Electro Optic Systems (EOS) will deliver 251 Remote Weapon Stations (RWS) to equip the Australian Army’s Bushmaster and Hawkei protected mobility vehicles under a contract worth almost $100 million.
The requirement had been identified by Defence and had not been allocated funding under the current planning model. Thanks to a push from government to maintain Australian supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was funded in weeks rather than years.
“This announcement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has secured ongoing work for 146 Australian businesses in our supply chain, for which EOS and its suppliers are very grateful,” Dr Ben Greene, EOS Group CEO said.
“EOS Defence Systems welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Department of Defence to deliver world-class capability to our armed forces, in turn securing over 1,300 high-value, high-technology Australian jobs.”
“Of those 1,300 jobs, 200 are from EOS and the rest are from our Australian supply chain,” EOS Defence Systems managing director Grant Sanderson explained to ADM. “For a significant number of those 146 companies, these orders make up more than 50 per cent of their revenue. There’s a good chance they would have gone under if this order had not come through in a timely way.”
Both EOS and vehicle OEM Thales will conduct the integration and configuration work at their respective sites over the coming months.
EOS Defence Systems has been exporting the RWS since 2007 to Australian partners and allies such as the US, Singapore and the Netherlands. Over 35 years, EOS has grown to become Australia’s largest defence exporter with $160 million of exports in 2019, exporting over 95 per cent of its products and services.
The company has seen its exports stacking up in their ACT facilities thanks to COVID-19 delivery delays, with almost as many RWS on the factory floor as the ADF, Sanderson explained to ADM.
EOS is also expanding a number of business lines with their Queanbeyan, NSW site developing directed energy weapons, the Hume, ACT production facility expanding to encompass the block behind the original site and a new corporate headquarters/space facility in Symonston, ACT.