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

AIR 6000

Phase 2A/2B New Air Combat Capability – 3 Squadrons

Phase 3 Weapons for New Air Combat Capability

Phase 5 Future Air-to-Air Weapons for New Air Combat Capability and Super Hornet

Phase Scope

NACC Phase 2A/2B is the first acquisition phase for the New Air Combat Capability (NACC) project and will comprise three operational squadrons and a training squadron of Conventional Take-Off & Landing F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft and associated support and enabling capabilities. Initially the JSF will be complemented by a squadron of F/A-18F Super Hornets, and together they will fulfil the functions of air dominance and strike currently provided by Air Force’s F/A‑18A/B and F-111 aircraft.

NACC Phase 3 will acquire reserve stock holdings of the air-to-surface weapons, including 25 mm gun ammunition, and electronic warfare expendables for use on the JSF aircraft.

NACC Phase 5 will acquire reserve and training stock holdings of the future air-to-air weapons for the JSF aircraft and F/A-18F Super Hornets.

Background

Australia joined the System Development and Demonstration phase of the JSF Program in October 2002 and through project AIR 6000 Phase 1B (approved), undertook a program of detailed definition and analysis activities leading up to Government Second Pass (Acquisition) approval for Phase 2A/B.

Based on the unprecedented level of analysis and evaluation undertaken by Australia, the United States and the other seven international JSF partners, on 25 November 2009 the Australian Government announced that it had approved the first stage of Phase 2A/B, comprising acquisition of Australia’s first 14 JSF aircraft and the infrastructure and support required for initial training and testing, with delivery commencing in 2014 at an estimated cost of $3.2 billion. These 14 aircraft are the first tranche of Phase 2A/B which in total is anticipated to comprise of not fewer than 72 JSF required to form three operational squadrons and a training squadron. A decision on the next stage of Phase 2A/B is expected to be made in 2012.

Australia’s first 10 JSF will remain in the US for a number of years for initial conversion training of Australian pilots and maintainers and also participation in operational test activities. The next four JSF are planned to arrive in Australia in 2017 to commence dedicated Australian operational test activities, primarily to ensure effective integration with other ADF air and ground systems.

Acquisition of an additional operational squadron (Phase 2C)—to be programmed in subsequent DCPs to bring the total number of aircraft to around 100—will be considered at a later date in conjunction with a decision on the withdrawal of the Super Hornet. A decision on this final batch of JSF is not expected before 2015.

A critical component of an air combat system is advanced weaponry that can prosecute the full range of targets and threats. Phase 2A/B will also certify and acquire the initial inventory of weapons, ammunition and countermeasures for the JSF. Phases 3 and 5 are intended to provide the weapons stocks necessary for air-to-surface and air-to-air roles respectively. Provision for a new maritime strike weapon, as identified in the 2009 Defence White Paper, is also expected to be programmed in subsequent DCPs.

Australian Industry Opportunities

Acquisition

A key aim of Australia’s involvement in the JSF Program is to embed Australian industry in the JSF global supply and support chain for the life of the JSF project under the program’s ‘Best Value’ industry model. ‘Best Value’ is determined by the prime contractors through international competition. JSF production commenced with the initial development of 19 aircraft or ‘test articles’ in which Australian industry won design and manufacturing contracts. Low rate initial production (2007 to 2015) of over 400 aircraft is now underway. Full rate production is scheduled to increase the numbers of JSF to over 3000 throughout the next 20 years. The production phase provides major manufacturing opportunities for internationally competitive Australian companies.

Through‑life Support

Through-life support of the global JSF fleet will be provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation and the two engine manufacturers—Pratt & Whitney and General Electric/Rolls Royce—under the JSF Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment (ALGS) system using a performance-based logistics approach.

Australian industry will continue to play a key role in supporting our combat aircraft with the introduction of the JSF. Defence will, however, be aiming to achieve maximum cost effectiveness in sustainment by balancing the need to meet Defence self-reliance requirements with the expected cost benefits of the global ALGS system. Australian industry will have the opportunity to participate in the global system on a best value basis, including for other JSF aircraft operating in the region. Defence and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) will continue to work with Australian industry and the JSF prime contractors to maximise opportunities for Australian industry as part of the global system.

Specific areas for Australian industry support of the Australian JSF fleet would be expected to include ALGS coordination, deeper maintenance, signature maintenance, training, simulation, supply chain management, engine maintenance, prognostics and health management, and provision and maintenance of support equipment.

Through-life support is also required for weapons delivered through Phases 3 and 5 and, in future, a new maritime strike weapon. Industry requirements will be based around developing and maintaining sufficient capability to undertake the necessary through-life support activities within Australia. Opportunities may also exist to induct an Australian Explosive Ordnance manufacturing capability into the JSF global supply chain.

Follow-on Development

The JSF Production, Sustainment and Follow-On Development Memorandum of Understanding incorporates a two-yearly follow-on development program for the JSF. In the development phase of these upgrades, Australian industry will have the opportunity to compete for development, production and sustainment of future capabilities.

Defence and DIISR will work with selected Australian universities, research and development organisations and industry to maximise the opportunities for Australian industry to contribute to JSF future technology refreshes, block upgrades, and to improve JSF manufacturing processes.

Industry Capabilities and Activities

For Australia’s involvement in the JSF Program, Defence and DIISR are working with Australian industry as ‘JSF Team Australia’ to help companies enter and remain in the JSF global supply chain. Industrial Participation Plans that open up major opportunities in the global JSF Program for qualified Australian companies have been agreed with Lockheed Martin Corporation and the two JSF engine manufacturers. This participation process will continue over the life of Australia’s involvement in the JSF Program.

Capabilities and related activities that may provide opportunities for Australian industry in these phases include:

Phase 2A/2B Capability
Activity Acoustic Technologies & Systems Combat Clothing & Personal Equipment Communications Security Composite & Exotic Material Electronic Warfare Guided Weapons Protection of Networks, Computers & Information Rotary & Fixed Wing Aircraft Selected Ballistic Munitions & Explosives Signature Management Support of Mission & Safety Critical Software System Assurance Capabilities (H’ware & S’ware) Targeting And Precision Navigation Facilities & Infrastructure Mission Systems and Avionics Vehicle Systems Airframe & Propulsion system
Assemble / Install       D           D     D D     D
Design       D O     D           D     D
Education / Training         D     D   D     D     D D
In-Service / Through-life Support       D D   D D     D O     D D D
Logistics Support       D D     D         D     D D
Manufacture / Construct   D   D D     D D       D D D D D
Modelling / Simulation                             D   D
Project Manage               D           D      
Refurbish / Upgrade       D           D     D D D D D
Repair and Maintain   D O D D D   D D D     D D D D D
Research and Development     O D O     D   D         D D D
Software Development / Support               D     D       O    
Systems Definition / Development                                  
Systems Integration               D     D            
Test and Evaluate D   O D D     D   D D D     D D D
Phase 3 Capability
Activity Guided Weapons Selected Ballistic Munitions & Explosives
Assemble / Install   D
Design   D
In-Service / Through-life Support D D
Logistics Support D D
Manufacture / Construct   D
Modelling / Simulation   D
Project Manage D D
Research and Development D  
Software Development / Support D  
Systems Integration   D
Test and Evaluate D D
Phase 5 Capability
Activity Guided Weapons
In-Service / Through-life Support D
Logistics Support D
Project Manage D
Acquisition Category (ACAT)
Phase 2A/2B
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 1 Very High >$1500m
Project Management Complexity Level 1 Very High
Schedule Level 1 Very High
Technical Difficulty Level 1 Very High
Operation and Support Level 1 Very High
Commercial Level 1 Very High

The ACAT Level assessed for this Phase is ACAT I.

Phase 3
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 2 High $500m-$1500m (Towards the lower end of the band)
Project Management Complexity Level 2 High
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.

Phase 5
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 2 High $500m-$1500m (Towards the lower end 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

Phase 2A/B

Phases 3 and 5

Complete (2006)

FY 2012-13 to FY 2014-15

Year-of-Decision (Second Pass Approval)

Phase 2A/B

(Stage 1)

(Stage 2)

Phases 3 and 5

 

Complete (2009)

FY 2011-12 to FY2012-13

FY 2014-15 to FY 2016-17

Initial Aircraft Delivery

Phase 2A/B (Stage 1)

2014 to 2015

Initial Operating Capability

Phase 2A/B (Stage 2)

Phase 3

Phase 5

2017 to 2019

2018 to 2020

2017 to 2019

Points of Contact

Phase: Capability Staff: Defence Materiel Organisation:

Phase 2A/2B

Program Manager
New Air Combat Capability
(02) 6127 0001

Director Commercial
New Air Combat Capability
(02) 6127 0086

Phases 3 and 5

Deputy Director Air Weapons
Aerospace Development Branch
(02) 6265 5442

Director Emerging Projects
Guided Weapons Branch
(02) 6565 1464

Project Website: http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/lsp/jsf.cfm

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version