The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, today announced First Pass approval for Phase 4 of the LAND 121 project, that will seek to replace some of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) 4200 Land Rovers with a fleet of protected light mobility vehicles.
Opening the 10th Land Warfare Conference in Brisbane, Mr Fitzgibbon said the vehicles to be acquired under Phase 4 will perform a number of important combat support roles, including command, liaison and light battlefield resupply.
They will be provided to Army’s combat units and will be designed to operate successfully in future conflict environments.
During the next stage of the project, Australia intends to participate in the technology demonstration phase of the United States (US) Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Program, which is expected to replace over 60,000 vehicles in the US Army and Marine Corps from 2012 onwards.
“Through the JLTV Program, Australia and the US will be devoting considerable resources to developing a light mobility vehicle with the best possible protection for our troops on operations,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
A final decision on whether Australia will acquire the JLTV will be made once the vehicles have passed key development and testing milestones, likely to be met in 2010. In order to support this decision, the project will also engage with industry to explore other options to provide protected light mobility vehicles.
“Should the JLTV be selected, it is anticipated that there will be opportunities for Australian industry in the manufacturing of associated vehicle trailers and ongoing maintenance support for our fleet,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Together with Phases 3 and 5 of LAND 121, Phase 4 will replace the ADF’s field vehicle and trailer fleet.