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

AIR 9000



Project AIR 9000 seeks to provide the ADF with the most appropriate force mix of helicopters. Fundamental to this is a strategic plan for the efficient management of all ADF helicopter fleets, in order to meet operational requirements in a range of roles (airmobile, armed reconnaissance, medium lift, maritime support, anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare, training and support to special forces).

To achieve its aim, Project AIR 9000 has been broken down into a number of phases:

  • Phase 1 (ongoing) is the continuation of the ADF Helicopter Strategic Master Plan Development and Program Management;
  • Phase 2 (in progress) is the acquisition of Additional Troop-Lift Helicopters (MRH-90);
  • SCAP 1 is providing a Seahawk Capability Assurance Program;
  • Phase 4 (in progress) is the Black Hawk Replacement (with MRH-90);
  • Phase 5 is the Chinook upgrade/replacement with Phase 5A (Early Engine Upgrade) complete and Phase 5C seeking to upgrade/replace the current D-Model fleet with F-Models;
  • Phase 6 (approved) is the Maritime Support Helicopter Replacement (with MRH-90);
  • Phase 7 is the new Helicopter Aircrew Training System; and
  • Phase 8 is to provide at least 24 new Anti-Submarine Warfare/Anti-Surface Warfare Helicopters.

A key part of efficiently managing the ADF’s helicopter fleets is the rationalisation of types where this is appropriate, efficient and operationally effective. In 2009 there are eight helicopter types in or entering ADF service (Kiowa, Black Hawk, Chinook, Tiger, MRH-90, Squirrel, Sea King and Seahawk). The ADF Helicopter Strategic Master Plan has identified a way in which as few as four types could effectively perform all roles (training, armed reconnaissance, medium lift and one multi-role platform with different mission equipment for a variety of roles). Reducing the number of helicopter types has the potential to realise synergies and efficiencies across personnel, tools, spares, training and facilities. Future ADF Helicopter Strategic Master Plan development will provide a contemporary and contextual basis to developing the ADF helicopter capability over the next 15 years.

Project AIR 9000 also seeks to engage Australian industry in developing a regional sustainable aerospace industrial base that can provide high levels of support to the ADF, regional support opportunities, and compete as part of the global supply chain.

Points of Contact

Capability Staff:

Training and Rotary Wing Development
(02) 6265 4301

Defence Materiel Organisation:

Business Director
Helicopter Systems Division
(02) 6265 2950

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version