Manufacturing News

Military vehicle production to generate 700 jobs

Production of the next generation Hawkei Protected Military Vehicle—Light (PMV-L) in Australia would generate almost 700 jobs in Victoria, most of them in the Bendigo area, according to independent economic analysis.

The detailed economic study also found that the Bushmaster vehicle program is currently supporting 1100 jobs, but employment will fall in coming years as orders and production decline on the original Australian Defence Force Bushmaster program.

The Managing Director of Thales Australia, Chris Jenkins, said the analysis conducted by ACIL Tasman was the first detailed assessment of the economic contribution of Project Bushranger to Bendigo, Victoria and Australia, taking both direct and indirect benefits into account.

“This detailed report underlines the value through the whole supply chain of designing, manufacturing and supporting these Protected Mobility Vehicles in Australia.

“As well as the direct employment by Thales on the production line in Bendigo, the study looked at the broader economic benefits, including the supply chain of Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“The report found many of the 120 Australian suppliers to the Bushmaster vehicle production reported significant additional benefits from involvement in the project, including:

· Improved ability to export

· Sustained productivity improvements

· Improved capability to supply the Department of Defence

· Technology transfer

· Improved management practices

“The economy-wide impact of the project is in excess of $1 billion, and next year will be generating more than 900 additional jobs in the Bendigo area and 1100 across Australia compared to a scenario where vehicles were imported.”

Jenkins said the analysis extended to the forecast economic impact of manufacturing the next generation Hawkei PMV-L in Bendigo, estimating it would generate around 500 jobs in the Bendigo area and nearly 700 across Victoria.

“As production of Bushmaster is forecast to peak in 2010-11 and then decline, the Hawkei program is vital for the future of Bendigo vehicle production.

“Thales is working closely with the Victorian and Federal Governments, and industry groups, to maximise the benefits of the Hawkei program. We have conducted industry briefings for THALES AUSTRALIA Page 2 of 3 suppliers, and already more than 250 SMEs have expressed interest in being involved in the program.

“The forecast job generation does not include orders beyond the 1300 vehicles required by the ADF, so there is a very real potential for Hawkei export sales to boost the economic value even further, as we have achieved with Bushmaster.”

A full copy of the ACIL Tasman report is available at www.thalesprotectedmobility.com.au

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