Victorian technology group creates “eyes” and “ears” for soldiers in combat

26th Feb 2018


Victorian technology group creates “eyes” and “ears” for soldiers in combat

Rheinmetall Defence Australia and Victorian defence systems integrator Tectonica Australia are pleased to announce the development of an Australian-first technology designed to increase awareness and protection for troops in combat.

Tectonica has developed the Local Situational Awareness System (LSAS) called ALTERA for Rheinmetall’s BOXER Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle after two years of design, product development and integration.

The LSAS technology has been fitted to the BOXER Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle currently under evaluation by the Commonwealth for Land 400 Phase 2. The latest model of the technology has now been integrated into the autonomous BOXER vehicle in Germany which is owned by the German Army (the Bundeswehr) and provides the “eyes” and “ears” to vehicle crews and operators inside the vehicle.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said the LSAS capability demonstrated the opportunities created through the creation of a national military vehicle industry focused on export opportunities to defence programs worldwide.

“Tectonica is a proven leader in the Australian Defence industry that employs highly skilled engineers and manufacturing workers, invests significantly in research and development and exports its products globally,” Mr Stewart said.

“Tectonica’s partnership with Rheinmetall commenced with the joint funding of the LSAS project and today’s important milestone will enable defence forces using Rheinmetall military vehicles to better protect their soldiers.”

Tectonica Australia Managing Director David Levy said LSAS brought together a number of critical vehicle functions into a single system by applying the principles of open architecture.

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to provide a vital situational awareness capability to the ADF in partnership with a world leader in armoured vehicles,” Mr Levy said.

“Our partnership with Rheinmetall continues to demonstrate the company’s commitment to supporting Australian SMEs by providing a platform whereby innovative local technology can be exported to defence force programs around the world.”

ALTERA uses visual and audio technologies to provide vehicle crews and operators with improved situational awareness by enabling them to hear and see their surrounding environment, while remaining protected under armour.

ALTERA was trialled by Rheinmetall and demonstrated to the German Bundeswehr to assess the improvement to situational awareness it delivers.

Crews can record reconnaissance missions and conduct after action reviews. Instructors can supervise trainee crews and safety officers can monitor gunnery training from the comfort and safety of the passenger compartment. The imagery can also be made available to the Battle Management System.

Tectonica will manufacture the ALTERA and Rheinmetall will offer it for export through its Global Supply Chain, ensuring ongoing local support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) whilst securing Australian innovation and jobs..

Tectonica has developed fully integrated systems for armoured vehicles, ground stations and soldiers. In partnership with local and international organisations, Tectonica delivers a comprehensive range of Defence and Security solutions in the areas of protected navigation, portable power, C4IEW and crew survivability.

Rheinmetall will transfer technology, research and development opportunities to Australia and work with Australian SMEs to deliver this capability to the ADF. The company has already announced a dozen companies within its Land 400 team from NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

These companies have been selected to deliver a range of products and services to support the manufacture of the BOXER CRV in Australia. These companies include Melbourne-based Cablex, Burnie-based Direct Edge, Brisbane-based G&O Kert, Melbourne/Brisbane-based Hilton Manufacturing, Perth-based Hoffman Engineering, Melbourne-based Nezkot Precision Tooling and Engineering, Adelaide-based Plasteel and Adelaide-based Redarc.

Rheinmetall has pledged full support for a sovereign military vehicle capability for Australia, based in Queensland, at its future Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE). The MILVEHCOE will be the global manufacturing base for the BOXER CRV, the company’s new LYNX Infantry Fighting Vehicle and range of LANCE turrets under its Land 400 offering to the Commonwealth of Australia.

Rheinmetall is transferring critical know-how to local SMEs to support the sustainment of the BOXER CRV throughout the life of the Land 400 program. Local SME partners are also included in the Rheinmetall Global Supply Chain, enabling each to export their industry leading technologies globally.

A network of trusted companies across Australia is a fundamental part of Rheinmetall’s offer to the Commonwealth. Each company will deliver a range of products and services to support the manufacture of the BOXER CRV.


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