The training began at the School of Armour, with president of DEF Australia Brigadier Mick Ryan making the announcement on Twitter, accompanied by two photos of the crew and vehicles.
The aim of Project LAND 400 is to enhance the mounted close combat capability of the Land Force by providing armoured fighting vehicles with improved firepower, protection, mobility and communication characteristics to enable tactical success in the contemporary and future operational environment.
LAND 400 will deliver a Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), a Manoeuvre Support Vehicle and an Integrated Training System.
BAE Systems Australia, in partnership Finnish company Patria, were one of two tenders selected to take part in the 12-month Risk Mitigation Activity for the Australian Army’s LAND 400 Phase 2 CRV program.
PHM Technology will provide BAE Systems access to its integrated engineering analysis and decision support solution MADe, with the aim of providing ongoing diagnostics throughout the sustainment phase, ensuring optimal reliability, safety and maintainability throughout the product lifecycle.
"As an exemplar in the maintenance software space, PHM Technology is another great example of Australia’s world-class defence industry capability, which we at BAE Systems Australia proudly support," BAE Systems director of strategy Fran Murphy said.
Project LAND 400 will replace some of the Army's current capabilities, including the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) and the M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (M113AS4).
The Army's highest priority is to replace the ASLAV fleet at the commencement of 2020, before the cost of ownership increases.
"These costs cannot be mitigated through upgrade and, without replacement starting in 2020, a capability gap will result," the Army said.
The IFV will replace the M113AS4 beginning in 2025.
Even though the life expectancy of the M113AS4 is until 2030, the Army says its 'fit for purpose' suitability is decaying given current and emerging threats and it is not expected to be deployable for anything other than low intensity/low risk missions beyond 2025.
The M113AS4s have been providing the ADF with a protected mobility and armoured fighting capability since the Vietnam War.
The current M113AS4s were upgraded from the Vietnam-era M113AS1 and include an electrically powered turret, day/night weapon sights, a new engine, steering controls, drive train, electrical and fuel systems, as well as a newly designed internal layout to accommodate safe stowage in a variety of situations.