Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston today announced the First Pass approval of the LAND 154 Phase 2 Joint Counter Improvised Explosive Device program, including $19.5 million for a range of capability development activities, trials, risk reduction activities and industry solicitation.
“Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) have emerged as the weapon-of-choice against Australian forces deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effectiveness of IEDs has more recently been demonstrated in Mali and Syria,” Senator Johnston said.
“The use of IEDs continues to increase globally and they are being employed by an expanding range of groups, including insurgents, terrorists and by conventional and unconventional military forces.”
Senator Johnston said LAND 154 Phase 2 will be the next major step in the development of an Australian Counter IED capability.
“It will be able to provide Australian forces with the ability to rapidly deploy appropriate Counter IED systems without reliance on allied partners for support.”
The IED threat is one that the ADF and other Australian personnel will likely encounter in future operations in our region. Capabilities to be explored by Defence between first and second pass include:
A deployable intelligence facility will allow the ADF to rapidly respond to regional or local IED blast events and begin critical (and potentially life saving) analysis of evidence;
Rapid and protected vehicle mounted system with an ability to safely detect IED at relatively rapid speed; and
New personal and vehicle mounted counter IED systems.
“This project will provide Australian forces with the ability to independently deploy the appropriate Counter IED systems to meet future IED threats,” Senator Johnston said.
The total value of this project at Second pass is anticipated to be over $300 million and a decision will occur in 2016 or 2017 depending on the maturity of some of these cutting edge capabilities.
Brad Rowswell (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0417 917 796
Rebecca Horton (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 554
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999