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Friday, 29 November 1985
Page: 4196

(Question No. 2398)

Mr Coleman asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 12 November 1985:

(1) What is the number of M113 armoured personnel carriers (a) in the Australian Army and (b) required by the Australian Army on mobilisation under the current Order of Battle.

(2) If there is a shortfall in the number required under the Order of Battle, how would he propose to rectify it in the absence of local armoured personnel carrier production.

Mr Beazley —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) There are presently 796 armoured personnel carrier variants in service. The current Order of Battle, on mobilisation, indicates a requirement for 1133 armoured personnel carrier variants. However, it is possible that the review currently being conducted by Mr Paul Dibb on Australia's future Defence capabilities may result in changes to the Order of Battle, varying the numbers of armoured personnel carriers considered appropriate to Australia's strategic circumstances.

(2) The Order of Battle on mobilisation would be dependent on the strategic requirements then perceived. Were there to be a requirement to increase the numbers of light armoured fighting vehicles of the M113 type, additional vehicles would be procured from overseas sources during the warning time that would necessarily precede the initiation of any but the lowest levels of hostility.