Defence, in collaboration with Australian industry, will manufacture and deliver more than 15,000 lifesaving SILVERSHIELD units to the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces this year.
SILVERSHIELD is the latest evolution in vehicle-mounted systems being developed under the REDWING program, which provides protection against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said this capability would empower the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces to operate confidently in a high-threat environment.
“The REDWING program is one of Australia’s largest contributions to the Afghan security forces through the Afghan National Army Trust Fund,” Minister Reynolds said.
“We are extremely proud to produce life-saving force protection systems for our Afghan partners to help address the evolving threat of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.”
Since 2015, Australian industry, in collaboration with Defence, has produced and exported more than 224,000 individual and vehicle-mounted REDWING systems to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
The final assembly of the SILVERSHIELD units will take place in Brisbane at the L3 Micreo facility. The units are comprised of component parts sourced from companies across Australia, including:
- Axiom Precision Manufacturing (based in Adelaide, South Australia);
- SRX Global (Australia) (based in Melbourne, Victoria);
- ZCG Scalar (based in Lindenow, Victoria); and
- LINTEK (based in Queanbeyan, NSW).
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the REDWING program highlights the best of Australian industry.
“The success of the REDWING program is a result of the remarkable diversity of Australia’s defence industry nationwide,” Minister Price said.
“The program continues to be recognised as a leading example of innovation and industry working together, most recently at the 2018 Essington Lewis Awards, which recognise excellence in Australia’s defence industry.”
An initial 16,000 SILVERSHIELD units were delivered to Afghanistan throughout 2018. The systems are Australian designed, developed and manufactured, and tailored for use in the harsh environment of Afghanistan.