With the release of the Land Combat and Protected Vehicles and Technology Upgrades Plan on Thursday, Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has outlined a framework for small businesses to work with government to build and grow one of the key sovereign industrial capabilities envisioned by Canberra.
The Implementation Plan – which identified opportunities for Australian businesses – was released alongside the Department of Defence’s overarching Industry Plan for the land combat SICP.
As defined by Defence, the priority captures the following:
- Combat vehicles – vehicles operated in sustained close combat and designed to generate warfighting advantage through lethality and protection systems.
- Protected vehicles – vehicles designed to enable the safe movement of personnel and/or equipment through a conflict environment, however, not designed for sustained close combat.
- Technology upgrades – an improvement to the quality or usefulness of a system or platform, or a change that incorporates a new function or component. An upgrade is generally connected with design changes to improve the systems’ capability or performance.
The third SICP implementation document released by the current government, the release of the plan follows the first tranche of SICP plans: the Combat Clothing and the Munitions and Small Arms Plans, posted as of December 2019. Implementation and Industry Plans for the remaining seven SICPs will be released throughout the year.
According to Minister Price, it provides a useful point of reference to both businesses already operating as part of the defence supply chain, as well as those looking to get involved, in order to "invest in a way that best supports the Australian Defence Force’s capability needs".
“The Morrison government is delivering a record $270 billion of defence capability for our men and women in uniform, backing small businesses and creating thousands of Aussie jobs in our defence industry,” Minister Price said.
“The release of this plan is a significant step in providing greater clarity, supporting industry to make the most of this unprecedented opportunity.
“My number one priority is giving small business the tools they need to be involved in our defence industry, and grow their businesses to enable them to enter global markets.”