Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR Dec13/Jan14 Contents 26 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter Dec - jAn 2014
ver the years, troops have "Stood To” at
dawn and dusk, since these were the
times when enemies were most likely
to launch an attack under the cover of
Now, like so much of our lives, warfare is a 24/7
experience, with no front lines.
Night fighting equipment has brought about
the major change, with increasingly sophisticated
lightweight systems available to sailors, infantry
soldiers, drivers of all kinds of military vehicles, pilots
and other aircrew. Clear night vision undoubtedly
brings military advantage through improved targeting
and greater situational awareness for threat detection
APDR has been writing on the progress of this
important project for several years (e.g . see ‘NINOX:
all seeing hunter of the night’ APDR November 2012.)
A Defence spokesperson for the LAND 53 1BR
project told APDR recently “The project is no longer
referred to as Project NINOX in order to avoid
confusion with previously delivered phases.
“LAN D 53 Phase 1BR (L53-1BR) is progressing to
First Pass in Q4/CY13.”
That means First Pass Approval (FPA) should
be given by the end of December 2013. By March
2014 a Request for Tender (RFT) will be issued to
the Australian defence industry or a Foreign Military
Sales (FMS) request will be forwarded to an overseas
government. FPA will approve one or other acquisition
negotiation, or possibly some NFE will be acquired by
one process and the balance by the other?
For either method of acquisition, the Australian
defence industry has the capability to service and
support the chosen equipment.
LAND 53 PHASE 1BR
Phase 1BR is about replacing current in-service
night fighting equipment (NFE) for the individual
soldier. Items of NFE, introduced over many years, are
reaching the end of their serviceable lives.
This Defence project’s spokesperson informed
APDR that “L53-1BR is scoped to deliver up to 20,000
Night Fighting Equipment sets, split approximately
50/50 between Tier 2 Close Combatants and Tier 3
“A Night Fighting Equipment Set (the Night Fighting
Equipment system) comprises a binocular Night
Vision Goggle, a universal Night Vision Goggle Mount,
a universal Head Harness and a weapon-mounted
LASER aiming device.
“Where the soldier in question is a Tier 2 combatant,
the LASER aiming device issued is functionally
described as a LASER Aiming, Illumination, Ranging
“If a Tier 3 combatant, the LASER aiming device
issued is functionally described as a LASER Aiming,
Illumination Device (LAID).
“The weapon-mounted LAIRD and LAID procured
by L53-1BR are complementary to those intended to
be procured via LAND 125 Phase 3C.
“The approach taken with the laser enabler (LAIRD
and LAID) has an underpinning rationale that has
moved from one ‘LASER’ per soldier to one more
closely aligned to ‘one weapon, one LASER’ as a
more programmatic approach to capability equipment
solutions where the desired effect is generated
through a system.
“The capability equipment solution for the project
will be delivered in three almost equal tranches split
into two buys.
“The first two tranches will be sought via parallel
RFT/FMS in late Q1/CY14.
“Depending on whether the emerging technology
matures to Technical Readiness Level of 8 or 9 (TRL
8/9) in time, the final tranche will comprise Night
Fighting Equipment of improved capability than that
delivered by tranches 1 and 2.”
Defence Capability Plan 2012 public version
contains the most recent project description. It
identifies a likely acquisition cost of $300-500 million
at the low end of this band. It is seen as a moderate
risk project in terms of complexity, technical difficulty,
operation and support.
However the schedule for reaching initial
operational capability (IOC) has been placed in the
‘High’ acquisition complexity level assessment.
Given there are a number of well-qualified firms,
both locally and internationally, available for potential
supply and support, why is this so? Is the lumbering
DMO system incapable of moving swiftly?
DEFENCE INDUSTRY OPPORTUNITIES
Among the many industry opportunities, desirable
industry capability to be offered to Defence is
particularly noted for education and training;
refurbishment and upgrades; testing and evaluation.
Defence intend to maintain a sustainment approach.
LAND 53 1BR
Phase 1BR is about replacing current in-service night
fighting equipment (NFE) for the individual soldier.
Geoff Slocombe // Victoria
Night vision equipment bought under
the project previously known as NINOX.
5/12/13 6:44 PM
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