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Government approves additional armoured personnel carriers.



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THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

www.defence.gov.au

Wednesday, 28 October 2008 148/2008

GOVERNMENT APPROVES ADDITIONAL ARMOURED PERSONNEL CARRIERS

The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, today announced that the Government has approved a $220 million project to upgrade 81 additional M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) to improve the protection, mobility and firepower of the Australian Army.

LAND 106 is already delivering 350 upgraded M113 APC vehicles. This project is now back on track and delivering a reliable vehicle that provides increased firepower, protection and mobility.

The Government has decided to upgrade an additional 81 APCs to improve the capability of the Army’s Mechanised Infantry units, 7 RAR, a recently established battalion, and 5 RAR, both of which are currently based in Darwin.

“These high priority upgrades will provide improved protection, mobility and firepower to Australian soldiers, allowing missions to be carried out more efficiently, safely and effectively,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

These enhancements will include the stretching of the M113 vehicles, add-on armor kit, spall liners, the addition of a new Australian designed and built turret and new weapon, replacement of the drive train and suspension and the

adoption of measures to improve the comfort of troops in the vehicle such as heat mitigation measures and better stowage of equipment.

“The increased number of vehicles to be upgraded by BAE Systems Australia will see the production line at the Bandiana production facilities in northern Victoria remain open until July 2011,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

BAE Systems Australia is also opening additional facilities in Williamstown, Victoria and Wingfield, South Australia to ensure all of its delivery commitments are met.

Media contacts: Christian Taubenschlag (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0438 595 567 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664