Australia has released tender to replace M113 tracked armored personnel carrier
The multi-billion dollar project to replace Army’s M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers has taken another step forward with the formal release of the Request for Tender for LAND 400 Phase 3 – Mounted Close Combat Capability.
Four Australian Army M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers prepare to engage a target at Puckapunyal training area in northern Victoria during Exercise Chong Ju, a live-fire training exercise by the Combined Arms Training Centre, on 21 October 2015. (Picture source Australian MoD)
Currently, the standard tracked APC armored personnel carrier in service with the Australian army is the M113AS4.
The M113AS4 is an Australian-made upgrade of the old M113AS1 and M113AS3 which are based on the American M113A1 tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC), one of the most popular light tracked APC in the world. The project of Australian M113 upgrade was leaded by BAE Systems. The decade long project to upgrade 433 M113 vehicles began in 2002, with the first completed vehicle delivered to the customer in January 2007.
Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the project will see Army’s capability significantly enhanced with a fleet of up to 450 modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles and 17 Manoeuvre Support Vehicles.
“This will be the largest investment in Army’s capability ever undertaken and will provide our troops with a modern close combat capability,” Minister Payne said.
“The vehicles will be equipped with high levels of protection, firepower and mobility that will enable sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.”
Minister Pyne indicated that during this tender process, Defence will work closely with industry to optimise Australian Industry Capability content.
“This project is another exciting opportunity for Australian industry to deliver leading edge technology in support of the Army,” he said.
Defence is placing greater emphasis on a coordinated and programmatic approach to Army’s biggest project ever.
A new Armoured Vehicle Division will been created to consolidate large programs like LAND 400, LAND 907 – Main Battle Tank Replacement and LAND 8160 – Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability into a programmatic ‘mega project’.
When fully delivered, the LAND 400 Program will allow Army to successfully sustain mounted close combat operations against emerging and future threats as part of a joint force.