The 2013 Defence White Paper outlines the Government’s commitment to acquiring deployable protected and armoured vehicles for Army offering improved firepower, protection and mobility compared to existing systems.
This includes the acquisition of new medium and heavy trucks, trailers and associated modules to replace Army’s existing ageing field vehicle and trailer fleet under project LAND 121.
Field vehicles and trailers are the backbone of the Australian Defence Force’s ability to provide support and sustainment to personnel deployed on operations.
The vehicles will fill roles as diverse as transporting personnel and supplies, providing a platform for carrying and using weapon systems, delivering humanitarian assistance and aid, and where necessary evacuating casualties.
The Defence White Paper outlines the requirement to provide around 2,700 protected and unprotected Medium and Heavy Vehicles under Project LAND 121 Phase 3B.
The new vehicles will have enhanced performance and protection, as well as providing commonality across the fleet, ensuring improved efficiency in operator training and simplifying logistic support to land forces.
These new trucks will have advanced safety characteristics, improved force protection, greater payload and will be networked to enable them to be more responsive on the modern battlefield.
New capabilities for Defence will include self-loading trucks that will greatly improve the distribution of materiel.
Defence is close to finalising LAND 121 Phase 3B contract negotiations for the provision of these vehicles, modules and trailers.
Subject to satisfactory completion of all final issues and formal Government approval processes, Defence will acquire up to 2,700 protected and unprotected trucks from Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia and trailers from Haulmark Trailers Australia.
The Government is scheduled to formally consider in the middle of this year Defence’s proposal for the acquisition of the vehicles and trailers.
It is expected that the work to be undertaken in Australia by the successful vehicle and trailer contractors and their network of Australian sub-contractors will include manufacture of the trailers, installation of locally-supplied modules and parts, vehicle integration and testing.
The maintenance and through-life support for the vehicles is also expected to be undertaken in Australia.
This acquisition is in addition to the previously approved LAND 121 Phase 3A which is replacing the current fleet of ADF light unprotected field vehicles and trailers. This includes the acquisition of around 2150 unprotected Mercedes Benz G-Wagon 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles and trailers to enable tactical training.
To date around 600 vehicles and 350 trailers have been delivered to Army and Air Force with the final vehicles to be delivered by 2016.
Approximately 1,000 additional vehicles will eventually be acquired to complete the medium and heavy fleet under LAND 121 Phase 5B.
3 May 2013
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MINISTER SMITH’S OFFICE (02) 6277 7800