The Andrews Labor Government has offered support to the announcement that BAE Systems Australia and Rheinmetall Landsysteme have been shortlisted by the Commonwealth to proceed to the test and trials phase of the LAND 400 Phase 2 selection process.
The LAND 400 program is Australia’s most expensive land force equipment project with forecast expenditure of between $14 billion and $20 billion for the next generation of Armoured Fighting Vehicles. The 2016 Defence White Paper has Phase 2’s estimated value between $4 billion and $5 billion.
It encourages Australian industry participation, particularly in systems integration, test and evaluation, and through-life support of the capability.
The Labor Government has had discussions with both companies and offered support to them to locate their LAND 400 Phase 2 operations in Victoria and integrate Victorian suppliers into their supply chains.
Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan is looking forward to further discussions with these two companies to capitalise on the state’s world-class research and development, advanced manufacturing and production capabilities.
Victoria has a proven capability to develop and produce the LAND 400 project and other future military vehicle programs with production facilities, a highly skilled workforce, test and trial facilities that can all be readily accessed by potential suppliers.
Victoria’s defence sector contributes up to $8 billion to the state’s economy every year and the local industry includes more than 300 businesses, employing around 7,000 people.
The Labor Government is supporting local companies to secure contracts for land-based defence capability projects like LAND 400 through its recently released Defence Technologies Sector Strategy.