Austal Australia will submit a proposal to design, build and sustain the Australian Army’s next generation of littoral manoeuvre capability under the Department of Defence’s LAND 8710 (Phase 1) project.
The project will develop a new Amphibious Vehicle (AV) to replace the Army’s Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo 5 tonne vehicle (LARC-V), as well as an Independent Landing Craft (ILC) to replace the current Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM-8) vessels.
The Federal government will invest up to $800 million to acquire new fleets of Australian-built amphibious vehicles and landing craft, that will be able to transport land forces with enhanced speed and protection. These new vehicles and vessels will be introduced from 2026, according to minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price.
Austal Australia is keen to develop a true capability partnership with the Australian Army and continue with the project, according to Austal Limited chief executive officer Paddy Gregg at the Land Forces 2021 Defence Exhibition in Brisbane, last week.
“Austal is Australia’s proven defence prime contractor that has designed, constructed and sustained multiple naval shipbuilding programs for Australia, and export markets around the world, for more than 20 years,” Gregg said.
“Drawing upon this local strength in defence capability, including Australia’s largest team of naval architects, Austal is confident of offering an exceptional new littoral manoeuvre capability for the Australian Army that may be relied upon throughout its working life.”
“Our track record is proven. Working successfully with the Australian Border Force, the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Defence since 1998, Austal has delivered 42 ships to the Australian government including the Bay, Armidale, Cape and Guardian-class Patrol Boats,” he said.
“Austal is currently partnering with more than 1,200 businesses across Australia to deliver projects like the 21 steel-hulled Guardian-class Patrol Boats, which alone is achieving over 68 per cent Australian Industry Capability (AIC) content – and is on time and on budget.”
The company has established vessel manufacturing and service facilities in Henderson, Western Australia, and shipyards in Cairns and Brisbane, Queensland. There is also a dedicated service centre in Darwin, Northern Territory.
Austal’s In-Service Support team based in Henderson oversees the delivery of in-service support and sustainment to the Australian Border Force and Royal Australian Navy’s Cape-class Patrol Boat fleets, operating throughout Northern Australia.
Directly employing almost 1,100 people in its Australian operations, Austal was Australia’s first ASX-listed shipbuilder and is the nation’s largest defence exporter, recently delivering 2 58-metre Cape-class Patrol Boats to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.