South Australia is hoping to get as much as possible out of armoured vehicle work for the Land 400 project, and has pledged to create a centre of excellence for military vehicles in its pitch.
The Adelaide Advertiser reports that premier Jay Weatherill told a dinner at the Land Forces event the facility would be near Edinburgh, and would ideally create a cluster of defence companies.
BAE Systems and Rheinmetall have been short-listed for work on the 225 reconnaissance vehicles, and both have a presence at Land Forces this week. The winner is expected to be announced next year.
BAE has strong links to the state.
“There’s a significant amount of South Australian input in the supply chain, so that’s a positive and of course for BAE Systems our business is headquartered here in South Australia,” BAE Systems’ Brian Gathright, the vice president of Land 400 for BAE, told the ABC.
“But I would emphasise that our offering is pan-Australia. There are equal contributions from Victoria and other states throughout Australia.”
SA minister for defence industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said a quick decision on the winner would help mitigate job losses from the “valley of death” in shipbuilding.
The state will also lose car manufacturing at Holden’s Elizabeth factory next year.