• Major Geoffrey Small installs a silver shield electronic countermeasure device on a vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan.
    Major Geoffrey Small installs a silver shield electronic countermeasure device on a vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan. Defence

Defence and Australian industry will manufacture and deliver more than 15,000 Silvershield units to the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces this year.

Silvershield is a vehicle-mounted system being developed under the REDWING program, which provides protection against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said this capability would empower the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces to operate confidently in a high-threat environment.

“The REDWING program is one of Australia’s largest contributions to the Afghan security forces through the Afghan National Army Trust Fund,” Minister Reynolds said.

“We are extremely proud to produce life-saving force protection systems for our Afghan partners to help address the evolving threat of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.”

Since 2015, Australian industry, in collaboration with Defence, has produced and exported more than 224,000 individual and vehicle-mounted REDWING systems to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

L3 Micreo produced and delivered around 16,000 units in 2018 and 14,000 in 2019.

The final assembly of the Silvershield units will take place in Brisbane at the L3Harris Micreo facility. The units are comprised of component parts sourced from companies across Australia, including Axiom Precision Manufacturing (based in Adelaide), SRX Global (Australia) (based in Melbourne), ZCG Scalar (based in Lindenow, Victoria), and LINTEK (based in Queanbeyan).

“We’re extremely proud to be managing the production of these lifesaving Silvershield systems under the REDWING program this year,” Sarah Earey, Managing Director, Micreo, L3Harris, said to ADM. “As the industry partner collaborating on the system design with DST Group, we’ve worked hard to support the development of Silvershield, ensuring it’s an effective system, suitable for high-volume manufacturing.

“Since 2018, we’ve produced over 30,000 Silvershield units that have been successfully deployed on light vehicles in Afghanistan to protect against the persistent threat of RCIEDs, and we’re committed to using a predominantly Australian-based supply chain to continue the time critical manufacturing required to deliver these systems where they are needed most to continue saving lives.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the REDWING program highlights the best of Australian industry.

“The success of the REDWING program is a result of the remarkable diversity of Australia’s defence industry nationwide,” Minister Price said. “The program continues to be recognised as a leading example of innovation and industry working together, most recently at the 2018 ADM Essington Lewis Awards, which recognise excellence in Australia’s defence industry.”

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