08 Mei 2009

Report Slams Australian M113 Upgrade Programme

08 Agustus 2005
M-113 AS4 during testing (photo : Army Recognition)

A report compiled by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has revealed a litany of contractual and management inadequacies in the troubled programme to upgrade the Australian Army's fleet of M113A1 tracked armoured vehicles.

Tasked with providing an independent analysis of the Defence Materiel Organisation's (DMO's) management of the M113 upgrade, the report - entitled 'Management of the M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier Upgrade Project' - found that the AUD552 million (USD428 million) programme has undergone extensive scope changes and chronic schedule delays since its inception in the early 1990s.

M-113 AS4 of the Australia Army (photo : Wikimedia)

The latest upgrade iteration, which requires prime contractor Tenix Defence to upgrade 350 vehicles to the AS3 and AS4 standards, suffered a three-year delay between project approval in June 1999 and contract signature in July 2002. The ANAO found that this period of excessive inactivity was "characterised by an inability of [the Department of] Defence to successfully manage changes in requirements".

The November 2006 introduction into service goal is unlikely to be achievable, according to the ANAO, which stated that the production of some of the IPV variants would "slip by up to six months". This is likely to result in delivery of the IPVs around May 2007. Final deliveries, therefore, would not take place until 2011. Tenix has also failed to supply the DMO with the requisite integrated logistics support data, the report found. To hasten transition to full-rate production (FRP), Tenix devised a process of fast-tracking production whereby it commences production of the vehicles before they have passed Department of Defence (DoD) formal testing.


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