• BAE Systems plans to join a neighbourhood at the forefront of defence research and advanced manufacturing. Credit: VIC Government.
    BAE Systems plans to join a neighbourhood at the forefront of defence research and advanced manufacturing. Credit: VIC Government.

BAE Systems Australia will build a world class defence hub in Victoria, consolidating the company’s Victorian maritime, aerospace and land businesses into a single facility at the long time defence precinct of Fishermans Bend.

The company wants the hub to be the biggest of its type in the nation and also plans to manufacture Army’s 225 Armed Combat Reconnaissance vehicles there if successful in its bid for Land 400 Phase 2.

Employment of up to 1000 engineers and highly skilled technicians is envisaged to design, develop, deliver and maintain new defence platforms and systems for the ADF. BAE Systems said in a statement more than 200 people will be employed during the build phase of the Land 400 program.

Victorian defence companies would get a large share of the work, with BAE Systems already partnered with Marand, MOOG Australia, Motec, AME Systems, RUAG Australia, DVR Engineering and APV to build vehicle components.

The bespoke Land 400 advanced manufacturing centre will include a simulation and training and a test facility that will be used to upgrade and maintain the vehicles over their 30-plus year service life.

The defence hub, situated on the former General Motors Holden site, will be a centralised point of collaboration with the Commonwealth for Land programs and possible future export customers. BAE Systems is the Original Equipment Manufacturer of M88 (Hercules recovery vehicle), M777 (155mm, 39mm towed gun) and M113 (armoured personnel carriers).

The hub will also include a globally competitive aerospace business that develops leading edge autonomous systems, electronic warfare, hypersonics and weapons technology including one of the most successful defence exports, the naval missile decoy system Nulka, which has provided, according to the company, than $1 billion in exports during production.

BAE plans to also base much of its naval sustainment business at the hub, which will host more than 200 engineers and specialist employees for support of RAN ships across Australia; it sees the facility as a kind of centre of excellence for maritime engineering capability, supporting the country's national shipbuilding strategy, including the design, build and sustainment of Australia’s Future Frigates.

By establishing itself at the Fishermans Bend site, with defence research organisations such as DST Group, universities and leading national advanced manufacturing businesses as neighbours, the company hopes to leverage success from an environment of collaboration and innovation across air, land and sea defence domains.

“The creation of this new defence hub will provide sustainable, long-term, highly skilled work for Australians and further develop and grow the nation’s Sovereign Industry Capability,” BAE Systems Australia CEO Glynn Phillips said.

“I am delighted that we can be part of Victoria’s ambition to develop a defence industry that is globally focused, supporting the transition to a stronger and more diversified economy that will benefit all Australians.”

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