Elphinstone, based in Tasmania, will manufacture 45 turrets and hulls for the Australian Army’s new Huntsman howitzers. This is part of a $1 billion defence contract with the federal government, which was awarded to Hanwha Defense Australia last year.
Elphinstone will complete the steel fabrication, machining and painting of the turrets and hulls at their Wynyard factory, before shipping them to Hanwha in Geelong where the Huntsman vehicles will be assembled.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said this was a major vote of confidence in Elphinstone and Tasmania.
“My government will always back Tasmanians and ensure they benefit from our significant investment in defence industry,” Morrison said. “After decades specialising in mining manufacturing capabilities, Elphinstone has secured its first defence contract – this is a big win for our highly skilled workers in Wynyard.
“As manufacturing ramps up, around 55 new jobs will be created for locals in north-west Tasmania, in so many roles, including boilermaker welders, painters, fitters, machinists and other trades. Tasmanians should be proud that they will be significant contributors to increasing the firepower and security of Australian artillery capability.
Australian industry will play a vital role delivering and sustaining the Huntsman howitzers, according to minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price.
“Right across the country we are backing our small and medium businesses and creating local jobs, and Elphinstone is a prime example of this commitment to grow our defence industry,” Price said. “Tasmania has a formidable reputation for exporting niche, high-quality products and services to the world.
“I have no doubt it will continue to make an outstanding contribution to our government’s Defence programs, boosting state-wide employment and economic opportunities. Our Defence investments are giving Elphinstone an important opportunity to diversify its manufacturing operations.
In addition to the manufacture of turrets and hulls, Elphinstone will also undertake structural repairs over the life of the howitzers, including design changes and modifications in the future.
“Our decision to back Australian industry is a demonstration of our determination to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a lethal, relevant and effective sovereign defence capability in Australia,” Price said.