South Australian US$10 billion contract to make up to 700 new armored vehicles to replace the Australian Army’s ASLAV 8x8 combat vehicle will see close to 10 contenders in bidding for the next four months, Adelaidenow reported Monday.
Three of the strongest contenders, BAE Systems, General Dynamics and potentially Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, all have a presence in South Australia.
Defense Minister Kevin Andrews recently announced that work on the first 225 combat reconnaissance vehicles for the Land 400 project was open for tender. Of the 10 or so companies expected to bid in the next four months, there will only be two or three left standing at the year’s end.
“This is it, it’s absolutely critical — if a partnering doesn’t happen with the tenderers, South Australia will miss out on another opportunity,” Defense Teaming Centre CEO Chris Burns was quoted as saying by the website.
Ministers and Defense SA staff have spent the past four years travelling the globe to meet the contenders, spraining the state’s advantages and promising to build a dedicated land combat precinct if they consider channeling work to the state.
BAE Systems, whose Australian headquarters are in Adelaide, has teamed with Finnish company Patria to put forward the Patria 8x8 Armoured Modular Vehicle. “They will seek Australian manufacturing and supply chain involvement”, BAE’s Land and Integrated Systems director Graeme Bent was quoted as saying.
“Our primary objective is to establish the in-country capability to sustain the Australian Patria AMV fleet throughout its service life.”
“We have previously delivered more than 1200 military and other protected vehicles from our SA facilities, and last year procured $650 million worth of work from 2000 suppliers,” he added.