The Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, today announced that the Government has given second pass approval for the upgrade of the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) under project LAND 112 Phase 4 – ASLAV Enhancement.
The ASLAV has been deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations since 2004, and is now in use in Afghanistan.
The ASLAV provides our forces in Afghanistan with mobility, firepower and protection, enabling our troops to conduct search and escort operations and provide support to close combat operations.
Senator Faulkner said: “These enhancements, which have a total project cost of A$302.8 million, will result in our ASLAV fleet being up-armoured to provide greater protection to cater for difficult and dangerous environments such as those in Afghanistan. The upgrade will ensure the ASLAV fleet provides the highest possible combat protection and capability in the future.”
The enhancements will provide increased protection against a wider range of threats - including Improvised Explosive Devices - by improving ballistic, fragmentation and blast protection.
The project will also see improvements to the vehicle’s suspension, driveline and engine, ensuring the ASLAV remains a highly capable and versatile light armoured vehicle for the duration of its service with the ADF.
The project plans to deliver 113 upgraded vehicles, commencing by April 2012. Defence is also investigating options for significantly expediting the schedule for the upgrade.
There will be a range of opportunities for Australian Industry to be involved in the installation and support of the upgrade. These include pre-modification and refurbishment work, suspension and drivetrain upgrades, installation of upgrade kits, and the redesign and manufacturing of mine blast belly plates, to be carried out by General Dynamics Land Systems – Australia, located in Pooraka, South Australia.