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Program 1.2 - Navy Capabilities

The Navy supports the ADF in protecting and advancing Australia's strategic interests through the provision of maritime forces.

This support ranges from maritime patrol and response, through to interdiction and strategic strike, and amphibious warfare capabilities. It includes protection of trade, shipping and offshore territories and resources. Support is provided through maritime intelligence collection and evaluation, hydrographic and oceanographic operations, and escort duties. Peacetime activities not only encompass training, but also maritime surveillance and response within Australia's offshore maritime zones. The Navy undertakes hydrographic, oceanographic and meteorological support operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and maritime search and rescue.

The Navy continued a high tempo of operations, activities and training during the year, set within cultural change and major reforms in a wide range of areas. The Navy maintained its commitment to operations. Despite facing challenges with the sustainment of afloat support forces and the management of contracted sustainment of patrol boats, the Navy met its preparedness, sustainment and leadership of assigned forces requirements through improvements in the availability of amphibious units and submarines. Workforce risks associated with transition to new and future capability and shortages of trained personnel across a number of critical areas were addressed.

There was a skill decay as a result of HMAS Success's extended maintenance period, maintenance of patrol boat crews in support of Operation Resolute and fewer training opportunities because of the reassignment of hydrographic ships to Operation Resolute.

Due to the reassignment, half of the planned survey days were not achieved, resulting in the Navy not meeting the key performance indicator of Hydroscheme 2012-2015. The deliverables of unit-ready days, flying hours and production of navigational charts were mostly met.

Over the year, major fleet units were upgraded. Three long-serving heavy landing craft-Balikpapan, Betano and Wewak-were decommissioned. Coinciding with the Canberra centenary celebrations, the first of the new landing helicopter docks, known as LHDs, was named HMAS Canberra and is due for introduction into service in late 2014. The MH-60R Maritime Combat Helicopter was introduced, with 725 squadron in Jacksonville, USA to work towards an initial operational capability in 2015. This helicopter, known as the MH-60R Seahawk Romeo, is replacing the S-70B-2 Seahawks.

The Navy welcomed the Spanish Armada tanker ESPS (ESPS Cantabria) Cantabria in February 2013 for a 10-month assignment to the Royal Australian Navy. The ship has provided mutually beneficial training and assessment outcomes for the two countries, as well as supplementing afloat support and disaster relief capabilities.

Substantial progress was made in implementing the New Generation Navy program. The program aims to deliver the necessary cultural change that Navy needs to meet its commitment to the Pathway to Change agenda and the personnel challenges in delivering future capability. Activities for the program in 2012-13 included the launch of the New Generation Navy Strategy 2013-17 in February and continuing training and other initiatives to embed the Navy's signature behaviours. Work also continued on enhancing the Navy's workforce management through people-focused work practices, and diversity and flexibility initiatives.

The Rizzo reforms to rebuild and redesign effective maritime capability management and the technical integrity assurance system that drive seaworthiness and preparedness are progressing well. The scale and scope of this program is significant and the momentum gained this year was critical to achieving progress in Navy engineering, ship life-cycle management and costing, capability management, risk management and seaworthiness management.

December 2012 marked the release of the Coles report, Study into the business of sustaining Australia's strategic Collins class submarine capability. The Coles report made a number of recommendations, which have already been implemented, and the Navy continues to work closely with the Defence Materiel Organisation and Australian Submarine Corporation to optimise submarine availability. The performance of the Collins program improved throughout the year against the international benchmarks established by the Coles study, including submarine availability.

Table 3.5 - Program 1.2 deliverables

Table 3.5 - Program 1.2 deliverables
Deliverable Status
Prepare, sustain and lead assigned forces to deliver Navy capability to meet government requirements Substantially met
Maintain preparedness of Navy capability as directed by the CDF Met
Be prepared for future credible contingencies and in consultation with the Capability Development Group and the DMO, continue to plan, develop and monitor the delivery of, and transition to new capability Met
Provide timely, accurate and high-quality advice on Navy capabilities to the CDF, the Secretary and the Government Met
Deliver Navy-specific reform and savings, without detriment to agreed levels of Navy capability Met

Table W3.6: Program 1.2 deliverables-Unit Ready Days

Table W3.6: Program 1.2 deliverables-Unit Ready Days (URD)[1][2]

Category
Status
2012-13
Comment
18 major combatants[3] 3,915 [4,304] URD Substantially met 94% (3,693 URD) achieved.
22 minor combatants[4] 4,823 [5,323] URD Substantially met 93% (4,472 URD) achieved.
10 amphibious and afloat support[5] 1,817 [2,417] URD Met 106% (1,924 URD) achieved.
5 maritime teams[6] 2,555 URD Met 100% (2,555 URD) achieved.
9 hydrographic force[7] 2,563 [2,967] URD Substantially met 88% (2,257 URD) achieved.
Notes
  1. Where figures were updated in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, the Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13 estimate is shown in brackets.
  2. URD are the aggregate number of days that constituent force elements are available for tasking.
  3. Major combatants include the Adelaide class frigates, Anzac class frigates and submarines. Underachievement is due to unscheduled and extended maintenance periods.
  4. Minor combatants include patrol boats, coastal mine hunters and auxiliary minesweepers (MSA). MSA Bandicoot and MSA Wallaroo were withdrawn from service on 30 September and 31 December 2012 respectively.
  5. Amphibious and Afloat Support comprises the oil tanker, replenishment ship, landing ship dock, heavy landing ship and heavy landing craft (LCH). The overachievement is due to minor maintenance program amendments. LCH Balikpapan, LCH Betano and LCH Wewak were decommissioned in December 2012.
  6. Maritime teams comprise clearance diving teams, the deployable geospatial support team, and mobile meteorological and oceanographic teams.
  7. Hydrographic force comprises the hydrographic ships, survey motor launches (SML), chart production office, and meteorological and oceanographic centres. Underachievement is due to lengthy unscheduled SML repair periods to address corrosion.

Table W3.7: Program 1.2 deliverables-Navigational chart production

Table W3.7: Program 1.2 deliverables-Navigational chart production (products) [1]
Product Status
2012-13
Comment
93 [156] nautical charts Substantially met 90% (84 nautical charts) achieved. Full achievement was affected by increased chart maintenance activity and staff turnover.
6 nautical publications Substantially met 83% (five nautical publications) achieved. Hydroscheme 2013-2016 was not released in 2012-13 due to ongoing refinement of surveying priorities in the context of broader Navy interests.
30 new electronic navigational chart cells Met 97% (29 new electronic navigational chart cells) achieved.
Note
  1. Where figures were updated in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, the Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13 estimate is shown in brackets.

Table W3.8: Program 1.2 deliverables-Flying hours

Table W3.8: Program 1.2 deliverables-Flying hours[1][2]
Aircraft Status
2012-13
Comment
16 S-70B-2 (Seahawks) 4,200 hrs Substantially met 89% (3,726 hrs) achieved. Transfer of aircraft into preservation and aircrew shortage ahead of the introduction of the MH-60R Seahawk Romeo had a greater collective impact on flying hours than anticipated.
13 AS350B (Squirrels) 3,600 [4,000] hrs Substantially met 83% (2,994 hrs) achieved. A number of unscheduled maintenance issues and introduction of an avionics modification had a significant impact on serviceability.
1 Laser airborne depthsounder aircraft 980 hrs Substantially met 90% (880 hrs) achieved. Full achievement of flying hours was affected by inclement weather and systems defects.
Notes
  1. Where figures were updated in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, the Portfolio Budget Statements 2012-13 estimate is shown in brackets.
  2. Flying hours for the MRH90s operated by 808 Squadron are reported in the Program 1.3 Army section of the Defence annual report.

Table W3.9: Program 1.2 key performance indicators

Table W3.9: Program 1.2 key performance indicators
Key performance indicator Status
2012-13
Comment
Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the CDF for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months Met While the Navy has faced challenges with the sustainment of afloat support forces and the management of contracted sustainment of patrol boats, the preparedness of Navy capability was met. There were improvements in the availability of amphibious units and submarines.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all outputs Substantially met Full achievement of this key performance indicator was affected by skill decay following HMAS Success's extended maintenance period, maintenance of patrol boat crews in support of Operation Resolute and the re-assignment of hydrographic ships to Operation Resolute limiting training opportunities.
Achieve mission capability for assigned tasks Substantially met Various systems-related defects across the force elements affected availability and completion of all assigned tasks, with patrol boats being the most affected.
Achieve Hydroscheme 2012-2015 data and surveying tasking requirements to meet national hydrographic surveying and charting obligations Partially met Approximately half of planned survey days were not achieved as a result of the re-assignment of ships to Operation Resolute and systems defects.
Provide timely, accurate and considered advice on Navy capabilities to the Government, the CDF and the Secretary Met The provision of timely, accurate and quality advice was achieved.

Jennifer Wittwer
          Jennifer Wittwer