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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11750


(Question No. 1217)

Mr Robert asked the Minister for Defence, in writing, on 10 September 2012:

What is the (a) daily, and (b) hourly, cost to Defence for the following Royal Australian Army platforms: (i) M777 155 millimetre Light Weight Towed Howitzer; (ii) ARH Tiger; (iii) MRH-90; (iv) S-70A9 Black Hawk; (v) CH-47 Chinook; (vi) Australian Light Armoured Vehicle; (vii) Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle; (viii) G Wagon; (ix) M1A1 Abrams Tank; (x) M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier; (xii) B-206 Kiowa; (xiii) Scan Eagle UAV; (xiv) Shadow 200 UAV; and (xv) Heron UAV?

Mr Stephen Smith: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a) and (b) The method of costing Army platforms differs by capability. Army aviation platforms are costed by the hour. Army land platforms are costed by the kilometre. There is also a static cost for certain Army land platforms. This static cost is based on the cost to maintain the equipment without operating it.

In addition, the costs provided in this response are drawn from the Defence Financial Manual Volume 4, which is currently under review. It is assessed that these costs will change once reviewed, most notably the helicopter costs, as the data for capabilities such as ARH Tiger and MRH-90 matures.

Noting this, the current average cost of Army platforms is estimated as follows:

Land platform static capability costs (not including crew):

(i) M777 155 millimetre Light Weight Towed Howitzer: $117.42 per day;

(ii) Australian Light Armoured Vehicle: $1,138.25 per day;

(iii) Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle: $398.68 per day;

(iv) M1A1 Abrams Tank: $1,260.69 per day; and

(v) M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier: $201.78 per day.

Land platform operating costs (including crew):

(i) Australian Light Armoured Vehicle: $52.05 per kilometre;

(ii) Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle: $2.66 per kilometre;

(iii) G Wagon: $0.28 per kilometre;

(iv) M1A1 Abrams Tank: $213.99 per kilometre; and

(v) M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier: $49.06 per kilometre.

Aviation platform operating costs (including aircrew for helicopters):

(i) ARH Tiger: $17,451 per hour;

(ii) MRH-90: $15,575 per hour;

(iii) S-70A9 Black Hawk: $15,186 per hour;

(iv) CH-47 Chinook: $15,992 per hour;

(v) B-206 Kiowa: $2,063 per hour;

(vi) Scan Eagle UAV: $3,549 per hour (based on 7000 hours per year);

(vii) Shadow 200 UAV: $2,370 per hour (based on 7920 hours per year); and

(viii) Heron UAV: $12,535 per hour.

Please note that the static cost for G Wagon and the operating cost for M777 are not available as they have both been recently introduced into service and the data to quantify these costs has not yet been captured.

The daily cost for land vehicle platforms is calculated from the kilometres driven in a single day. If a vehicle sits static for a day, then the static operating cost is used. If a vehicle is driven to a location and then left static for a period, of 24 hours or part thereof, the cost is calculated by adding the static capability cost and the operating cost.

The daily costs for aviation platforms are calculated by multiplying the hourly cost by the hours flown that day.

All costs detailed are the direct operating costs to Army. This includes petrol, oil, lubricants, forecasted maintenance and crew (where specified). These costs do not include procurement, overheads, depreciation and infrastructure costs.

The UAV costs are based on the hours flown in Financial Year 2011/12 for Scan Eagle (historical) and allocated in Financial Year 2012/13 for Shadow (allocated) as costs vary depending on hours flown. These years represent the greatest rate of effort for scan eagle and the predicted yearly rate of effort for Shadow. With UAVs, the more hours flown, the less expensive they are to operate per hour as there is a fixed component to the cost of flying UAVs.