General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) has been awarded a US$15 million contract for the prototype and process development of a 155mm XM1113 rocket-assisted projectile round, a decision that has been applauded by supply chain partner Thales Australia.
A partnering agreement signed between Thales Australia and GD-OTS last year means the munitions can be provided to the Australian Defence Force, with negotiations ongoing to make this a reality.
Thales Australia said that the contract could lead to additional exports from their operations at Benalla and Mulwala, potentially securing and increasing jobs and investment for Thales and its local supply chain.
The XM1113 round can enable artillery to fire to a range of 40 kilometres, more than a 30 per cent increase from the US' current M549A1 round.
"Thales is delighted to be associated with GD-OTS, and through our partnership to potentially offer and deliver a world-class capability to the Australian Defence Force," Corry Roberts, vice president land, Thales Australia, said.
"This announcement could lead to additional export opportunities, securing and increasing jobs and investment for Thales and our local supply chain.”
The agreement will see the continuation of the partnership between Thales Australia and GD-OTS, which are working at strengthening Australia’s identified sovereign industrial capability in munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture, and the decision was enabled by the US government’s expanded definition of its national technology and industrial base to include Australia.
The XM1113 RAP uses rocket technology to deliver greater thrust, with a maximum range of 70 kilometres when fired from the US’ planned future Extended Range Artillery Cannon.
"The XM1113 RAP brings enhanced performance to the battlefield, increasing lethality and extending range for the cannon artillery warfighter. We are proud to support the Army’s modernisation initiatives to provide overmatch capability to the warfighter; and look forward to meeting the operational needs of our international allies," Jason Gaines, vice president and general manager of munition systems at GD-OTS, said