Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR Dec15/Jan16 Contents and Sustainment Group. They reason there are
also significant cost and other benefits to flow from
Geelong becoming the location of this Centre of
Excellence, including close proximity to the existing
Defence vehicle testing, support and training facilities
located in Victoria; a proven world-class source
of innovative research in advanced materials and
intelligent systems, with a modern supply chain
process easily accessible; job-ready, skilled
manufacturing workforce and a strong capacity to
efficiently re-train workers through the ‘Skilling by the
Bay’ incentives and programs delivered by Deakin
University and the Gordon Institute of TAFE; and
direct and competitive access to world-class logistics.
In this they are supported by the Victorian State
Government which has committed $5 million to
establish a Defence Procurement Business Office in
Geelong and $60,500 to support the appointment of a
specialist defence consultant to advocate Geelong as
the centre of expertise for the LAND 400 project.
However, readers should be under no illusion that
LAND 400 will be able to provide alternate employment
in anything like the numbers needed to offset the
massive looming job losses when the domestic car
industry shuts down.
WHERE WILL THE CRVS BE BUILT?
Should GDLS/Thales Australia team win the acquisition
contract, it is likely that their manufacturing activity will
be based on Thales’s existing Bushmaster and Hawkeii
manufacturing plant in Bendigo.
APDR is not yet aware of any plans by the BAE
Systems/Saab/Patria to commit to manufacture their
vehicles in any particular place, although they have
vehicle manufacturing/upgrade experience in Victoria
and South Australia. The decade-long project to
upgrade 433 M113 vehicles by BAE Systems began in
2002. It included cutting and stretching M113 A1 hulls
and the design and integration of new sub-systems into
seven M113 vehicle variants for the Australian Army. At
its peak, BAE Systems were delivering three vehicles
per week on average.
Over the life of the project, more than 1000 people
were involved in the project at three sites and in two
states – Bandiana and Williamstown in Victoria and
Wingfield in South Australia.
The project was supported by military vehicle
sub-system suppliers from BAE Systems’ Australian
subcontractor base of over 1700 small-to-medium
Rheinmetall has truck plants in Australia and Supacat
is manufacturing and assembling their 89 Project
Redfin vehicles in Western Sydney. As yet there is no
indication of where this team might base their BOXER
CRV manufacturing plant.
The Geelong region has been selected as the
home of Elbit’s Team Sentinel where the turret will be
manufactured and the bulk of the systems integration;
testing and final assembly of the SENTINEL II will be
undertaken. Burnie, in Tasmania, will also play a very
important role as the major manufacturing site for the
base platform. These activities will also be supported
by a substantially Australian supply chain.
One of Team Sentinel’s major partners, The
Elphinstone Group are set to provide manufacturing
and systems integration services from Tasmania.
Some other Defence projects will require vehicle
manufacturing and assembly plants which could well
be based in the Geelong area.
Defence’s intent is to maximise local industry content
without adverse impact on the quality, interoperability,
schedule or cost of the program. They have made it clear
in their RFT that the MOTS compliance requirement shall
not be interpreted such that it acts as an unreasonable
constraint on Australian industry involvement during the
acquisition phase of the program.
Defence’s LAND 400 documentation states ‘the
LCVS platforms are anticipated to be Australianised
versions of MOTS designs, with development work
undertaken only where necessary to achieve systems
integration outcomes. This does not preclude either
an Assembled and Supported in Australia (ASA) or
Manufactured and Supported in Australia (MSA)
option for some of the capabilities (platforms) that
‘Procurement of the LCVS may be achieved
through a combination of staged market solicitation
activities and Government to Government
arrangements such as FMS.
‘Opportunities for Australian industry will be available
in both the acquisition and sustainment phases of
the project. In the acquisition phase, local industry
opportunities will depend on the acquisition options
presented by industry, including their cost, schedule
and technical risks which will be assessed in light of the
strategic nature of the LCVS capability.
‘Notwithstanding, Australian industry will be expected
to support the delivery of the required capability,
in particular sub-systems and system of systems
engineering and integration, simulation, facilities and
integrated logistics support (ILS).’
Australian industry can be expected to provide
mission and safety critical software; upgrading of
armoured vehicles; system life cycle management;
secure test facilities and test ranges.
Through-life Support (TLS) for this project is planned
by Defence to include ‘fleet management, repair
and maintenance, storage and distribution, provision
of technical data, and training including simulation
support as a minimum. TLS services are expected
to be Australian based to the maximum extent that
can be achieved. Ongoing in-country development of
the LCVS platforms in order to maintain operational
relevance of the capability is also anticipated. The
support concept will also take advantage of current
in-service capacity and facilities, or OEM support, or a
combination of both.’
Contracts for support are planned to be considered
at the same time as acquisition.
MOTS VEHICLES, TWO OR THREE OF
Shortlisted tenderers at the end of Stage 1 will
be invited to contract for RMA as Stage 2 of the
evaluation process, whose purpose is to study and
mitigate significant technical and commercial risks
identified during Stage 1. This will ensure risks are
understood and plans developed to deal with them are
included in Second Pass Approval documents for the
RMA will include a study and testing of three MOTS
vehicles tendered by each contender, to be supplied
within eleven weeks of signing the RMA contract. Up to
$25m funding will be available for vehicles and support
as detailed in the RMA contract. Part of this testing will
include explosive weapons being used on one vehicle
which will result in its complete destruction. All three
vehicles will be returned to the short-listed tenders at
the end of Stage 2.
Other aspects of RMA include validation of tender’s
claims where this is deemed necessary; assess cost
and capability trade-offs; and develop necessary
APDR WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED
During the 11 March 2015 briefing to prospective
industry tenderers for LAND 400 Phase 2 Defence
indicated that they expected to complete Stage 1 of
their tender evaluation by December 2015. However
the RFT closing date was subsequently extended to 3
September so it is unlikely there will be a shortlist for
Stage 2 established before the end of March 2016.
Stage 2 is planned to be finished by January
2017, with the Stage 3 Final Evaluation complete
three months later. Then contract negotiations will
commence with the preferred tenderer.
Commonwealth Second Pass Approval should
be gained, and an acquisition contract signed,
during 2018. Provisionally Initial Material Release
should occur during 2020-21, with Initial Operating
Capability in 2022-23 and Final Operating Capability
reached in 2024.
14 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter DEC-JAN 2016
3/12/2015 6:36 pm
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