Two tenderers remain for the LAND400 Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle competition – Rheinmetall with its Boxer CRV and BAE Systems Australia with its AMV35.
With General Dynamics Land Systems (together with Thales Australia and Konsberg) and Team Sentinel (partnered with Elbit Systems) out of the running, both groups have been quick to reiterate their intention to keep the projects, including builds, technology and maintenance within Australia since the Defence announcement on 28 July.
In a statement, Rheinmetall stated, “Rheinmetall Defence will establish an Australian Industry Capability program for LAND400 that strengthens existing industrial capability in Australia and creates high technology enduring jobs for hundreds of Australians by localising design and manufacturing expertise in electro-optics, weapon systems, fire control and sensor systems, turret manufacturing, variant design and manufacture, integration, armour systems, simulation, training and fleet sustainment.”
Andrew Fletcher, Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s general manager said, “We look forward to demonstrating BOXER’s capabilities to the Commonwealth through the RMA (Risk Mitigation Activity) process and working closely with Australian industry and our partners, Supacat, Northrop Grumman and Tectonica to establish a world-class combat vehicle design, manufacturing and sustainment capability for the Australian Defence Force and the region.”
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips said, “BAE Systems will produce the AMV35 in Australia if we are selected as the successful tender.
"This will secure and retain in-country capability and contribute significantly to the Australian economy throughout the expected 30-plus year life and sustainment of the vehicles.
"Our three test vehicles are built and ready for the Australian Defence Force’s test and evaluation program.
"Our team is now focused on maturing our in-country manufacturing plans to ensure we provide the Australian Army with the best capability while also delivering the maximum economic benefit across our Australian supply chains.”
This 'pro-Australian industry' focus was highlighted by the extension to the tender evaluation program from its intended date in March this year until 30 June 2016.
With the RMA planning done before the release of the Defence Industry Policy Statement, Defence was granted the extension by the Minister for Defence Marise Payne to ensure Australian defence industries would benefit from the ongoing program.