Three Victorian companies will assemble and test the first LANCE two-man turret in Australia as part of bidding for the LAND 400 Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) contract.
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The three companies – Supacat, Able Industries Engineering and Nezkot Precision Tooling and Engineering – are being utilised by Rheinmetall for its LAND 400 bid.
Rheinmetall said the turret assembly will determine which Australian companies can deliver skills, parts and expertise in the manufacture and assembly of turrets in Australia.
Supacat has been an important part of the build process and Able and Nezkot have each played an important role in the construction of the turret by supplying products and services during the assembly process.
"Much of this work could have been conducted in manufacturing facilities in Europe, but we have found each of the Victorian companies deliver a service and capability that meets or exceeds our needs to successfully compete for the LAND 400 program," said Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Andrew Fletcher.
"Companies such as Supacat, Able and Nezkot are continuing to build their defence footprint in Australia and it is programs such as LAND 400 Phase 2 that will enable them to develop new capabilities, expertise and standing against global competition.
"That opens the doors to export opportunities and delivering Australian technology and know-how to defence programs around the world."
Earlier this month, BAE Systems Australia unveiled agreements with Victorian SMEs, should the company be successful with its LAND 400 bid.
Companies included in the announcement were Marand, MOOG Australia, MoTeC, AME Systems, RUAG Australia, DVR Engineering, Milspec and APV.
BAE Systems has put forward the Patria AMV35 and Rheinmetall has proposed the Boxer CRV. Three vehicles from each tenderer will be extensively tested to assess their protection and other capabilities. The outcomes from these tests will be used by Defence to undertake a final evaluation of each tender’s proposal. Delivery of the 8x8 CRV will begin from 2020.
The estimated cost of the LAND 400 program is between $14 and $20 billion for acquisition, making it the biggest ever in the Australian Army's history.