In a commitment to build 30 self-propelled howitzers, the release of a Request for Tender in September 2020 for the Protected Mobile Fires will be released to preferred supplier Hanwha Defence Australia. The RFT is to build and maintain 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles, and their supporting systems.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said it marks a key step in progressing the project.
“Through this project, this Government is delivering the capability Army needs while creating local jobs in and around Geelong that will grow our highly skilled workforce,” Minister Reynolds said.
“This comes at an important time as Victoria deals with its latest outbreak of COVID-19.
“The acquisition of this capability will provide the ADF with the mobility, lethality and protection required to support Joint Force operations in the land domain.
“The self-propelled howitzers will be built in the Geelong region, with ongoing deep maintenance conducted in the same Australian facility to support the systems throughout their service life.”
The Request for Tender will progress this first phase of the Protected Mobile Fires capability.
Together with the subsequent phases announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, it will ensure a long-term future for industry’s involvement in the delivery of this critical capability for the ADF.
Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price said the Morrison Government is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry.
“This project builds on our efforts to strengthen Australia’s Defence industry capability, and represents a program of continuous investment well into the next decade in the Geelong region,” Minister Price said.
“This project is expected to create up to 350 jobs to build and maintain the new vehicles. It will also provide significant opportunities in other areas such as transport and warehousing, as well as component manufacture and repair.
Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson said opportunities in the local Geelong area extend through the supply chain.
“These opportunities will include future mid-life upgrades, harnessing emerging technologies to enhance the protection, firepower and mobility of Australia’s protected mobile fires capability,” Senator Henderson said.
“The announcement of this next important stage of the Howitzer Defence Project is wonderful news for the people of Geelong and our city’s manufacturing sector.”
LAND 8116 Phase 2, announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, is anticipated to commence in the late 2020s, delivering additional Protected Mobile Fires capability, and LAND 8116 Phase 3 is anticipated to commence in the mid-2030s, delivering a mid-life upgrade that will provide an opportunity to incorporate emerging technologies.