General Dynamic's Eagle IV (photo : thinkdefence)
Aussie Manufacturers Given a Shot at Billion Dollar Military Contract
Australian manufacturers will be given a chance to win a contract worth more than $1 billion for the manufacture of the next generation of protected mobility vehicles, Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, announced today.
“Three Australian based companies will be awarded up to $9 million each for the development of protected mobility vehicle prototypes, putting them in the running to land a manufacturing contract for up to 1300 vehicles,” Mr Combet said.
“I am happy to announce that Thales Australia, Force Protection Europe and General Dynamics Land Systems Australia are the three companies who will be given a shot at this important contract.
Thales Australia's Hawkei (photo : thales)
“This decision means that these companies now have a chance of competing against prototypes being developed in the US that are also in the running for the contract.”
Mr Combet said that the three companies would be given around six months to produce two test drive ready prototype vehicles each.
“The Rudd Government believes that Australia has some of the best defence equipment manufacturers in the world. This decision will mean that they will have a fair chance to compete with other international competitors,” said Mr. Combet.
Force Protection's Ocelot (photo : Ricardo)
The announcement follows a decision by the Government in 2008 to participate in the current US Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program which is also working on the development of protected mobility vehicle prototypes.
“Today’s announcement means that there will be greater competition for this very important contract – an outcome that can only lead to better vehicles and capability for the Australian Defence Force,” said Mr. Combet.
“The protected mobility vehicles will play an important role in keeping Australian troops safe in combat roles, including command, liaison and light battlefield resupply.
“They will be provided to the Army’s combat units and Air Force’s Air Field Defence Guards and will be designed to operate in future conflict environments.”
Thales Australia has facilities in Bendigo, Victoria. General Dynamics Land Systems Australia has facilities in the suburbs of Adelaide in South Australia.