The ASX-listed shipbuilding firm has offered to design, build and sustain the Army’s next-generation amphibious capability.
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Austal has confirmed it will submit a proposal for Defence’s LAND 8710 (Phase 1) program — an $800 million project to develop a new amphibious vehicle (AV) to replace the Army’s Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo – 5 tonne vehicle (LARC-V), and Independent Landing Craft (ILC) to replace the current Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM-8) vessels.
The shipbuilding firm has offered to design, build and sustain the locally-developed fleet, used to transport land forces with enhanced speed and protection.
The new vehicles and vessels are proposed for introduction from 2026.
Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg announced the firm’s bid at Land Forces 2021 Defence Exhibition in Brisbane.
“Austal is Australia’s proven defence prime contractor that has designed, constructed and sustained multiple naval shipbuilding programs for Australia, and export markets around the world, for more than 20 years,” Gregg said.
“Drawing upon this local strength in defence capability, including Australia’s largest team of naval architects, Austal is confident of offering an exceptional new littoral manoeuvre capability for the Australian Army that may be relied upon throughout its working life.”
Gregg said Austal has a proven track record, working successfully with the Australian Border Force, the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Defence since 1998.
The firm has delivered 42 ships to the Commonwealth government, including the Bay, Armidale, Cape and Guardian Class patrol boats.
“Austal is currently partnering with more than 1,200 businesses across Australia to deliver projects like the 21 x steel-hulled Guardian Class patrol boats, which alone is achieving over 68 per cent Australian industry capability (AIC) content – and is on time and on budget,” he added.
Austal said it would leverage its established manufacturing and service facilities in Henderson, Western Australia, as well as shipyards in Cairns and Brisbane, and a dedicated service centre in Darwin.
Austal directly employs almost 1,100 Australians across the country.
The firm recently delivered two 58-metre Cape Class patrol boats to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.