Chapter Six - Defence Materiel Organisation > Overview > page 2 of 2
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Key Achievements for 2004-05

During 2004-05, the DMO attained a number of significant achievements in delivering materiel on time, on schedule and to the required capability, safety and quality standards to the ADF, and in reforming the structure and operation of the DMO.

Schedule performance improved significantly over that of the previous year. A comparison of the Top 20 projects indicates that slippage reduced from 20 per cent to 12 per cent. This figure is approaching private sector best practice (typically around ten per cent).

The DMO's management of projects to budget and schedule is equal to, or better than, allied forces, including the United States and United Kingdom.

The DMO also succeeded in ensuring that specialist military equipment and associated supplies, used by ADF personnel deployed on operations around the world, were maintained, supported and ready for use.

During 2004-05, the DMO delivered and sustained materiel for the ADF. Significant achievements during the period are detailed below.

  • Air Warfare Destroyer: The Government announced in May 2005 that it had selected ASC Shipbuilder Pty Ltd as the preferred shipbuilder for the Navy's Air Warfare Destroyers, which is one of Australia's largest and most complex Defence projects worth up to $6 billion. In addition, the Government granted first pass approval and provided $455m towards the next phase of activities including further design work, workforce skilling, initial infrastructure investment and facilities construction.
  • Amphibious Deployment and Sustainment capability: Suitable designs identified in late 2003 for the two new amphibious ships are being assessed. Defence continues to work closely with the two overseas designers, ARMARIS and Navantia (formerly IZAR) and four Australian Shipbuilders, ADI, ASC, Austal and Tenix, to compile and assess capability, cost, schedule and risk information on the existing designs.
  • Deployment of land vehicles: In early 2004, ten new Bushmaster land vehicles were deployed to southern Iraq with the Al Muthanna Task Group, providing additional transport protection for the ADF personnel deployed to the southern province. The Bushmaster fleet is being built in Australia, and will provide 'state-of-the-art' transport protection for Australian soldiers. The DMO and Defence industry also worked together to refurbish 40 Australian Light Armoured Vehicles for deployment to the Task Group. The DMO closely managed the work to ensure capability requirements were met within the tight time schedule.
  • Airborne Early Warning and Control: The Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft made its first visit to Australia in March 2005 on successful completion of its flight certification program. Australia is the launch customer for Wedgetail and this has secured particular benefits such as lower prices and a strong industry program with the potential for Australian industry to be involved with Boeing in future sales of this aircraft.
  • Joint Strike Fighter program: Progress continues with the world's largest-ever defence project to develop the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a highly capable fifth-generation, stealth air combat aircraft. To date, 20 Australian defence companies have won work in relation to the program on the System Development and Demonstration Phase, which Australia joined in October 2002.
  • Armidale-class patrol boats: The first of the Navy's Armidale-class Patrol Boats, that will be used to protect Australia's northern coastline, was commissioned on 25 June 2005. HMAS Armidale is the first of 14 Armidale-class Patrol Boats all designed and to be built in Australia. The ships will be capable of operating in a greater range of sea conditions, improving the Navy's capability to intercept and apprehend vessels suspected of illegal fishing, quarantine, customs or immigration offences.
  • Collins-class submarines: Full Cycle Docking of HMAS Farncomb was completed in November 2004, with HMAS Collins completed in June 2005. These major maintenance activities recertify the submarines after six years of service, and return them for enhanced operational duties with the Fleet.
  • Air-to-Air Refuelling capability: European company EADS/CASA signed a $1.4 billion AUD contract in December 2004 to supply five Airbus A330-200 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft and associated training and support for the Air Force. The aircraft will refuel F/A-18, F-111, Airborne Early Warning and Control and Joint Strike Fighter aircraft while providing a significant strategic airlift capability. The basic platform is already in commercial use in Australia, allowing the ADF to benefit from support capabilities already established in-country.
  • Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter: The first two of 22 Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters were delivered on schedule to the Army in December 2004. The first Australian-assembled helicopter has also been accepted into service ahead of contracted schedule. The contract requirements are demanding but the assets are being delivered on schedule and within cost.
  • Electronic and Weapon Systems supporting operations: As a result of effective in-service support of electronic guided weapon systems and explosive ordnance, operational requirements were met during 2004-05, including deployments to the Middle East.
  • NULKA Active Missile Decoy: Negotiations are proceeding for the in-service support contract of NULKA electronic missile decoy system. NULKA provides protection to ships from radio-frequency seeker anti-ship missiles.

Further information on the top 30 major capital equipment projects for 2004-05 can be found on pp. 267-283. An update on the DMO corporate achievements and reform is included on pp. 263-265 'Materiel Reform'.

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