L3Harris Micreo to manufacture new explosive ordnance disposal robots

L3Harris Technologies’ T7 explosive ordnance disposal robots. Image credit: L3Harris

The Albanese Government has inked a $46 million contract with Queensland-based L3Harris Micreo to manufacture up to 80 new explosive ordnance disposal robots for Australia’s sailors, soldiers and aviators.  

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy announced the contract today and said the new robots will be equipped with cameras and sensors that will improve their ability to detect, inspect, and neutralise improvised explosive devices and explosive risks.

The cutting-edge technology will replace the currently in-use robots, which were employed in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and keep Aussies as secure as possible when they are operating in the field.

The government also revealed it is collaborating closely with Australia’s defence industry, including small and medium-sized businesses as well as defence primes, to expand defence capacity while also creating local jobs, notably in Queensland.

In response to the Defence Strategic Review, the government is investing $3.8 billion over four years to bolster Australia’s northern bases. 

This includes vital airbase upgrades and development, as well as marine estate investments such as HMAS Cairns.

Minister Conroy said the new robots for the Australian Defence Force, to be manufactured in Queensland, are an example of building the local economy and workforce on cutting-edge technologies.

“As the Defence Strategic Review makes clear, we need to improve the Defence Force’s ability to operate from Australia’s northern bases, which includes Cairns,” Conroy noted.

He went on to say that Cairns will play an important part in Australia’s future national security as we reform and modernise the Australian Defence Force to meet strategic challenges.

Meanwhile, Queensland Senator Nita Green emphasised that Far North Queensland is the Pacific gateway, saying that it is encouraging to see the government committed to improving its defence capabilities.

Green added, “It’s an exciting time for the future of our region and I couldn’t be prouder to part of the Government delivering it.”

She also expressed her delight that Minister Conroy is visiting Cairns today to tour shipyards and showcase the $150 million investment made by the government in the Cairns Marine Precinct.