Shipbuilder Austal has announced intentions to submit a proposal to design, build and sustain the Australian Army’s next generation of littoral manoeuvre capability under the Department of Defence’s LAND 8710 (Phase 1) project.
The move comes after Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price announced in February 2021 that the Government will invest up to $800 million to acquire new fleets of Australian-built amphibious vehicles (AVs) and landing craft (LC) that will be able to transport land forces with enhanced speed and protection.
The project includes the development of a new AV to replace the Army’s Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo 5 tonne vehicle (LARC-V), and Independent LC to replace the current Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM-8) vessels.
Attending the Land Forces 2021 Defence Exhibition in Brisbane, Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the company was confident of offering ‘an exceptional new littoral manoeuvre capability for the Australian Army that may be relied upon throughout its working life’.
“Our track record is proven. Working successfully with the Australian Border Force, the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Defence since 1998, Austal has delivered 42 ships to the Australian Government, including the Bay, Armidale, Cape and Guardian-class Patrol Boats,” Mr Gregg noted.
“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% Australian Industry Capability (AIC) content – and is on time and on budget.”
Austal has established vessel manufacturing and service facilities in Henderson, WA, as well as shipyards in Cairns and Brisbane, QLD, and a dedicated service centre in Darwin, NT that are ready to support defence operations.