BAE Systems Australia and Sea Box International have committed to undertaking the design and engineering prototype work for ammunition load carriers.
The project reflects the government's commitment to supporting and building innovation opportunities for Australia's SMEs.
“This is a wonderful example of the Defence innovation system leveraging world-class Australian industry research and development to produce a 155mm ammunition Unit Load Carrier that improves the efficiency of the supply chain and ultimately the safety of Australian soldiers,” Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said.
The government's commitment to the innovation of Australia's defence industry was outlined in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement.
“We are determined to deliver the government’s innovation strategy. Collaboration in the Defence innovation system is critical to get the best capability outcomes for Australia,” said Minister Pyne.
“We as a government are focused on innovation because, in the Defence context, that is how we are going to get our warfighting advantages.”
BAE Systems CEO Glynn Phillips said the company is “very pleased to be selected to complete this important project".
“We are working with Century Engineering and other local SMEs to leverage our Australian solution," Phillips said.
“It builds on the work we’ve already undertaken to support Unit Load Ammunition Carriers and our long-term support of land systems for the Australian Army."
The project is aiming to focus industry innovation into prototype development of a single, safe Unit Load Carrier that works across the supply chain. The prototype aims to improve operational use and reduce manual handling of 155mm ammunition by combat troops.
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The development outcomes from these prototypes will inform future Defence procurement of ammunition load carrier solutions.
The combined value of the contracts is $3.27 million and funding is being made available through the Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation program. This program is one of the legacy defence innovation programs that are being integrated into the new Defence Innovation Hub.