Defence has signed contracts with Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia, who were recently selected to progress to the next stage of Land 400 Phase 3.
Hanwha and Rheinmetall are now set to participate in risk mitigation. The vehicles will undertake a test and evaluation program including destructive testing at sites across Australia.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the signing of the contracts brings Army a step closer to having world class Infantry Fighting Vehicle capability.
“This program is a significant investment in Army’s capability – it will make our personnel safer, more effective on operations, and will complement our investment in Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles under Land 400 Phase 2,” Minister Reynolds said.
The Risk Mitigation Activity phase will occur over the next two years, allowing both companies to engage with Defence, as well as clarify, refine and negotiate their tenders.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price encouraged Australian industry to get behind this project.
“Australian industry involvement and Australian workers will be critically important,” Minister Price said. “Defence will work with the shortlisted tenderers to ensure small and medium enterprises across Australia have the opportunity to showcase their capabilities.”
The proposed vehicle mobilisation period for the RMA has been extended from six months to 12 months, which Defence says will provide the two successful tenderers with a more reasonable timeline in which to manufacture and prepare test vehicles to the configuration required.
By contrast, Rheinmetall's Lynx IFV was recently disqualified from the US program to replace the Bradley IFVs with an optionally-manned successor because of tight timeframes set by the US Army.