Top 20 sustainment product descriptions

Aerospace Systems Division

Aerospace Systems Division (ASD) provides through-life support to 12 fixed wing weapon systems which include the F/A-18 Hornet fleet, F/RF-111s, AP-3C Orions, airlift and training fleets, simulators and related aircraft support systems.

Supported by Air Force, ASD has reduced ongoing aircraft support costs through introducing new incentive-based contracts, working with industry suppliers to identify and exploit opportunities for efficiency, and continuous improvement of in-house support activities.

2008-09 Achievements
Aerospace System Products
P-3C/AP-3C Orion Weapons System

The safety by inspection fatigue management regime commenced with prototype and initial production being successfully completed on four aircraft - extending each aircraft’s life by several thousand flying hours, and providing a framework for future extensions up to planned withdrawal. However, an aligned deeper maintenance servicing found an additional major ageing aircraft issue of wing corrosion requiring extensive rectification. Cooperative planning with industry allowed Defence to accommodate the additional maintenance within a revised AP-3C maintenance program while still ensuring that aircraft availability meets Air Force requirements.

Ageing aircraft wiring issues also impacted availability during the year and a targeted ‘kapton’ wiring replacement program was initiated. The DMO-Industry alliance arrangement (known as the P3 Accord) continues to mature with Australian Aerospace and now BAE Systems Australia (formerly Tenix Defence) providing support to key sustainment capabilities and upgrade requirements.

Support to AP-3C deployment and operations in the MEAO continued, in addition to deployment and operations in Northern Australian approaches and Victorian bushfire support. In support of the MEAO two major accelerated modifications were rolled out as part of the Orion upgrade program.

F/A-18 Hornet Weapons System

The F/A18 Hornet Tactical fighter weapon system comprises 55 single seat F/A-18A and 16 dual seat F/A-18B aircraft, operational flight trainers, computer based training system, integrate maintenance training systems and Hornet-unique ground support equipment.

A new contracting strategy was implemented to provide through-life support for deeper maintenance and modifications to the Hornet in December 2008. The scope of work reflects a decrease in workload associated with completion of the AIR 5376 Phase 2.2 modification program in December 2008, and the reduction in scope of AIR 5376 Phase 3.2 from 49 Centre Barrel Replacements to 10. This reduction was as a result of fatigue life extensions supported by DSTO testing.

The main challenges facing the Hornet continue to be emerging structural damage found during deeper maintenance, obsolescence, aircraft and support equipment ageing issues, and coordinating modification and upgrade work to maintain aircraft availability.

C-130J-30 Weapons System

The C-130J-30 fleet consists of 12 aircraft and one Level 5 simulator. The C-130J-30 is currently supported by a mixture of organic and contracted maintenance. In March 2009, DMO signed a through-life support contract with Australian Aerospace for the provision of future C-130J-30 deeper maintenance, logistics and engineering support. These services will be phased in over 2009-10 and transition is due to be completed in March 2010. The C-130J-30 aircraft provided critical support to operations during 2008-09, and this support will continue throughout 2009-10.

Throughout 2008-09, overall spares availability has improved, although there are several critical items that continue to impact C-130J-30 operations and receive focussed attention. Equipment obsolescence is a key logistics support risk for the C-130J-30. Defence plans to manage this risk through the internationally-managed C-130J-30 Block Upgrade Program and the new through-life support contractor, who has teamed with Lockheed Martin, to assist in management of systems obsolescence. The C-130J-30 Block Upgrade Program will deliver, from Lockheed Martin, an on-going series of software and hardware upgrades to the platform in order to maintain the C-130J-30’s global deployment capability in line with other C-130J-30 operating nations.

F-111 Weapons System

The F-111 weapon system comprises 17 F-111C and 4 RF F-111C aircraft, the F-111 Mission Simulator and F-111 unique support and test equipment.

Twenty one F-111 aircraft and training systems are supported by three main contractors with the operational maintenance provided by the Air Force. Existing support contracts have been recast to align with the plan to withdraw the F/RF-111C aircraft at the end of 2010. The main challenges are diminishing industrial F-111 maintenance capacity, and the risk of shortfalls in critical spare aircraft parts as planned withdrawal approaches.

Lead-In Fighter Hawk 127 Weapons System

The Hawk 127 Lead-In-Fighter weapon system comprises 33 Hawk aircraft, one of which is instrumented, a full scale fatigue test article, mission planning systems, a computer based instruction system and a tactical weapon training system.

Hawk 127 aircraft and training devices are sustained through a prime contract with BAE Systems Australia. This is a performance-based in-service support contract covering all support other than operational maintenance, which is performed by the Air Force flying units. Limitations on engines due to component defects have limited ADF training support over the past six months and are expected to take a further 12 months to fully resolve.

C-17 Globemaster III

Sustainment of the four aircraft C-17 fleet has continued to develop and the mature rate of effort is expected to be achieved in 2010-11. Lay-in of spares and support equipment is still continuing, and development of infrastructure for C-17 operations and training systems is well underway. The majority of support is obtained through FMS arrangements with the USAF. These support arrangements are working well under the stewardship of the HALSPO and a steady improvement was achieved during 2008-09 as spares holdings increased, such that agreed levels of support to Air Force are now being consistently met.

C-130H Weapons System

The C-130H fleet consists of 12 aircraft and one Level 5 simulator. The fleet is currently supported by a mixture of organic maintenance, conducted by 37 Squadron, and contracted maintenance, primarily provided by Qantas Defence Services and Raytheon. Notwithstanding, the C-130H is ageing. DMO has maintained a strong focus on aircraft availability and serviceability to ensure Defence retains a sustainable and responsive airlift capability. DMO also remains focussed on managing existing and emerging fatigue and corrosion issues. Through the Smart Sustainment project undertaken with the deeper maintenance contractor in 2008-09, the DMO has improved the consistency of turn-around times for deeper maintenance activities and will now work to reduce the time to make aircraft serviceable. Air Force has reduced the C130H availability requirement to align with the reduced rate of effort. This reduction allowed four aircraft to be placed in preservation storage as the aircraft became due for deep maintenance, saving over $14m in 2008-09.

Electronic Systems Division

Within the Electronic Systems Division (ESD), the through-life support of electronic systems materiel is managed across 18 System Program and System Support Offices. These offices cover command and control systems, communications, airspace surveillance and control systems and their supporting radars, electronic warfare systems (including self-protection), satellite communications and tactical interoperability systems.

Operational support was achieved while ESD maintained a high level of availability of the various systems to support the ADF.

2008-09 Achievements
Electronic Systems Products
Wide Area Surveillance Capability

Wide Area Surveillance is provided through a network of three Over the Horizon Radars which use radio energy refracted from the ionosphere to detect and track airborne and surface objects over the horizon at ranges between 1,000 to 3,000 kilometres. The surveillance area of focus is the northern sea and air approaches to Australia.

The Wide Area Surveillance capability met or exceeded operational availability requirements of the ADF through two primary support contracts which support the three major ground stations in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory as well as the control elements in South Australia. Work continues on implementing a single software development and engineering environment across the two contractors and Defence. 2008-09 also saw an increased focus on sustainability issues, including obsolescence, along with continued enhancement of the Over the Horizon Radar capability.

Current risks relate to the ongoing support of strategic communications links (including satellite and terrestrial links) that link all Over the Horizon Radar sites and end users, and equipment obsolescence in the medium term.

Battlespace Communications System

The DMO sustains a range of radio frequency and trunk systems for transmitting voice and data primarily for land based forces. This family of equipment is referred to as battlespace communications systems. Typical components are personnel and vehicle radios, cordless telephone systems, tactically mobile satellite terminals and associated communications equipment, maintenance facilities and ancillaries such as antennas, handsets, cable reels and battery chargers.

The contract for the procurement of a new vehicle inter/intra-communications harness for Bushmaster vehicles was signed with Thales Australia Limited on 20 February 2009. This new harness is capable of greater data exchange and will replace the current in service item which faced obsolescence issues. As a result 737 Bushmaster vehicles will be fitted out to provide an increased command and control capability by late 2010.

Battlespace communications systems remain deployed on operations in the Middle East, East Timor and Solomon Islands.

Obsolescence issues are beginning to affect the risk profile of supporting this product group; however, all of the ADF’s important sustainment needs are currently being met.

Explosive Ordnance Division

Explosive Ordnance - Navy, Army, Air Force

The Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD) was established in February 2008, taking responsibility for the acquisition and through-life support to the ADF of all explosive ordnance from the former Electronic and Weapon Systems Division. Activities in 2008-09 were characterised by continued high tempo to support operational commitments and introduction of new guided weapon capabilities.

2008-09 Achievements

Other significant achievements included:

Helicopter Systems Division

Helicopter Systems Division (HSD) provides through-life support to ten rotary wing weapon systems through an Aviation System Program Office based at Nowra for Navy aviation and another based at Oakey for Army aviation. They provide fleet-wide engineering, repair parts, contract management for deeper level maintenance and replacement of ageing and obsolescent aircraft equipment.

The sustainment tasks are driven by operational unit requirements and deployments such as the Chinooks and UAV operations in Afghanistan, and Seahawks embarked in Navy frigates in the Persian Gulf.

HSD also manages several major helicopter acquisition programs including Tiger ARH, MRH, and the Seahawk Capability Assurance Program.

2008-09 Achievements
Helicopter System Products
Multi Role Helicopter MRH-90

Forty Six MRH-90 helicopters and support systems are being acquired for the Army and Navy under project AIR 9000 Phases 2, 4 and 6. The support systems will include two full flight and mission simulators; an EWSP support cell; a ground mission management system; a software support centre; an instrumented aircraft with telemetry, and facilities infrastructure at Townsville, Oakey, Brisbane and Nowra.

Six MRH-90 helicopters have been accepted and are in service with the Army 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville. A further nine MRH-90 helicopters are expected to be delivered during 2009-10. An initial 10-year sustainment contract commenced from the MRH-90 in-service date of 18 December 2007.

Training for Army and Navy aircrew, maintenance and support personnel is being conducted in purpose-built training facilities in Townsville. MRH-90 flying rate of effort has been less than planned, and this has resulted in some delays to aircrew training. The flying rate is expected to increase as the MRH-90 logistics and support systems mature and operating experience builds.

Black Hawk S70A-9 Weapons System

The Army is equipped with 34 Black Hawk helicopters, a full flight and mission simulator, a maintenance training aid and related facilities. The Black Hawk uses a multi-contract support philosophy, with significant repairable item work conducted under a rotable pool arrangement with Sikorsky Aircraft Australia. BAE Systems provides deeper maintenance support for the fleet in Townsville and Archerfield under performance-based contracts.

The high operational employment of US Army Black Hawks and consequent resource consumption has significantly extended the turnaround times on overseas repair and overhaul of Australian Black Hawk components. In conjunction with increased difficulty in supporting obsolete systems, this has markedly increased the cost of sustaining the Black Hawk fleet. Early life-of-type purchases of spares are being made to ensure sustainability until the planned withdrawal date.

Land Systems Division

The sustainment of land systems is managed through 10 System Program Offices. Land materiel products span more than 1,200 equipment fleet types and tens of thousands of consumable line items. Land materiel managed by Land Systems Division (LSD) is supported throughout Australia, and in several concurrent overseas operational theatres. During 2008-09, these products were managed across 27 separate MSAs. The range of land materiel managed by LSD is significant and includes:

2008-09 Achievements

In 2008-09, LSD planned and loaded over 59,000 maintenance jobs to Joint Logistics Command using in excess of 1,300,000 hours of labour. This represented an increase of 6 per cent and 32 per cent respectively over 2007-08. The Division also:

The priority for LSD continues to be the support to ADF operations. During 2008-09, there have been 14 continuous operations globally, in addition to a number of minor short term contingencies.

Sustainment revitalisation through improvement to inventory and maintenance management also remains a key focus for LSD. Sustainment revitalisation focuses on rationalising and balancing inventory while maintaining high operational availability of critical equipment and improving land materiel maintenance systems. These activities are ongoing and will contribute to greater efficiency and improve the effectiveness of land equipment.

Land System Products
B Vehicles

B Vehicles are generally unprotected Land Rovers, Mercedes Unimog 4-tonne and Mack 8-tonne trucks, and associated trailers. The total number of vehicles and trailers under management is approximately 12,000. The overall budget included logistic shortfall supplementation and provided for regional unscheduled maintenance, centrally managed repair programs and remediation of vehicles as they returned from operational areas. The major risks mitigated were the uncertain timing of equipment returning from operations and the increasing maintenance liability and cost due to the ageing of the fleet. A number of specific outcomes were achieved, notably:

Commercial Vehicle Fleet

Commercial Vehicles are generally passenger vehicles, 4x4 vehicles and light commercial trucks. The total number of vehicles under management is approximately 6,100. The Defence Commercial Vehicle Program replaced 1,768 vehicles during 2008-09 including:

ADF Clothing and Equipment

ADF Clothing and Soldier Modernisation System Program Offices (SMSPO) have delivered world class clothing and personal equipment to the ADF for operational and non-operational roles. ADF clothing includes combat and non-combat clothing and accoutrements for general duties and non-operational roles. More than one million demands for clothing products were satisfied throughout 2008-09.

The 5th edition of the ADF Clothing and Personal Equipment Procurement Plan 2010-2014 was released on 1 July 2009. This plan outlines the significant tendering activities to meet the ADF’s clothing requirements, and along with the six-monthly clothing industry forums continues to foster relationships with the textile clothing and footwear industry.

SMSPO continued to provide a high level of support to the ADF through the delivery of ADF personal equipment, comprising personal ballistic protective equipment for operational support and raise, train and sustain activities. This has included the successful delivery of the modular combat body armour system and the refurbishment of in-service body armour and combat helmets returned from operations. Both the ADF Clothing and SMSPO continue to fulfil the ADF’s clothing and personal equipment priorities.

Maritime Systems Division

The Maritime Systems sustainment concept is to support the Navy and the Army maritime capability through cost effective materiel design, engineering maintenance and logistic support to platforms, equipment and systems. The provision of these sustainment services is under a structure of system programs that are collocated regionally with the force element by ship class, and under various forms of outsourced commercial contracts.

2008-09 Achievements
Maritime System Products
Fuels and Lubricants - Navy, Army, Air Force

Defence fuel sustainment objectives were met including the purchase of additional reserves at the end of 2008-09.

Collins class submarines

Sustainment activity supported operational submarines during deployments. In early 2009, a new maintenance and operating cycle methodology was implemented to address through-life costs. In June 2009, operational submarines were unavailable briefly, and in July 2009, the submarine capability was subject to a senior Defence management review. This endorsed the revised sustainment methodology based on the operational availability of eight years between full-cycle dockings, and only ever having two submarines in full-cycle docking to maximise submarine availability for Navy training and operations.

Anzac class frigate

Ship major maintenance activity exceeded the planned number of major maintenance activities to meet the impact of operational demand on equipment and Navy task revisions.

Adelaide class frigate

Ex-HMAS Adelaide was handed over to the NSW Government on 24 June 2009 for sinking as a dive wreck. HMA Ships Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin were provided with sustainment support. HMAS Newcastle was in upgrade and non-operational. A new integrated materiel support contract was implemented. Ship maintenance activity met the Navy’s operational requirements.

Mine Hunter Coastal

Major maintenance activity supported the Navy operational requirements including the participation of HMA Ships Huon and Hawkesbury in Operation Resolute.