Australian Government: Department of Defence
Defence Capability Plan 2009 - Public Version

AIR 5276

CAP 2 AP-3C Capability Assurance Program

Phase Scope

AP‑3C Capability Assurance Program (CAP) 2 is intended to treat AP‑3C data management system, electronic support measures and ground support system obsolescence and investigate acoustic warfare system and data link upgrades.


AIR 5276 is a multi-phased project to update the Air Force AP‑3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The remaining unapproved phases of AIR 5276 have been restructured into the AP‑3C CAP to deliver AIR 5276 in coordinated and integrated blocks, with a focus on capability outcomes and improved efficiency of delivery. A number of AIR 5276 approved phases, including CAP 1 are complete or being delivered. The former CAP 3 scope has been subsumed by CAP 2.

The AP-3C CAP will be delivered as integrated elements of the AP‑3C Block Upgrade Program (BUP). The AP‑3C BUP is the preferred delivery mechanism for all current AP-3C projects including in-work AIR 5276 Phases, AP‑3C CAP and RAAF Minor Projects.

CAP 2 is intended to treat AP-3C data management system, electronic support measures, and ground support systems obsolescence and sustainment issues. Treatment of these systems is essential to ensure the continued availability of AP‑3C capabilities. Acoustic warfare and data link system upgrades will be considered to ensure the AP‑3C capability edge is maintained until the aircraft’s planned withdrawal date.

Australian Industry Opportunities


A Prime System Integrator or direct engagement of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) is expected to be required to support integration of the new capabilities introduced by CAP 2 onto the AP-3C weapon system. The Integrator and/or OEMs will be required to introduce CAP 2 capabilities under a Block Upgrade concept to maximise operational availability of aircraft and support systems.

Through-life Support

Either the Prime System Integrator, individual OEMs or existing through-life support (TLS) contractors will be expected to provide TLS for CAP 2 capabilities. It is anticipated that all elements delivered through CAP 2 will be supported through amendments to existing TLS contracts.

Industry Capabilities and Activities

Capabilities and related activities that may provide opportunities for Australian industry in this phase include:

Activity Capability
Acoustic Technologies & Systems Communications Security Electronic Warfare Support of Mission & Safety Critical Software Systems Integration (High End, System of Systems)
Assemble / Install D D D D D
Design O O D D D
Education / Training O O O D D
In-Service / Through-life Support D D D D D
Logistics Support O D O O O
Project Manage O O O O O
Repair and Maintain D D D D D
Software Development / Support D D D D D
Systems Integration D D D D D
Test and Evaluate D D D D D
Acquisition Category (ACAT)
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 3 Moderate $100m-$500m (Towards the middle of the band)
Project Management Complexity Level 3 Moderate
Schedule Level 3 Moderate
Technical Difficulty Level 2 High
Operation and Support Level 3 Moderate
Commercial Level 3 Moderate

The ACAT Level assessed for this Phase is ACAT III.

Planned Schedule Highlights

First Pass Approval

FY 2009-10 to FY 2010-11


FY 2011-12 to FY 2012-13

Initial Operating Capability

2014 to 2016

Points of Contact

Capability Staff:

Staff Officer Maritime Patrol and Response 2

(02) 6265 5447

Defence Materiel Organisation:

Director P3 Block Upgrade Program

(08) 8393 3318


Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version