Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced a $5.3 million contract extension with BAE Systems Australia to provide technical support to the Army’s Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) fleet for another three years, securing continued employment for 20 Adelaide staff.
Minister Price said the contract extension was a win for South Australia’s defence industry as it allows BAE Systems Australia to continue to provide vital engineering services to the remarkable APC fleet.
"This engineering services contract ensures the operation of the APC fleet for several more years until its replacement is provided under the LAND 400 Phase 3 – Land Combat Vehicle System project," Minister Price said.
She added, "The contract extension with BAE Systems Australia represents continued investment and confidence in the highly technical and experienced Australian workforce. It is also recognition of the company’s highly valued expertise in supporting the APC vehicles over many years."
BAE Systems Australia will continue to employ 20 staff at their Edinburgh site, in Adelaide’s north, to support the APC capability.
The M113 APCs have provided the Australian Defence Force with a protected mobility and armoured fighting capability since the Vietnam War. The M113 AS4 will be replaced in coming years by the infantry fighting vehicle capability being delivered under Project LAND 400 Phase 3.
The M113 APC is an all-terrain vehicle designed to protect and transport its crew and up to ten infantry personnel. The M113 incorporates armour resistant to small arms fire, ballistic plating for mine blast protection and spall curtains to maximise passenger survivability.
Logistically, the vehicle is capable of rapid deployment by road, rail, sea or air. The M113 is designed for highway, off-road and cross-country travel while combat laden.
The M113 family of vehicles includes seven variants – the APC, armoured fitters, armoured recovery vehicle light, armoured ambulance, armoured mortar, armoured command vehicle and armoured logistic vehicle.
The diverse family of M113 vehicles provides an essential capability for maintaining and supporting armoured assets in the field with minimal logistic support.
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The APC family of vehicles are used by Army units across the country, including in Queensland at Townsville and Brisbane, South Australia at Adelaide, and Victoria at Puckapunyal.