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

AIR 9000

Phase 8 Future Naval Aviation Combat System


This phase is intended to provide an organic combat aviation capability to Navy’s surface combatant fleet. This includes the acquisition of multi-role naval combat helicopters, weapons, synthetic training, infrastructure, logistics and other support systems.


The Navy’s current tactical helicopter capability is provided by the Seahawk S-70B-2. A surface warfare strike capability was to have been provided by the cancelled Seasprite program. The White Paper indicated that as a matter of urgency the Government would acquire at least 24 new naval combat helicopters. The new aircraft will possess advanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities along with an ability to fire air-to-surface missiles.

Australian Industry Opportunities


In order to minimise technical, schedule, and financial risks it is envisaged that a Military-off-the-Shelf (MOTS) solution will be sourced from overseas. There may be some opportunity for Australian industry in aircraft assembly, and development of some support systems.

Through‑life Support

The retention of an off-the-shelf configuration is considered important for cost effective Australian based deeper level maintenance, engineering and through-life support.

Industry Capabilities and Activities

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

Activity Capability
Acoustic Technologies & Systems AEW&C Systems Communications Security Composite & Exotic Materials Electronic Warfare Guided Weapons Rotary & Fixed Wing Aircraft Selected Ballistic Munitions & Explosives Signature Management Support of Mission & Safety Critical Software System Life Cycle Management Targeting & Precision Navigation
Assemble / Install           D D D        
Education / Training D D D D D D D D   D O D
In-Service / Through-life Support D D D D D D D D O D O D
Logistics Support D D D D D D D D     O D
Manufacture / Construct             D          
Modelling / Simulation D D D   D D D       O D
Project Manage D D D D D D D D   D O D
Refurbish / Upgrade D D D D D D D D       D
Repair and Maintain D D D D D D D D       D
Research and Development O O O O O   O O O     O
Test and Evaluate O   O O O O O O O D   O
Acquisition Category (ACAT)
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 1 Very High> $1500m
Project Management Complexity Level 2 High
Schedule Level 2 High
Technical Difficulty Level 2 High
Operation and Support Level 1 Very High
Commercial Level 2 High

The ACAT Level assessed for this Phase is ACAT II.

Planned Schedule Highlights

First Pass Approval

FY 2009-10 to FY 2010-11


FY 2010-11 to FY 2011-12

Initial Operating Capability

2014 to 2016

Points of Contact

Capability Staff:

Project Manager AIR 9000 Ph 8

(02) 6265 6435

Defence Materiel Organisation:

Director Emerging Aerospace Projects

(02) 6265 6298

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version