21 Agustus 2014
The new vehicles to enter Australian service are based on the same Extenda platform that has been in service with the country since 2009. (photo : Supacat)
Australia has awarded UK-based Supacat Group an AUD105 million (USD98 million) contract for 89 special operations vehicles based on the latest version of the Extenda high-mobility transport (HMT), the company said on 19 August.
The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) awarded the contract for what it calls the Special Operations Vehicles - Commando (SOV-Cdo) after the April 2012 selection of Supacat as preferred bidder for its Joint Project 2097 Phase 1B (REDFIN) programme.
Since then Supacat successfully completed the programme's prototype development and evaluation phase, the DMO said.
The Extenda HMT is similar to 31 HMT Special Operations Vehicles delivered to Australia in 2009 for use by its special forces. Joint Project 2097 Phase 1B (REDFIN) seeks to replace ageing modified Land Rovers with the SOVs-Cdo.
Supacat Extenda HMT protection (image : Defense Update)
The vehicles include crew ballistic and mine-blast protection along with an integrated logistic support package that covers operating, engineering, maintenance, supply, and training support. Elbit Systems of Australia is providing the vehicle's command-and-control systems.
The Supacat statement described the HMT Extenda as being "unique in being convertible to either a 4x4 or 6x6 configuration to meet different operational requirements … The SOV-Cdo will be delivered in four reconfigurable roles, emphasising the flexibility of the HMT platform".
The Extenda HMT will be built in Australia through Supacat Team Australia, which opened in Melbourne in January 2012. "It is the launch pad for Supacat Pty in the Australian defence market," said Mick Halloran, managing director of Supacat Pty Ltd.