Chapter Two > Outcome Four: Air Force Capabilities > Capability Performance Information

Outcome Four: Air Force Capabilities

Capability Performance Information

Performance Targets

Output 4.1 Capability for Air Combat Operations

The Air Combat Group provides the Air Force's air combat capability. It includes the provision of F/A­18 and F­111 aircraft, crews, weapon systems and support infrastructure at the level of capability required to provide air control, maritime and land strike, offensive air support and a limited reconnaissance capability. Hawk Lead-In fighter aircraft and PC-9 Forward Air Control aircraft also contribute to this capability.

  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. Preparedness levels were achieved and demonstrated through F/A-18 and F-111 participation in exercises Crocodile 03 and Aces North.
Achieve levels of training that maintain core skills and professional standards across all assigned warfare areas. Achieved. F-111 aircraft availability issues have been resolved and training objectives have been achieved. F/A-18 aircrew have regained some skill-sets which had degraded during the previous period of high operational tempo. The Group's training objectives have been met through participation in a number of major exercises.
F/A-18 upgrade documentation will be considered by the Government for a decision on F/A-18 airframe upgrades. Achieved. The Hornet Upgrade Project Phase 3.2B was approved, during the period, to upgrade the first 15 F/A18 airframe centre barrels.
Quality Options to acquire additional explosive ordnance will be considered to ensure that key explosive ordnance types are available for contingency operations. Achieved. Project JP 2085 Phase 1, which sought to acquire explosive ordnance warstocks, was approved during the year.
The F­111 wing recovery program will be completed to address failure of an aircraft wing during ground fatigue testing. Achieved. The F-111 wing recovery program is complete although the work aircraft wings will need close management and more work on an on-going basis.
Quantity 28 F-111 - 3,800 flying hours 28 F-111 (17 F-111C; 4 RF-111C; and 7 F-111G). In addition, 2 aircraft have been reallocated as breakdown spares and 5 aircraft have been quarantined in long-term storage, in line with the logistics support concept.
3,949 flying hours (104 per cent) were achieved. Improved aircraft availability permitted recovery from previous shortfalls to meet preparedness objectives.
71 F/A-18 - 12,500 flying hours 71 F/A-18 - 12,820 hours (103 per cent) were achieved. An increase in rate of effort to 12,800 hours was approved during the reporting period to permit F/A-18 aircrew to recover those particular skills which had degraded as a result of the earlier operational deployment and for additional directed tasking.
33 Hawk - 8,000 flying hours 33 Hawk - 7,257 hours (91 per cent) were achieved. Aircraft serviceability has steadily improved throughout the year although limited aircraft availability resulting from corrosion earlier in the reporting period reduced the ability to fully achieve the planned flying hours.
4 PC-9/A(F) (forward air control role only) - 1,030 flying hours 4 PC-9/A(F) - 634 hours (61 per cent) were achieved due to the inability to generate sufficient serviceable aircraft during the year. This followed a number of engineering concerns resulting in the aircraft being grounded for significant periods.

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Output 4.2 Capability for Combat Support of Air Operations

The capability for combat support of air operations is provided by the Combat Support Group and involves the provision of operations support necessary to support expeditionary air bases within Australia and overseas during contingencies.

  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. Preparedness levels were achieved as demonstrated by deployments to the Middle East and the Solomon Islands during the year.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all operations support areas. Achieved. Commitments overseas placed significant pressure on the achievement of training programs.
Development of doctrine, concepts and procedures for expeditionary airfield operations will formalise direction for future capability. Substantially Achieved. ADF airbase doctrine has been drafted and a review of critical airbase infrastructure has been undertaken. This has further identified issues in doctrine, concepts and procedures for airbase operations that are being addressed.
Quantity Maintain:
- 2 combat support wings;
- 1 expeditionary combat support wing;
- 1 combat Reserve wing;
- 1 air field defence wing; and
- 1 health services wing.
This target was achieved.

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Output 4.3 Capability for Strategic Surveillance

The Air Force's capability for strategic surveillance is provided by the Surveillance and Control Group and encompasses the provision of sensors and battlespace management elements at the level of capability required to support intelligence, aerospace surveillance (wide area and focal), electronic warfare, aerospace battle management, air defence and airspace control.

  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. Including significant deployments to the Middle East by the Air Traffic Control element.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all assigned warfare areas. Achieved. The high operational tempo placed significant pressure in some areas of training.
The first four air defence radars should be delivered during 2003-04. Not Achieved. Minor project schedule delays meant that the first of four radars was not delivered during the year. Delivery commenced in July 2004.
Quantity Maintain 10 air traffic control radars. 9 radars are operational, with 1 mobile radar currently undergoing refurbishment, which is expected to be operational by December 2004.
Maintain 2 tactical air defence radars. 2 tactical air defence radars maintained. The radars are beyond their planned withdrawal date and will be replaced through project AIR 5375.
Maintain the Jindalee Operational Radar Network, including over-the-horizon radar sensors in Laverton, Western Australia, and Longreach, Queensland, the Jindalee Radar Facility in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and the Jindalee Network Coordination Centre at RAAF Edinburgh, South Australia. The Jindalee Operational Radar Network has been fully operational for the full year, and has supported ongoing research and development and other activities.

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Output 4.4 Capability for Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The capability for maritime patrol aircraft is provided by the Maritime Patrol Group and involves the provision of P-3 Orion aircraft, crews and weapon systems at the level of capability required to conduct maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, maritime strike, offensive air support and search and rescue.

  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. Most preparedness targets were met or exceeded, as demonstrated by operational commitments to Operations Slipper, Catalyst and Relex II. Some high-end warfighting preparedness targets were not achieved due to the high operational tempo.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all assigned warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. High operational tempo in the surveillance role and the transition to the upgraded P-3 Orion aircraft reduced the capacity to complete all training activities in the high-end warfighting roles.
Quality The P­3C Orion simulator will be introduced into service. Substantially Achieved. The upgraded simulator has been used successfully for conversion and continuation training during the year although some advanced training capabilities remain outstanding.
Accept a further 6 AP-3C Orion aircraft as P-3C Orion aircraft are modified. Achieved. 6 upgraded P-3 Orion aircraft were introduced into service.
Quantity 19 P­3/AP­3C - 9,000 flying hours 19 P-3 Orion aircraft - 7702 hours (86 per cent) achieved. The shortfall was the result of high levels of preparedness being maintained, the inability to make sufficient numbers of aircraft available because of the high operational tempo, the transition to the upgraded aircraft and limitations in available logistic funding. The disposal activities associated with the 3 TAP-3 aircraft are ongoing.

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Output 4.5 Capability for Airlift

The capability for airlift is provided by the Air Lift Group. The Group provides airlift aircraft, crews and weapon systems at the level of capability required to achieve air logistics support, airborne operations, aeromedical evacuation, special operations, search and survivor assistance, VIP flights, air-to-air refuelling, navigator training and surveillance operations.

  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. Preparedness has been maintained for all airlift elements except for the B707 aircraft, due to aircraft availability.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all assigned warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. Most training objectives have been maintained with the exception that the limited availability of B707 has affected some air-to-air refuelling training opportunities.
6 HS748 will be retired from service. Achieved. All HS748 navigator training aircraft were retired from service in June 2004.
7 Beechcraft Kingair 350 aircraft (B300) will be introduced into service. Achieved. 7 B300 aircraft were introduced into service, commencing in September 2003.
Quantity 24 C-130 - 15,000 flying hours 24 C-130 - 13,992 hours (93 per cent) achieved due to aircraft availability limitations as a result of deployments.
4 B707 - 1,800 flying hours 4 B707 - 965 hours (54 per cent) achieved. Major maintenance requirements and the age of the aircraft have significantly limited aircraft availability.
14 DHC-4 Caribou - 5,080 flying hours 14 Caribou - 4,940 hours (97 per cent) achieved.
2 Boeing 737 BBJ VIP aircraft - 1,200 flying hours 2 Boeing 737 BBJ - 1,181 hours (98 per cent) achieved.
3 CL604 Challenger VIP aircraft - 2,400 flying hours 3 CL604 Challenger - 1,996 hours (83 per cent) achieved.
6 HS748 Navigator Training Aircraft - 2,400 flying hours 6 HS748 NTA - 2,178 hours (91 per cent) achieved. The HS748 aircraft were withdrawn from service at the end of the financial year.
7 B300 Navigator Training aircraft - 4,500 flying hours. 7 B300 aircraft - 1,996 hours (44 per cent) achieved. Introduction of the B300 aircraft was delayed due to late project approval and problems with the integration of the navigator training package.

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