any Navy helicopter in many years.
16 Seahawks - 4,600 hours 16 Seahawks - 3,887 hours (85 per cent). Lack of instructors and qualified aircrew and maintenance personnel constrained hours usage ashore. Also, during 2002-03, a greater than originally planned number of aircraft were in, or awaiting, deep level maintenance as a result of a higher than normally programmed usage rate due to the Navy's operational commitments in the past 18 months.
11 Super Seasprites - 0 hours 10 Super Seasprites - 0 hours. 10 Super Seasprite airframes have been delivered to Nowra but none have completed the acceptance process. The helicopters will be used in an interim training role until the full capability is accepted in December 2004. This will allow comprehensive testing of the Seasprites prior to final acceptance. The final airframe will be delivered on completion of the full Seasprite flight test program, currently expected during 2005-06, as part of Project SEA 1411 (Anzac Ship Helicopter).
13 Kalkaras - 39 presentations(1) 13 Kalkaras - 8 presentations (21 per cent). Of the 39 predicted target presentations, the Navy and Air Force operational authorities requested only eight.
Note
  1. Kalkara is an unmanned aerial target system used for fleet support. Presentations refer to the number of instances during which the system is used as a target in training exercises.

Patrol Boat Force

Provides a capability for patrol boat operations comprising fifteen Fremantle-class patrol boats.

Achieved. Transition from the Fremantle-class patrol boats to the Armidale-class patrol boats will take place between 2004-05 and 2007-08. The number of replacement patrol boats has not yet been determined and will be dependent upon finalisation of contractual arrangements. The Fremantle-class patrol boat force has exceeded its designed life-of-type by in excess of six years. There is an increasing risk that hull and system related defects will continue to impact on the provision of Fremantle-class patrol boat capability throughout the remainder of the class life.

The patrol boat force contributes to the civil surveillance program, which is managed by Coastwatch. The force also contributes to the protection of Australia's sovereignty, through the provision of a patrol, response and surveillance capability in Australia's maritime approaches. Patrol boats contribute to regional engagement and security through the conduct of operations, port visits and exercises with regional nations. Contributions in these areas were met in 2002-03.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Achieved. Operational units within the patrol boat force achieved a level of training that maintained core skills and professional standards.
Quantity:
15 patrol boats - 2,709 FMC days 15 patrol boats - 2,513 FMC days (93 per cent). A total of 32 weeks of unscheduled maintenance activity was incurred from November 2002 to June 2003. This was due to hull and/or system related defects in HMA Ships Cessnock, Gawler, Dubbo, Geelong, Launceston, Geraldton, Bunbury, Fremantle and Warrnambool.

Submarine Force

Provides a capability for submarine operations comprising six Collins-class submarines.

Substantially Achieved. HMAS Rankin was commissioned in March 2003. Ongoing improvements in capability and reliability will progressively enhance the combat capability of all submarines. A number of issues arose during the year, principally flexible hose problems and extended maintenance periods, which impacted on achievement.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Partially Achieved. Due to capability enhancements and improvements on some of the class, Chief of the Defence Force directed preparedness levels were only partially achieved.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. With the exception of training in maritime support operations, all warfare core skills and professional standards were maintained.
Quantity:
6 Collins - 500 FMC days(1) 6 Collins - 390 FMC days (78 per cent). The underachievement was due to HMAS Waller requiring additional maintenance and hull survey work during intermediate docking from April to November 2002; the impact on submarine availability due to a flexible hose failure, which had class-wide implications; and delays to HMAS Collins full cycle docking.
Note
  1. HMA Ships Collins and Farncomb conducted a full cycle docking and were not available for FMC. HMAS Rankin was commissioned in March 2003.

Afloat Support Force

Provides a capability for afloat support comprising an oil tanker and a replenishment ship.

Achieved. The Navy achieved the capability for afloat support force, consisting of an oil tanker, HMAS Westralia, and a replenishment ship, HMAS Success.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Substantially Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives with the exception of a 33 day period from 21 May to 3 June 2003 when both the oil tanker and replenishment ship had major defects that restricted their ability to undertake support operations.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives.
Quantity:
1 oil tanker - 343 FMC days 1 oil tanker - 305 FMC days (89 per cent). The loss of FMC days was due to significant main propulsion defects.
1 replenishment ship - 294 FMC days 1 replenishment ship - 320 FMC days (109 per cent). Overachievement occurred due to the cancellation of a scheduled maintenance period.

Mine Warfare Force

Entails a capability for mine warfare comprising six Huon-class coastal mine hunters, two auxiliary mine sweepers and two clearance diving teams.

Achieved. The sixth and final Huon-class coastal mine hunter, HMAS Yarra, was commissioned in March 2003. These ships provided the mine warfare capability, with the two auxiliary mine sweepers providing essential support and mine sweeping training capability. The two Navy clearance diving teams supported a range of missions including mine counter-measures, maritime tactical operations and underwater battle damage repair.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives.
Quantity:
6 coastal mine hunters - 700 FMC days 6 coastal mine hunters - 997 FMC days (142 per cent). The overachievement was primarily due to an increase in the operational test and evaluation program. This was necessary to ensure that the coastal mine hunters were proven to be fully functional prior to project completion and acceptance into Naval service of the class.
2 auxiliary mine sweepers - 195 FMC days 2 auxiliary mine sweepers - 0 FMC days. The two large auxiliary mine sweepers, Bandicoot and Wallaroo, were not fully mission capable throughout 2002-03 as they were unable to conduct the full range of minesweeping tasks previously performed by the small vessels Koraaga and Bermagui, which were retired from service in 1999. Notwithstanding, the large vessels did achieve 309 days at sea (deployed) providing essential support to the mine warfare and clearance diving task group, the mine warfare faculty, the surface warfare school and undertaking national tasks of route surveying Australia's primary ports and providing tug support to nuclear powered warship visits. Brolga, a minesweeping training platform and general support vessel, was used in a limited training role until retirement from the force on 12 April 2003.
2 clearance diving teams - 646 FMC days 2 clearance diving teams - 646 FMC days (100 per cent)

Amphibious Lift Force

Provides a capability for amphibious lift, comprising two amphibious landing ships, a heavy landing ship, and six heavy landing craft.

Achieved. The amphibious ships have been committed to operations including Slipper/Bastille/Falconer, Bel Isi II and Relex II. The increased rate of effort has led to a reduction in opportunities for joint training.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Achieved. Levels were met in accordance with current preparedness directives.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Partially Achieved. The increased rate of effort has led to a reduction in opportunities for joint training.
Quantity:
1 heavy landing ship - 266 FMC days 1 heavy landing ship - 247 FMC days (93 per cent). The loss of FMC days was due to the extension of a major maintenance period to allow for configuration changes.
2 amphibious landing ships - 568 FMC days 2 amphibious landing ships - 601 FMC days (106 per cent). The overachievement was due to operational deployments.
6 heavy landing craft - 1,171 FMC days 6 heavy landing craft - 1,159 FMC days (99 per cent). The small underachievement was a result of reduced exercise opportunities.

Hydrographic Force

Provides a capability for hydrographic and oceanographic operations comprising two Leeuwin-class hydrographic ships and their embarked survey motor boats, four Paluma-class survey motor launches, a laser airborne depth sounder aircraft and the hydrographic office deployable survey unit, all supported by the Australian Hydrographic Office in Wollongong, NSW.

Partially Achieved. The two hydrographic ships and their embarked survey motor boats have not been formally accepted. Formal acceptance was delayed due to restrictions on the ships' operations in moderate to high sea conditions and systems deficiencies, and an inability to progress trials due to the ships' commitment to operational duties. The hydrographic ships are planned to be accepted in Naval service in mid-2005.

The survey motor launches remained operational in their primary role throughout the year, but no longer fully meet international and Defence feature detection requirements. This deficiency is being addressed by project upgrades of the survey motor launches and survey motor boats. A prototype replacement survey motor boat has been trialed, and the survey motor launches will undergo upgrades from 2004. The laser airborne depth sounder aircraft remained operational throughout the year. A defect in the aircraft's inertial navigation system, which restricted operations, was rectified in May 2003.

Performance Targets Performance
Quality:
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Substantially Achieved. The laser airborne depth sounder capability was reduced by a defective inertial navigation system from July 2002 to May 2003. The Hydrographic Office Deployable Survey Unit(1) was unavailable, due to personnel shortages, until 5 August 2002, but this did not affect the number of days deployed. The hydrographic ships were unable to meet all preparedness requirements for hydrographic data collection, due to their six months commitment to other operations.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards to conduct survey tasking, produce navigational information and provision of oceanographic and meteorological support. Partially Achieved. Core skills were maintained in all units except hydrographic ships, which were committed to Operation Relex II until the end of 2002. Three hydrographic ship crews commenced reconstitution training in January 2003, with one achieving the required level of capability for hydrographic surveying by July 2003. Meteorological and oceanographic specialist personnel maintained core skills.
Achieve endorsed data collection and production targets. Partially Achieved. Hydrographic data collection was reduced by 35 per cent due to the hydrographic ships' commitment to Operation Relex II until the end of 2002. Meteorological and oceanographic data management and production targets were achieved as outlined in the Hydroscheme, the surveying, oceanographic and chart production plan for the Hydrographic Force.
Quantity:
2 hydrographic ships - 531 FMC days 2 hydrographic ships - 498 FMC days (94 per cent). The underachievement was primarily due to defects in the camshaft followers for the main engines.
4 survey motor launches - 926 FMC days 4 survey motor launches - 913 FMC days (99 per cent). The underachievement was due to minor defects and temporary inability to fill short notice personnel needs.
1 laser airborne depth sounder aircraft - 900 flying hours for surveying; - 38 hours for ferrying activity spread across 208 FMC days 1 laser airborne depth sounder aircraft - 800 hours (89 per cent) for surveying; 0 hours (0 per cent) for ferrying activity spread across 208 FMC days. The underachievement was due to aircraft defects (33 hours) and unfavourable environmental (weather and sea) conditions which were not conducive to effective surveying operations. Funding for forward deployments to locations remote from the aircraft's home base was diverted to higher priority activities due to budgetary constraints.
1 Hydrographic Office Deployable Survey Unit
- availability 300 days;
- planned deployments 169 days
1 Hydrographic Office Deployable Survey Unit -300 days availability (100 per cent) and 146 (86 per cent) deployments days. The Survey Unit did not achieve its deployment target due to a reduction in the duration of its Antarctic mission.
Chart Production: New charts/editions - 62 26 new charts/new editions were produced and published (42 per cent). Chart production targets were not able to meet civil requirements because of the Defence priority to support Operation Relex II. Production was also adversely affected by delays in delivery of the Digital Hydrographic Database (Project SEA 1430 Phase 1) and the introduction of an interim chart production system. A further 13 charts were 80 per cent complete.
New charts/diagrams for use by the Navy - 32 41 new charts/new diagrams were produced for use by the Navy (128 per cent). Production in excess of additional estimates targets was in response to increased demand for charts to support Defence operations, particularly Operation Relex II.
Electronic Navigational(2) Chart Cells - 44 45 electronic navigational chart cells were produced and released commercially (102 per cent)
Notes
  1. The Hydrographic Office Deployable Survey Unit was formerly the Hydrographic Office Detached Survey Unit.
  2. Electronic Navigational Chart Cells were erroneously reported as Electronic Nautical Chart Cells in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2002-03 (page 30) [PDF] and were omitted from the Defence Annual Report 2001-02.