Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, announced today that the first prototype Mercedes Benz G-Wagon vehicles have been handed over to staff from the Defence Materiel Organisation’s project Land 121 (Overlander) at a ceremony conducted in Graz, Austria.
“The new G-Wagon is a very capable vehicle that will include detachable unit-specific modules designed for specific tasks, for example, munitions transfer, field ambulances or troop carriers,” Mr Combet said.
“The ADF’s 1200 Mercedes Benz G-Wagons and 315 specialist modules will require minimal modification for local conditions and will be delivered ready for operations. The modules will be manufactured by Varley in the Hunter Valley, work valued at around $50 million.”
Mr Combet said the prototype G-Wagons vehicles will now be subjected to a quality assurance and verification and validation testing regime.
“Testing is scheduled to be completed by late August 2010. The first delivery of operational G-Wagon vehicles to the Commonwealth is scheduled for 2011,” Mr Combet said.
“This program is capitalising on the crossover benefits of utilising commercial engine and transmission technology in military vehicles. This has lead to greater reliability for the vehicle, which in turn is providing the Commonwealth with greater value-for-money.”
Project Land 121 (Overlander) is the largest land project in the current Defence Capability Plan representing a $4.6 billion investment and will deliver a fleet of 7,000 vehicles, modules and trailers to significantly improve the capability, logistics and mobility for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).