Testing to help select the Army’s new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle has finished on schedule.
A final series of blast tests have been completed on the two shortlisted contenders vying to become the Australian Defence Force’s new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle.
The tests are the final phase of a rigorous program designed to put the two vehicles through their paces in a range of operating environments.
“During the last 12 months, the vehicles’ protection, lethality and usability have been measured and assessed,” Minister Pyne said.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated the two shortlisted contenders, Rheinmetall and BAE Systems Australia, for their involvement in the Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA).
“I would also like to thank Defence’s hard-working Land 400 team,” said Minister Pyne.
“The RMA incorporated a test and evaluation program, and a series of schedule and contract management workshops to ensure the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract will be robust.”
“This rigorous process will ensure opportunities for Australian industry involvement in this project are maximised.”
To assess their survivability, Rheinmetall’s Boxer and BAE Systems Australia’s AMV-35, were exposed to simulated mine blasts at Defence’s Proof and Experimental Establishment at Graytown in Victoria.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the blast tests were conducted under the wheels and under the belly of the vehicles and represented a final trial by fire.
“The aim of this project is to deliver a world-class armoured fighting vehicle which can take a hit, and protect our soldiers,” said Minister Pyne.
“Importantly, these trials have been conducted by Australian soldiers who will operate these vehicles when they are delivered, closely supported by Defence Science and Technology Group staff.”
Defence will buy 225 CRVs costing between $4 to $5 billion.
“The Land 400 Phase 2 project secures the ADF’s sovereign CRV expertise and over 1000 jobs across more than 300 Australian based companies,” said Minister Pyne.
The test and evaluation program assessed the vehicles and their support systems across a wide range of criteria, with a particular focus on protection, lethality and mobility.
Three phases of user evaluations were conducted by Australian soldiers at Puckapunyal in Victoria and the Mt Bundey Training Area in the Northern Territory.
“The soldiers are representative of who will use the vehicles when they enter service in the early 2020s,” said Minister Pyne.
The program saw the vehicles drive aboard a Landing Helicopter Dock so they could be tested with the ships onboard systems.
“The vehicles’ transportation compatibility was also tested using C-17 aircraft,” said Minister Pyne.
All testing was strongly supported by the Defence Science and Technology Group, whose world-class capabilities ensured high-quality outcomes were achieved.
The LAND 400 Phase 2 team has worked hard to increase opportunities for Australian industry participation in this program.
“The project secures the ADF’s sovereign CRV expertise and over 1000 jobs across more than 300 Australian based companies,” said Minister Pyne.
“LAND 400 Phase 2 will protect Australian soldiers’ lives on the battlefield and create new job opportunities around the country,” Minister Pyne said.
“The winner will be announced in the first half of 2018.”
Army’s Hawkei demonstrates Operational Intelligence
The CASG Land 121 Phase 4 project team has put the Hawkei protected vehicle’s new C4I Integral Computing System (ICS) to the test.
The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group’s (CASG) Land 121 Phase 4 project team has put the Hawkei protected vehicle’s new C4I Integral Computing System (ICS) to the test, during a demonstration of the deployable Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) capability at the Monegeetta Proving Ground.
During the activity a Project Charter for the ICS was signed, guiding the interaction and collaboration between Defence and the nine contractors involved in delivery of the ICS; Thales Australia, Cablex, Elbit Land Systems Australia, Esterline, Harris Australia, Kongsberg, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, and Thomas Global Systems.
Land 121 Phase 4 Project Director COL John McLean said that the ICS reflects the Australian Army’s requirement for a more integrated approach to C4I on vehicles that realises benefits in the areas of useability, space, weight and power.
“Using generic vehicle architecture (GVA) and a central computing concept to host various C4I systems and communications, the ICS will optimise and centralise the flow of information to the user, enabling rapid decision making and multitasking at levels not previously achievable on land based platforms,” COL McLean said.
“The new ICS will enable the vehicle operator to manage radios, sensors, the Battle Management System, and weapon systems – all through a common interface.
“The ICS was demonstrated to work successfully with Army’s Battle Management System and communications suite, as well as other features and systems of the deployable PMV-L capability.”
While the demonstration was a contractual requirement for Hawkei’s Bendigo-based manufacturer Thales, it also gave the invited Defence stakeholders an opportunity to see the deployable PMV-L’s various planned features, including:
- Integral Computing System (ICS) Command Vehicle installation
- Battle Management System (BMS) operating on Windows 10
- Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS)
- Digital Terminal Control Station (DTCS)
- Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs)
- Force Protection Electronic Counter Measures (FPECM)
- Rocket Propelled Grenade Cage
- Remote Weapon Station
- Manned Weapon Mount
Visitors were also able to experience the handling characteristics and performance of the Hawkei through an interactive patrol demonstration.
The initial baseline of the C4I ICS will be available on low-rate-initial-production vehicles from 2018.
Victorian defence hub for next generation of Army vehicles
The defence hub to be built at Fishermans Bend will be the biggest of its type in the nation and is where the Company plans to manufacture the Australian Army’s Armed Combat Reconnaissance vehicles.
BAE Systems Australia will build a world class defence hub in Victoria, consolidating the company’s Victorian Maritime, Aerospace and Land businesses into a single facility that will foster collaboration and innovation, delivering sustainable jobs over multiple projects for decades to come.
BAE Systems Australia CEO Glynn Phillips said:
“The creation of this new defence hub will provide sustainable, long-term, highly skilled work for Australians and further develop and grow the nation’s Sovereign Industry Capability.“I am delighted that we can be part of Victoria’s ambition to develop a defence industry that is globally focused, supporting the transition to a stronger and more diversified economy that will benefit all Australians.”
BAE Systems has committed to creating a national supply chain to support its Land 400 operations and recently committed to $200 million worth of work to eight Victorian companies and will make additional announcements in coming weeks.
Victorian companies assemble and test BOXER CRV turret
Three Victorian companies have joined with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to assemble and test the first LANCE two-man turret in Australia.
Three Victorian companies have joined with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to 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.
Rheinmetall is using the LANCE turret assembly to 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 is Rheinmetall’s teaming partner in the Land 400 Phase 2 Risk Mitigation Activities currently being conducted by the Commonwealth of Australia. Rheinmetall has co-located its RMA operation at Supacat’s Port Melbourne facilities and the BOXER CRV team comprises senior Supacat personnel.
Victorian companies Able Industries Engineering and Nezkot Precision Tooling and Engineering 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.”
An export program is a critical part of Rheinmetall’s vision for Land 400 offer whereby the company will establish a sovereign industrial capability for military vehicles in Australia to underpin an enduring strategic relationship between the Commonwealth, the Australian Army and defence industry.
Currently the largest supplier of military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force, Rheinmetall will establish a military vehicle centre of excellence (MILVEHCOE) for the continuous design, build and support for up to 10,000 military vehicles in the Asia Pacific region, drawing on a supply network across Australia to deliver products and services locally and into Rheinmetall’s Global Supply Chain
Supacat in Australia is an innovative producer of high mobility military vehicles, specialist vehicles and maritime products. The company has an established presence in Australia. Its Melbourne office is the regional HQ for all of Supacat’s activities in the Asia Pacific region and serves as a facility supporting Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2 campaign.