The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare today announced that the Government has approved four major Defence capability projects.
The projects are:
- The acquisition of over 950 new four wheel drive vehicles as well as trailers and associated equipment for training purposes (combined first and second pass approval for the acquisition of Light and Lightweight Tactical Training Vehicles under Land 121 Phase 5A);
- The upgrade of Navy’s current long range Standard Missile-2 (SM2) air defence missiles for future use by the Air Warfare Destroyers (SEA 4000 Phase 3.2 combined first and second pass approval);
- Funding for a collaborative international study into the upgrade of the air defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile fitted to the ANZAC Class frigates and Air Warfare Destroyers (SEA 1352 Phase 1A combined first and second pass approval); and
- An Enhanced Military Satellite Capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), including transportable land satellite communications terminals and upgrades for satellite communications on Navy platforms (Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B first pass approval).
These approvals are estimated to involve expenditure of around $550 million. When complete, the projects are estimated to involve a commitment to Australia’s national security of expenditure of around $3 billion.
New Training Vehicles (Project Land 121 Phase 5A)
The Government has approved the acquisition of over 950 new ‘G-Wagon’ four wheel drive vehicles from Mercedes Benz Australia Pacific Pty Ltd, together with around 200 modules and 830 trailers.
The modules will be manufactured and integrated onto the vehicles by G. H. Varley Pty Ltd in NSW and the trailers will be sourced from Queensland-based Haulmark Trailers (Australia).
This approval is subject to successful negotiations with the respective companies.
This project will provide the Australian Army with a fleet of tactical vehicles and an enhanced training capability to prepare for operations in protected vehicles.
The approved value is around $425 million. The Australian industry component is worth more than $100 million.
Upgrade of the Standard Missile-2 (SEA 4000 Phase 3.2)
The Australian Defence Force’s inventory of SM2 missiles carried by the Adelaide Class frigates will be both upgraded and converted for use by the Air Warfare Destroyers.
The conversion of the missiles will allow them to be used in the Air Warfare Destroyers and provide an enhanced anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile defence capability.
The SEA 4000 Phase 3.2 project is valued at around $100 million and will be acquired under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangements with the United States.
Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Upgrade (SEA 1352 Phase 1A)
The Government has given combined first and second pass approval for a contribution to the international risk reduction study for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).
The ESSM is currently fitted to the ANZAC Class frigates and will be fitted to the Air Warfare Destroyers. This project will upgrade the ESSM to ensure these ships can defend against aircraft and anti-ship missile threats.
This approval involves Australia contributing approximately $20 million to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Sea Sparrow Project Office to conduct the study to develop an upgraded ESSM.
The total cost of Project SEA 1352 Phase 1 is cost capped between $1 billion and $2 billion in the Public Defence Capability Plan.
Enhanced Military Satellite Capability (Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B)
The Government agreed to first pass approval for Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B – Enhanced Military Satellite Capability.
This project will deliver a comprehensive wideband satellite communications capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and will take advantage of Australia’s investment in the US Wideband Global Satellite Communications system.
Phase 5B will include the delivery of transportable land terminals to equip ADF elements, upgrades for the satellite communications fit on Royal Australian Navy platforms and the establishment of a satellite communications network management system.
Funding of $12 million has been approved for first pass to second pass work. This work includes project development and risk mitigation studies including in relation to the potential upgrade of the Geraldton ground station and a new ground station facility in Eastern Australia.
The total cost of Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B is cost capped between $300 million and $500 million in the Public Defence Capability Plan.