The Morrison-Joyce Government’s defence project mismanagement has seen further delays to the schedules for two multi-billion projects delivering new combat vehicles for the Army and patrol vessels for the Navy.
Senior Defence officials told the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit this morning that there was a delay of up to a year in finalising design work on the second block of 186 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles for the Army.
This is on top of a seven month delay in delivery of the first 25 Block 1 Boxer CRVs this year.
The $4.28 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project is acquiring 211 Boxer 8x8 CRVs for the Australian Army to replace the existing Australian Light Armoured Vehicle. It is the most expensive Army acquisition every undertaken.
It is a concern to learn that design work for the 186 Block 2 vehicles being manufactured in Australia is running a year behind schedule. This is on top of issues with the developmental gun turret.
Our soldiers need these vehicles delivered on time and on spec so they can do their jobs of defending Australia.
Defence officials also told the JCPAA hearing this morning that design delays of up to a year were now affecting the $3.6 billion Offshore Patrol Vessel project.
This project is acquiring 12 new Arafura Class Patrol vessels to replace the Navy’s 13 existing Armidale Class Patrol Boats.
Defence revealed in response to Labor questions on notice earlier this year that delivery of the first two of the Offshore Patrol Vessels had already been delayed by six months to June 2022 and March 2023 respectively.
Now officials have indicated there are also delays in the design work for the Offshore Patrol Vessel project which risks adding to the existing schedule blowouts.
These are just two more examples of how the Morrison-Joyce Government is failing to deliver new defence capabilities on time, on spec and on budget.
This is jeopardising Australia’s security, making it harder for Australian Defence Force personnel to do their jobs and affecting job opportunities for Australian defence industry workers.