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

AIR 7000

Phase 2B Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement

Phase Scope

This phase is intended to acquire a replacement manned aircraft for the AP-3C Orion, capable of Maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Response (MISRR) roles, overland Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), and Electronic Support (ES).


AP-3C Orion life-of-type is dependent upon ongoing airframe fatigue and corrosion, aircraft system supportability and mission system obsolescence. Specifically, aircraft engines, hydraulics, electrical, oxygen and fuel systems are increasingly costly to support as the platform ages. Although limited mission system obsolescence treatments provided by Project AIR 5276 will assist in facilitating a 2018-19 AP-3C planned withdrawal date, further preclusively costly airframe, aircraft and mission system upgrades would be required to operate the AP-3C post-2018.

This project will replace the AP-3C after taking future ADF MISRR requirements into consideration. This consideration will include the exploration of a broad range of options including manned aircraft replacement, and the use of a Multi-mission Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS) as an adjunct to the manned platform. While this project is focussed on acquisition of a capability centred on MISRR roles, the capability will also support ES and overland ISR roles.

Australian Industry Opportunities


This phase will acquire eight Military-off-the-Shelf (MOTS) Maritime Patrol and Response Aircraft (MPRA) through a government-to-government cooperative program. The areas of anticipated Australian industry involvement opportunities are:

  • integration of the ground mission support system to the Defence Information Environment; and
  • sub-contractor support and supply of components for the MPRA program.
Through‑life Support

Through-life support of MPRA will most likely be through an ongoing sustainment arrangement established through a government-to-government arrangement. There would be opportunity for Australian industry to be part of the MPRA global support system.

Industry Capabilities and Activities

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

Activity Capability
Acoustic Technologies & Systems Composite & Exotic Materials Electronic Warfare Rotary & Fixed Wing Aircraft Support of Mission & Safety Critical Software System Assurance Capabilities (H’ware & S’ware) Systems Integration (High End, System of Systems) Facilities & Infrastructure
Assemble / Install O O O O     D D
Design O D O O     D D
Education / Training             D  
In-Service / Through-life Support O D D D O O D  
Logistics Support   D D D O O D  
Manufacture / Construct D D O O     D D
Modelling / Simulation D     D     D  
Project Manage     O   O   D  
Refurbish / Upgrade D D D D O O D D
Repair and Maintain D D D D O O D D
Research and Development   O O          
Software Development / Support O   D D O O D  
Systems Definition / Development O           D  
Systems Integration     D D O O D  
Test and Evaluate     D D O O D  
Acquisition Category (ACAT)
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 1 Very High >$1500m
Project Management Complexity Level 2 High
Schedule Level 1 Very High
Technical Difficulty Level 2 High
Operation and Support Level 2 High
Commercial Level 2 High

The ACAT Level assessed for this Phase is ACAT II.

Planned Schedule Highlights

First Pass Approval



FY 2013-14 to FY 2015-16

Initial Operating Capability

2017 to 2019

Points of Contact

Capability Staff:
Defence Materiel Organisation:

Deputy Director Maritime Patrol and Response

(02) 6265 3852

Project Manager AIR 7000 Phase 2B

(02) 6265 1628

Project Website:

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version