Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR June 2013 Contents LAND 400
integration of systems and full integration into the
There will be a requirement for the IPT to
investigate and evaluate sub-systems for LCVS which
are common to all variants. The challenge here is
not only to identify items for initial acquisition, but
also evaluate modern TLS policies and processes
for integrated logistics, engineering management,
obsolescence management, future technology
capability upgrade potential and fleet management.
The IPT needs to identify Strategic Industry
Capabilities (SIC) and Priority Industry Capabilities
(PIC) in Australia’s defence industry which could
deliver sub-systems which typically include power
train; running gear; suspension; tyre inflation; brakes;
air conditioning including protection against air
borne chemical, biological and radiological hazards;
fuel; electrical units and wiring; passive protection
(armour) against various kinetic weapons; protection
against chemical energy anti-armour weapons; a crew
and passenger intercom; sat nav system providing
location, heading, distance travelled, and range and
bearing to one or more designated points; computer
and communications systems that are compatible
with common tactical radios; onboard situational
awareness system for rapid exchange of battlefield
information with command and other vehicles; and
protection against vehicle-induced electromagnetic
The vehicles should be stealthy with low radar and
Depending on a thorough analysis on the types of
threats to be faced in possible missions, pre-planned
countermeasure sub-systems could be required to
defeat active infrared; laser designators; millimetre
wave radar; proximity fuse munitions and IEDs;
and anti-armour guided missiles. Smoke-grenade
launchers could be incorporated.
The LCVS will deliver a number of variants for
specific purposes. Some of these variants will be
for command; ambulance; recovery; fitters; troop
transport; surveillance and reconnaissance. Each of
these variants will need specialised sub-systems, to
be identified by the IPT.
One of the continuing problems for defence
contractors bidding for projects like LAND 400
Phase 2 is the lack of genuine engagement and
transparency about scheduling and resultant
timelines with project milestones. When these are
decided by higher Defence committee processes
and target dates, such as that for First Approval, are
set, they should be advised to the RFI respondents in
order to assist their ability to plan and respond.
Many potential suppliers do not have active
production lines and supply chains into Australia, so
what may be proposed by these potential suppliers
may not actually be achievable in a different timeframe.
Therefore proposals (and projects) are high risk from
such suppliers, lower risk for international prime
contractors already involved in Australia.
There is a powerful argument to be made in
applying obsolescence, capability, configuration and
fleet management policy to the current in-service
fleets so that the introduction of any LAND 400 fleet
is a transition rather than a step up. Thinking that
the current fleets are legacy vehicles, and therefore
unworthy of investment, ignores the reality that these
fleets represent today and tomorrow’s operational
In the meantime investment, particularly in the
sustainment of ASLAV, M113 and Bushmaster
capability, provides risk mitigation against any
capability deficiency, and provides a capability bridge
to LAND 400.
The ADF’s ASLAV is based on the General
Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) LAV II from Canada,
but Australianised with locally designed Mission Role
Installation Kits (MRIK), enabling a diverse range of
variants on common platforms. Spare MRIKs provide
a commander with the flexibility to mix and match
mission roles depending on the task.
The present light armoured fleet comprises of
tracked M113 APCs and wheeled ASLAVs. A study
of operational roles and how to sustain them, and
upgrade capability of these vehicle fleets, should
have a high priority. The most recent M113-AS4
upgrades were finally completed in October 2012
by the BAE Systems Australia production line at
Wingfield in South Australia. ASLAV sustainment
and capability upgrades are available as low risk
packets of capability as most are currently in service
or in production with other LAV users. See above
in the International Trends section for details on the
Canadian LAV III Upgrade Project.
Compliance with the DCP initiatives for ASLAV
would have addressed the current capability gap
until an APC/IFV capability could be realised within
the schedule of LAND 400 (2027). The Cavalry
capability could then be replaced.
Despite General Dynamics Land Systems
manufacturing and exporting LAV-25 turrets from
Australia to the US since 2001, and Thales having
built over 800 Bushmasters in Bendigo, the 2012
DCP highlighted Australian industry opportunities as
mainly in the acquisition and sustainment phases of
The DCP states “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).
“Through Life Support (TLS) this project is planned
for fleet management, repair and maintenance,
storage and distribution, provision of technical
data, and training, including simulation support as
“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.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The LAND 400 Phase 2 Integrated Project Team (IPT) is preparing its submission for First Pass Approval.
A spokesperson for the IPT told APDR “We will consider all offers that meet the specifications stated in
the RFT to be released after Government First Pass consideration.”
This will create teaming openings for the local defence industry, since it is Defence’s intention that they
become fully involved with project delivery, training and ongoing support.
When the new 2013 Defence Capability Plan (DCP) emerges there will be clearer information on any
new program schedule and expectations for industry opportunities by Defence.
As Army’s largest current project, and a critical enabler of Plan BEERSHEBA, this is a project where
Army, DMO, DSTO and the defence industry must plan and work together effectively. Army has two staff
members embedded within the LAND 400 IPT to ensure that coordination is achieved between LAND
400, Plan BEERSHEBA and the Army modernisation process.
Anything less will not do justice to the ADF’s personnel placed in harm’s way. ¢
28 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter JUNE 2013
7/06/13 10:04 AM
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