Defence sector wants 35pc of work on lucrative phase 3B contract

PROMISES to keep 35 per cent of work on the $1.58 billion Land121 contract for new military vehicles in Australia must be honoured by the Federal Government, industry spokesman Chris Burns says.

25th Jul 2013


 


Defence sector wants 35pc of work on lucrative phase 3B contract to Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia, which will make the vehicles in Austria.

PROMISES to keep 35 per cent of work on the $1.58 billion Land121 contract for new military vehicles in Australia must be honoured by the Federal Government, industry spokesman Chris Burns says.

He made the call yesterday in response to the Government awarding the lucrative phase 3B contract to Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia.

The contract, signed in Brisbane, is for 2500 new vehicles to be built at Rheinmetall MAN's plant in Vienna, Austria. The German-headquartered global defence company said Australian companies would "be benefiting from this contract" with design, development and manufacture of 3000 modules (for the backs of trucks), along with some vehicle bodies, sub-systems and components work.

Defence Materiel Minister Mike Kelly said the contract was expected to generate up to 150 Australian jobs.

He added: "The maintenance and through-life support for the vehicles and trailers will be undertaken in Australia." Mr Burns, the Defence Teaming Centre CEO, wanted firmer details on the Australian work component.
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He said Century Engineering in SA was among those vying for work under the contract.

Mr Burns referred to a media release from Defence Minister Stephen Smith in 2011 announcing Rheinmetall MAN as preferred tenderer that said 35 per cent of work would happen in Australia "subject to successful negotiations".

He said: "For 12 years, industry has been bidding, re-bidding, in the hope to be part of this $1.58 billion project on the back of the minister announcing in 2011 that 35 per cent of the work will be done in Australia."

"That gave industry a lot of hope and confidence that there would be a good flow of work - we now need to see that promise honoured."

The new trucks are designed to replace the Australian Defence Force's ageing fleet of Unimog, Mack and S-Liner trucks.

They include heavyweight recovery vehicles, heavy-duty logistical vehicles, integrated load-handing system and medium-sized cargo bed variants with cranes, fuel and water modules and tipper bodies. Rheinmetall has said first vehicles under the Land 121 Phase 3B project would arrive in 2012. Final delivery is expected in 2020.

Adrian Smith, who joined Rheinmetall Simulation Australia last year, has been setting up an office in Adelaide, and has said he would vy for potential simulation training work linked to the contract.

Rheinmetall Simulation Australia has bought defence operations of SA firm Sydac, established by Mr Smith.

He said: "They're our vehicles and we understand them, there's some maintenance training devices included in deliverables (in the contract) . . . hopefully that work could happen in Adelaide."
 

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