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Annual Report 2013-14

Volume 1, Part 2 : Performance

Program 1.2: Navy Capabilities


The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, was appointed on 1 July 2014, following the appointment of Vice Admiral Ray Griggs as VCDF. He is responsible and accountable to the CDF for the command, leadership and capability output of the Navy. He is also Defence’s principal naval adviser on strategic matters.


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 encompass not only 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 sustained a high tempo of operations, activities and training during 2013–14, in a context of further extensive cultural change and significant reform in many areas, especially in engineering and ship sustainment.

Overall, the Navy performed well against deliverable targets and key performance indicators, and made good progress in stabilising the materiel state of the submarine force and amphibious and afloat support vessels. Notwithstanding this pleasing achievement, Armidale class patrol boats continued to face hull maintenance challenges that had an impact on their ability to participate fully in border protection duties. Additionally, the assignment of hydrographic ships to Operation Resolute, combined with a scheduled propulsion system upgrade for the ships, limited their contribution to Hydroscheme 2013–2016, which, although substantially met, was reduced in scope for 2013–14.

While the Navy was able to substantially achieve appropriate levels of preparedness during the year, its ability to fully meet its commitments in this regard was affected by continuing reliability issues with the Armidale class patrol boats and limitations in the number of available aviation assets, due primarily to delays in the introduction of the multi-role helicopter (MRH-90).

The Navy continued progress in the delivery of the first Canberra class landing helicopter dock, the introduction of the MRH-90, delivery of the first MH-60R combat helicopters and the upgrade of the Anzac frigate fleet to make them more effective against contemporary missile threats.

In October 2013, the International Fleet Review was conducted, celebrating, in a most emphatic and successful way, the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy fleet’s first arrival in Sydney Harbour.

Table 3.4: Program 1.2 deliverables

Deliverable

Status

Prepare, sustain and lead assigned forces to deliver capability to meet government requirements

Met

Maintain preparedness of Navy capability as directed by the CDF

Substantially met
Not fully met due to Armidale class patrol boat maintenance challenges, hydrographic ship propulsion system remediation work, and delay in MRH-90 helicopter initial operational capability.

Undertake joint collective training to ensure force elements are prepared for deployment and operations

Met

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 considered advice on Navy capabilities to the Government, the CDF and the Secretary

Met

Deliver reform and savings without compromising agreed levels of Navy capability and safety

Met

Table 3.5: Program 1.2 deliverables—Unit Ready Days (URD)

Deliverable

Status

18 major combatants
3,522 URD

Met

20 minor combatants
4,477 URD

Substantially met
95 per cent met due to Armidale class patrol boat maintenance challenges.

9 amphibious and afloat support
2,047 URD

Met

7 maritime teams
2,555 URD

Met

9 hydrographic force
2,819 URD

Met

Notes

URD are the aggregate number of days that constitute force elements that are available for tasking.

Table 3.6: Program 1.2 deliverables (products)

Deliverable

Status

85 nautical charts

Met

30 nautical publications

Substantially met

29 out of a planned 30 publications were published.

1,100 maritime safety update work orders

Met

Table 3.7: Program 1.2 deliverables (flying hours)

Deliverable

Status

16 S-70B-2 (Seahawks)
3,600 hrs

Met

13 AS350B (Squirrels)
4,000 hrs

Substantially met
90 per cent met. While not fully met, the achievement is an improvement on previous years, reflecting enhancements to maintenance scheduling and flying program management.

6 MH-60R
600 hrs

Met

1 Laser airborne depth sounder aircraft
980 hrs

Substantially met
92 per cent met due primarily to on-task weather conditions being incompatible with airborne survey operations.

Table 3.8: Program 1.2 key performance indicators

Key performance indicator

Status

Achieve levels of preparedness as directed by the CDF

Substantially met
Not fully met due to Armidale class patrol boat maintenance challenges, hydrographic ship propulsion system remediation work and delay in MRH-90 helicopter initial operational capability.

Meet the Government’s operational requirements

Met

Generate and sustain forces for each current operation

Met

Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills, professional standards and baseline preparedness

Substantially met
The number and tempo of operational commitments affected Navy’s ability to achieve the level of training required to maintain core skills in some areas.

Provide timely, accurate and considered advice on Navy capabilities to the Government, the CDF and the Secretary

Met

Achieve Hydroscheme 2013–2016 data and surveying tasking requirements to meet national hydrographic surveying and charting obligations

Substantially met

Assignment of hydrographic ships to Operation Resolute, combined with a scheduled propulsion system upgrade for the ships, limited their contribution to Hydroscheme.