Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft — AIR 5077 Phase 3
Prime Contractor: Boeing.
2010/2011 spend: $385 million
This phase of the project will provide Defence with an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) capability, with the provision of six aircraft and associated supplies and support.
In November 2009, Boeing and the Commonwealth reached agreement on a commercial settlement that addressed, among other things, compensation for project delays, compensation for projected performance shortfalls, an incremental delivery regime and the way forward for the program.
As a result of this agreement, Boeing made two aircraft available to the Air Force in November 2009 for the conduct of familiarisation activities leading to acceptance of these aircraft in an initial operating configuration in early-mid May 2010. A third aircraft is planned for acceptance in this configuration in June 2010 and a fourth in September 2010. Boeing plans to offer all six aircraft for acceptance in their final operating configuration over the period December 2010 to April 2011. Delivery of the first fully configured aircraft in December 2010 would represent a 49 month delay against the original contract baseline, however, based on the amount of work to go, the DMO assesses that there is four to six months risk to this date. Associated ground support systems and supplies will be delivered incrementally from April 2010 to July 2011. Construction of the main AEW&C facility at RAAF Tindal is planned for completion in February 2011.
While the major risks associated with the radar have been mitigated through the commercial settlement, the overall risk rating for the project remains high due to risks associated with integrated system maturity (notably electronic support measures technical maturity) ongoing software development and completion of the test and evaluation program. These risks continue to be actively managed through close interaction between the Commonwealth and the contractor.