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

AIR 5438

Phase 1A Lead-In Fighter Capability Assurance Program

Phase Scope

This phase is intended to ensure the Lead-In Fighter Training System (LIFTS) remains effective, efficient and supportable until the Hawk planned withdrawal date. Capability improvements and obsolescence mitigation will be harmonised to the greatest possible extent, resulting in an affordable, high quality training system which can adapt to meet future ‘fast-jet’ training requirements.


The LIFTS, comprising the Hawk Mk 127 and ground based training support equipment, including flight simulators, will be upgraded to address identified obsolescence issues and provide capability enhancements. A number of project definition activities will be undertaken to scope obsolescence mitigation and capability requirements, including the associated engineering effort, schedule implications, cost and risk.

Australian Industry Opportunities


The acquisition approach for the aircraft modification has yet to be determined, but the project intends to procure an essentially ‘off-the-shelf’ solution with minimal non-recurring expenditure (NRE), technical risk and certification overheads. Military- or Commercial-off-the-Shelf (MOTS or COTS) components will be utilised wherever practical.

The simulator component is likely to be competed between manufacturers who are able to provide solutions with minimal NRE.

Through‑life Support

The industry requirements will be based around developing and maintaining sufficient capability within Australian industry to undertake through-life maintenance and support activities associated with the systems introduced into service by this project.

Industry Capabilities and Activities

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

Activity Capability
Rotary & Fixed Wing Aircraft System Life Cycle Management Facilities & Infrastructure
Assemble / Install D D
Education / Training D
In-Service / Through-life Support D D
Logistics Support D
Repair and Maintain D
Systems Integration D
Test and Evaluate O
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 3 Moderate
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

2015 to 2017

Point of Contact

Capability Staff:

Deputy Director Firepower

(02) 6265 2520

Defence Materiel Organisation:

Director Lead-In Fighter Management Unit

(02) 4034 9906

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version