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DEFENCE PROJECTS NOW 74 YEARS LATE AND $10.3 BILLION OVER BUDGET

February 24, 2020

Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Quarterly Performance Report (QPR) for September 2019, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, reveals further blowouts to critical projects under this Government.

Most worryingly, the QPR reveals that the $1.1 billion project to upgrade the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) is in serious trouble. The JORN is a key early warning capability for the ADF and has been critical for Australia’s defence for several decades.

The report admits that the upgrade has failed to meet engineering milestones and that deficiencies in systems engineering performance have led to a substantial schedule delay of at least one year. Furthermore, Defence admits that this delay may increase. The JORN upgrade has also been listed as a Project of Interest, signifying the concern held in the Defence community about this project.

This upgrade is essential for ensuring JORN remains at the cutting edge of defence technology and can meet the ADF’s needs into the future, so it is a worry that major engineering and design problems have emerged so early.

There would be significant implications if this radar network became obsolete.

The Defence Minister must step in and ensure action is being taken to rectify these issues as soon as possible.

Linda Reynolds is asleep at the wheel as additional project schedules blow out, demonstrating that the Government has lost control of the defence procurement system. This includes: 

  • A further 15 month delay to the Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System 
  • A 12 month delay to Battlefield Command System 
  • A four month further delay to Civil Military Air Traffic Management Systems
  • Supply issues for the MRH90 Multi-Role Helicopter are hurting a project that is the poster child for problem projects.

The Coalition likes to boast about defence projects but is letting our troops down when it comes to ensuring they get the capabilities they need.

There are now 36 major defence projects running cumulatively 74 years late and $10.3 billion over budget under this Government.

The ADF is not getting the equipment they need when they need it and are paying the price for the Coalition’s revolving door of Defence Ministers.

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