Chapter Six - Defence Materiel Organisation > Approved Major Capital Equipment Projects > AIR 5077 Ph 3
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Approved Major Capital Equipment Projects

Top 30 Projects by 2004-05 Expenditure

AIR 5077 Ph 3 Airborne Early Warning and Control

Prime contractor: The Boeing Company (United States)

This project will provide Defence with an airborne early warning and control capability, with the provision of six aircraft and associated supplies and support. Modification of the last four aircraft will take place in South-East Queensland. The project remains on schedule and on budget, with a planned in-service date of 2007.

The first modified Boeing 737 completed its flight certification testing in March 2005. The second aircraft completed its modification program in December 2004, and the installation of its mission system in May 2005. Mission system testing began in July 2005. Build 6 of the mission computing system software entered test phase in December 2004 and Build 7 in June 2005. Build 8, the final build, will now enter test phase in October 2005 due largely to the failure of a Boeing program for the United States Air Force to deliver software upon which this project was dependent. This slippage has been anticipated since February 2005 and the design test and evaluation program has been adjusted to absorb the delay.

Construction of the support centre building was completed in November 2004, three months ahead of schedule, as part of the prime contract. Construction of the maintenance hangar is planned for completion in January 2006 and associated aircraft parking areas in June 2006 as part of Stage 1 of the RAAF Williamtown Redevelopment. The critical design review for the last of the ground segments and the support facility was successfully completed in October 2004.

The actual expenditure in 2004-05 exceeded estimates due primarily to price escalation in accordance with the provisions of the prime contract and an increase in foreign military sales payments to the United States Government.

The project contributes to Air Force capability.

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