The Royal Australian Navy (Navy) operates eight ANZAC class frigates. The frigates were commissioned between 1996 and 2006, and form part of Navy’s core surface warship capability. The ANZAC class is used to: conduct surveillance and patrols; protect shipping and strategic areas; provide naval gunfire in support of the Army; and undertake disaster relief and search and rescue activities.

Defence’s sustainment of the ANZAC class frigates was selected for audit due to its cost and the importance of this capability until the Hunter class frigates enter into service. In addition, parliamentary committees have, over several years, stated their interest in Defence’s reporting of its sustainment performance and, in particular, obtaining greater insight into that performance.

The audit objective was to examine whether the Department of Defence has effective and efficient sustainment arrangements for the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of eight ANZAC class frigates.

To form a conclusion against the audit objective, the ANAO adopted the following high-level criteria:

  • Defence has a fit-for-purpose sustainment framework between Navy and the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.
  • Defence has an appropriate framework to monitor and report on the effectiveness and efficiency of operating the ANZAC fleet.
  • Defence effectively administers the ANZAC sustainment strategic partnership to achieve specified availability and performance outcomes.
Publication Details


License type:
Auditor-General Report No.30 2018–19