25 Juni 2009
KMW PZH-2000 self propelled howitzer (photo : Defence Talk)
MELBOURNE, Australia: The German Krauss-Mafffei Wegmann-led consortium has dropped out of the competition to provide the Australian Army with a new 155mm self-propelled gun. KMW was teamed with BAE Systems Australia to offer the PZH-2000 for the contract to supply 18 guns. They are competing with a consortium consisting of Raytheon and Samsung Techwin that is offering the AS-9 gun.
KMW cites problems with intellectual property as well as a requirement for more equitable risk-sharing with Australia as the reasons behind its decision not to participate in the offer definition and refinement process. According to Australian government sources, neither tender had fully met their contractual requirements. Only the Raytheon consortium has chosen to continue negotiations with the government.
The Australian defense white paper, published last month, called for the acquisition of two batteries of self-propelled guns (a total of 12 guns) and four batteries of towed guns. The Defence Department hopes to wrap up a decision on the towed artillery later this year, with the M777 howitzer, built in the United States by BAE Systems, expected to be chosen.