The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will receive new protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, with Defence committing to $300 million worth of new equipment as part of LAND 2110 Phase 1B.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the project will deliver individual and collective protection from CBRN hazards including detectors, suits, masks, protection tents, decontamination systems, contaminated equipment containers, warning and reporting software and simulation systems.
"This investment will ensure our personnel are better protected against exposure to toxic industrial chemicals and weaponised CBRN agents," Minister Payne said.
"The new equipment enhances the Australian Defence Force’s ability to detect, identify, monitor and warn others of CBRN hazards, protect personnel from exposure and decontaminate affected personnel and equipment safely."
Minister Pyne said the investment in equipment, facilities and training will enhance protection against current and emerging CBRN threats for Army, Navy and Air Force personnel.
"LAND 2110 Phase 1B will deliver cutting-edge technology to protect our soldiers on the battlefield as they encounter new and evolving threats," Minister Pyne said.
"We will maximise Australian industry involvement to create local jobs through this important investment.
"The project will also invest significant funds in the sustainment of the capability over a 15-year period and create opportunities for Australian industry around the country."
The investment in CBRN protection tools comes after many concerns have been raised about the use of chemical weapons by Syria in April. At least 90 people were killed by sarin gas in the attack.
The 2016 Defence White Paper outlined requirements for the ADF to support civil authorities in the event of a CBRN incident in Australia.
This investment will provide an integrated and layered CBRN defence capability that replaces aging equipment reaching the end of its service life.