• A Light Landing Craft is seen at Cowley Beach in Queensland.
    A Light Landing Craft is seen at Cowley Beach in Queensland. Defence

Defence has announced that it will invest up to $800 million to acquire new fleets of Australian-built amphibious vehicles and landing craft.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the Army Littoral Manoeuvre – Light project, Land 8710 Phase 1 will strengthen the ADF’s amphibious capabilities.

“These new vessels, introduced from 2026, will be larger, faster, and better protected to support ADF operations,” Minister Reynolds said. “They will allow Defence to quickly and effectively deploy both domestically and to our near region, as well as remain engaged with regional security partners and support humanitarian assistance to our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific.

“We have also seen the importance of the Army water transport capability most recently on Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20, evacuating Australians to safety off beaches and delivering much needed supplies.”

Through the project, an Independent Landing Craft will be delivered to replace the Army’s existing LCM-8 vessels. An amphibious vehicle will also be built to replace Army’s current LARC-V which will offer significant opportunities for Australian industry in the vehicle’s design, build, maintenance and through-life support phases.

“Australian industry involvement will be maximised throughout the design, construction and sustainment phases of this project,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said.

With two separate fleets to be acquired, the watercraft will provide independent shore-to-shore, ship-to-shore, and over-the-shore capabilities to better manoeuvre and sustain the ADF in littoral and riverine environments.

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