Brisbane-based photonics products manufacturer, L-3 Micreo will be supplying defence forces with a new force protection capability designed to protect against the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The agreement between Defence and L-3 Micreo valued at $26.9 million will see the company deliver 13,000 advanced vehicle mounted systems, termed as Silvershied, which will be used to provide protection against mobile phone IED threats for Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF).
In an media release on Saturday, Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne, said the technology developed under the REDWING program was a testament to the innovation and dedication of all involved.
“REDWING is a program of specialised force protection systems designed by the Defence Science and Technology Group to counter specific radio controlled IEDs in support of ANDSF,” Minister Payne said.
“IEDs continue to be the weapon of choice for insurgents in Afghanistan and due to their nature will likely remain a persistent and evolving threat to the ANDSF.”
“For this reason the REDWING program will continue to research and develop new product variants to meet this evolving threat.”
Minister Payne said L-3 Micreo’s product had undergone testing in both Australia and Afghanistan, with the development team engaging closely with those who would be using the system on the ground.
“The REDWING program is a well-known example of successful collaboration with industry, and Silvershield is no exception,” she said.
Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, said that Silvershield is an exemplar of defence and industry collaboration.
“Silvershield’s expedient production demonstrates Australian industry’s ability to meet and surpass the challenge of high volume and time critical manufacturing,” Minister Pyne said.
“Together with previous years, this will bring the total value of REDWING generated Australian exports to greater than $84 million,” Minister Pyne said.
“The REDWING suite of counter IED devices has won an innovation award from the Institute of Public Sector Administration Australia and the Clunies Ross Knowledge Commercialisation Award,” Minister Pyne said.
Since 2015, REDWING has successfully manufactured and delivered more than 180,000 life-saving systems to the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, National Directorate of Security and Afghanistan Parliamentary Security Forces.