Australia Speeds Up Defense Acquisitions (Dec. 22)
The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has released early information on initial major acquisitions that are now proposed to proceed in the next few months.
The information follows the release of the Request for Tender (RFT) for Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, the draft RFT for Amphibious Watercraft, and the contract signing for Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft all within two weeks of the release of the Defence White Paper.
"This shows the DMO is serious about getting on with its business faster," said Dr Graham Kearns, Head of Industry Division in the DMO. "While the Defence White Paper was being developed, it was necessary to delay or suspend a range of acquisition projects. We understand that any delays can be matters of concern to industry, but the Defence White Paper has given direction and clarity to future capability development, so we are able to proceed with a number of previously approved projects that have been identified as priorities.
The attached information includes, where possible, the dates when requests for quotations or tenders are planned to be issued.
The details are being released now in order to keep industry informed, and to seek industry input on DMO's plans.
Dr Kearns said that the list is not exhaustive, and would be updated as information on other projects became available.
"We need to manage industry workload strategically, and not cause a situation whereby Australian companies are unable to respond because we have exceeded their capacity to participate. We are therefore giving industry the opportunity to comment, before finalising our plans," Dr Kearns said.
The DMO will also release an unclassified capital investment program in the first half of next year. It will be a window into forward plans for the next ten years, and will include approved and unapproved projects.
"Sharing this information with industry acknowledges that defence industry is an integral part of Australia's defence capability," Dr Kearns said.
Previously Approved Projects Now Proceeding Following Defence White Paper
PROJECT DESCRIPTION ACTION DATE JP 2008 MILSATCOM Phase 3E Ground terminals Upgrade Parakeet terminals Installation on RAN ships, Theatre Broadcast System Issue contract change proposal Issue ITR Feb 01 Feb 01 JP 2048 Amphibious Watercraft Issue draft RFT for industry comment Issue RFT Dec 00 [Achieved 11 Dec] Jan 01 SEA 1397 NULKA Phase 3 Technical support, missile manufacture Phase 4 Further development Issue restricted RFT Issue restricted RFT May 01 Jul 01 SEA 1430 Digital Hydrographic Data Base Issue draft RFT for industry comment Issue RFT Feb 01 Apr 01 LAND 53 NINOX Phase 1F Thermal Surveillance System and Phase 2B Unattended Ground Sensors Negotiate contracts Signature Apr/May 01 AIR 87 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters Issue RFT Dec 00 [Achieved 18 Dec] AIR 5077 AEW&C aircraft Contract signature Contract signature Dec 00 [Achieved 20 Dec] AIR 5398 Air-to-surface stand-off weapons capability, Phases 1A/2 - Aircraft integration and station interface processor Issue RFQ Feb 01 AIR 5416 ECHIDNA Electronic warfare self-protection for ADF aircraft Award contract for initial design activity Mar 01