Serco Australia has welcomed Major General (Ret’d) Fergus ‘Gus’ McLachlan, AO, to its LAND 8710 project team as a strategic adviser, following completion of extensive tank testing for the provisional landing craft design.
As part of Serco’s continued support of the Australian Defence Force, and in preparation for the upcoming LAND 8710 Phase 1 Independent Landing Craft program, McLachlan will support Serco in delivering a 21st century Amphibious Manoeuvre Capability into Australian Army service, bringing a wealth of military and commercial expertise to the Serco Team.
McLachlan said he is looking forward to being part of the Serco team, working to deliver such an important capability for the Army and ADF.
“Australia’s defence strategy has refocused on operations in the Indo-Pacific region and Independent Landing Craft will be a critical enabler of this strategy,” he said.
“These vessels must have the seagoing capability and range to function independently in austere and remote locations. They must also be able to contribute to ship to shore operations from the magnificent Canberra Class LHD and I think the Oboe 1 ILC is the most versatile and capable craft for these challenging missions.
"Serco also has proven ability to support the Army in a true partnership to train crews and maintain these critical vessels.”
McLachlan's storied career includes uniformed rolls as the Head of Army Modernisation and Strategic Planning, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans at the HQ ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan, and Chief of Staff for the Office of the Chief of the Defence Force. He retired as Commander Forces Command in 2018, having successfully led 35,000 personnel through a challenging period of Army modernisation.
He now joins a Serco team that is well advanced in solution planning and industrial mobilisation after a successful period of LAND 8710 concept design testing, conducted at the Australian Maritime College (AMC).
As strategic adviser, McLachlan will help shape the solution strategy and advise on a variety of issues ranging from platform employment and capabilities to stakeholder engagement and industry partnerships.
Serco Defence managing director Clint Thomas AM, CSC, said he is thrilled to welcome McLachlan to the team.
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“We are committed to providing the Australian Army with a holistic capability solution to the upcoming LAND 8710 Phase 1 Independent Landing Craft program, and we have assembled a team with the required specialised skills and expertise to deliver just that,” Thomas added.
“Serco’s Australian team stand ready to deliver for the Commonwealth, bringing Australian industry skills and expertise to the forefront, and positioning Australia to drive forward in establishing a sustainable and vibrant shipbuilding industry.”
LAND 8710 Phase 1 is the project to design, build and maintain landing craft to enhance ADF’s amphibious capabilities in littoral waters and to enable independent deployment throughout the region.
Over the last decade, Serco has delivered more than a dozen large vessels for Naval service under the Fleet Marine Services Contract.
Journalist – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Nastasha is a Journalist at Momentum Media, she reports extensively across veterans affairs, cyber security and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific. Previously, she was a Content Producer at Verizon Media, a Digital Producer for Yahoo! and Channel 7, a Digital Journalist at Sky News Australia, as well as a Website Manager and Digital Producer at SBS Australia. She started her career in media as a Video Producer and Digital News Presenter at News Corp Australia.