Mr Andrews, together with the Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP, urged Australian industry to take advantage of opportunities arising from project Land 400 Phase 2.
Speaking at the Puckapunyal Army Base, Mr Andrews said Australian industry would have the opportunity to participate in both the acquisition and support phases.
“The ASLAV is the ADF’s current mounted combat reconnaissance vehicle and has seen extensive operational service, including in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan,” Mr Andrews said.
“The fleet will reach the end of its life around 2021. The Government is committed to replacing and enhancing the Army’s fleet of combat vehicles and other land force capabilities to best protect our soldiers.”
Mr Macfarlane said the prime contractors leading bids to provide the new vehicles would be expected to maximise Australian industry content while ensuring an effective capability, without detriment to the quality, interoperability, schedule or cost of the project.
“When it comes to Defence contracts, Australian suppliers want a piece of the pie,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The Government’s broader policy settings, including our Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda and Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, are focussed on building on our strengths and maximising opportunities for investment and job creation.
“Australian industry must continue to demonstrate that it can be competitive, and can be a vital, long-term contributor to supply chains and support strategies.”
The upcoming Defence White Paper will confirm the remaining scope of the program, which is likely to provide an infantry fighting vehicle, currently partly provided by the M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier, a manoeuvre support vehicle, and an integrated training system.
When fully delivered, the LAND 400 Program will allow Army to successfully sustain mounted close combat against emerging and future threats as part of a joint force.
Australian companies wishing to be involved as sub-contractors to have the opportunity to pursue a range of opportunities including:
· Component and parts supply;
· Integration of Australian communications, sensor and weapons systems;
· Engineering and testing;
· Facilities; and
· Vehicle sustainment and logistics.
This process is consistent with the successes achieved by Australian companies in winning work in other major Defence procurement programs including the international Joint Strike Fighter program.
Defence continues to provide assistance to industry through a number of other related and successful programs including the Global Supply Chain program and Team Defence Australia.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, speaking on the tender for replacement of the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle in Puckapunyal, Victoria.