AIR 9000 Phase 2
Prime Contractor: Australian Aerospace.
2010/2011 spend: $424 million
This phase of the project is acquiring 46 MRH-90 helicopters for the Army and Navy (with a nominal split of 40 for Army and six for Navy). The support systems will include an electronic warfare self-protection support system, a ground mission management system, a software support centre, an instrumented system with telemetry capable of being installed into three instrument-capable aircraft, two full flight and mission simulators and facilities infrastructure at Townsville, Oakey, Brisbane and Nowra.
Eleven aircraft have been accepted and are based with the Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville. Training for Navy and Army aircrew, maintenance and support personnel is underway. The MRH-90 flying rate of effort has been less than planned, leading to significant delays in training MRH-90 aircrew and certification activities. As a consequence, the Navy IOC of one aircraft at sea is now expected to be achieved in late 2010, and the Army IOC of a troop of four aircraft is now expected to be achieved in late 2011, both six months later than originally scheduled.
The major risk to the project schedule remains the flying rate of effort which is caused by an immature support system and poor reliability of a number of the systems on the aircraft. Significant effort by industry, Defence and the DMO project office to mature the MRH-90 logistics and support systems should result in the flying rate of effort improving throughout 2010 -2011.