14 Aug 14. Johnston says AWD programme in ‘deep, deep trouble’. Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyer project has suffered from delays and budget over-runs. Credit: Australian Department of Defence Australia’s AUD8.5bn (USD8.25bn) Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project, the country’s largest current defence programme, is in “deep, deep trouble”, according to Defence Minister David Johnston. In remarks reported in The Australian newspaper on 15 August and confirmed to IHS Jane’s by the minister’s office, Johnston also called the programme “a disgraceful mess”.
“The AWD will be one or two years late if we are lucky and several hundred millions over budget,” the minister said. “People are not wanting to be frank about how bad this project is.” The AWD project was placed on the government’s Projects of Concern (PoC) list on 4 June after an independent review headed by former US Navy Secretary Don Winter. The review identified inadequate government oversight and also questioned the management abilities of the AWD Alliance, which groups government-owned shipbuilder ASC, the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), and systems integrator Raytheon. An earlier Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report said that the over-budget cost of the project, established in 2007, was likely to be significantly higher than the AUD302m forecast late in 2013. The Australian article referred to additional costs estimated at AUD150m, but this was not confirmed by the minister’s office and the AWD Alliance could not be contacted. The government said on 4 June that emergency measures would include the urgent insertion into ASC of an experienced shipbuilding management team, and IHS Jane’s understands this will come from BAE Systems. The minister’s office said an announcement could be expected “quite soon”. Under the current schedule, the first of the three 7,000-tonne Hobart-class AWDs will not be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) until March 2016, the second in September 2017, and the third in March 2019. It was not immediately clear whether Johnston was referring to new delays, or to the fact that the current delivery dates represent delays of 15, 18 and 21 months respectively on the original schedule, which was re-baselined in September 2012. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Aug 14. Indonesia confirms acquisition of four Klewang-class stealth patrol ships. The chief of the Indonesian Navy (Tentera Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut, or TNI-AL) has confirmed that the Klewang-class stealth patrol ship programme has resumed and that the service will operate a class of at least four vessels. Admiral Marsetio, chief of staff of the TNI-AL, confirmed the plans in an interview with IHS Jane’s at the Indonesian Armed Forces headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on 14 August. The stealth trimaran programme was suspended after first-of-class KRI Klewang was gutted by fire and damaged beyond repair at a naval port in Banyuwangi, East Java, weeks after its official launch on 31 August 2012. The vessel was still undergoing sea trials. There were no casualties in that incident but Indonesia’s defence ministry suspended the programme indefinitely pending further investigations into the cause of the fire. The Indonesian government has not released the results of the investigation into the fire but IHS Jane’s understands that a new hull material, described by Saab as a “nanocomposite compound” that is stronger and stealthier, was chosen partly to mitigate the effects of similar calamities in the future. Besides the four confirmed boats, Adm Marsetio also indicated that the navy might consider more vessels in the near future if options presented by the shipbuilders are attractive enough. “We could be looking at a class of between 6 to 20 vessels by 2024”, he said. “The final number will depend on factors such as acquisition costs and offset conditions presented by shipbuilders, but for now we are looking at a class of four ships.” Peter Carlqvist, head of Saab Indo