Up to 467 Vehicles Required
On 24 August the Australian Department of Defence announced the release of tender documents for the LAND 400 Phase 3 project to replace the Army’s M113 armoured personnel carriers.
Also known as the Mounted Close Combat Capability (MCCC) programme, LAND 400 Phase 3 calls for a fleet of up to 450 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) and 17 Manoeuvre Support Vehicles (MSV), according to Minister for Defence Marise Payne. “This will be the largest investment in Army’s capability ever undertaken and will provide our troops with a modern close combat capability,” she commented. “The vehicles will be equipped with high levels of protection, firepower and mobility that will enable sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.”
The Army’s largest ever acquisition project, MCCC could be worth between A$10-15 billion, according to industry sources. The extent to which the bidding teams are prepared to integrate Australian industry into the programme is likely to be a hugely influential factor in the selection process, in MONCh’s view.
Rheinmetall’s recent success with the BOXER vehicle for the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (LAND 400 Phase 2) programme owed much to the close relationship it has built with an Australian supply chain. The company will be hoping to repeat this success with Phase 3 and is likely to bid the PUMA IFV (designed by PSM, a joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) or a very close derivative thereof.
BAE Systems is understood to be bidding the CV9035 and General Dynamics Land Systems a vehicle based on the ASCOD 2.
MONCh understands that none of the three likely candidate vehicles is fully compliant with the specification as released and therefore the selection process will – as usual – come down to a series of compromises, trade-offs and customised solutions. Responses to the request for tender are due by 1 March 2019.
When fully delivered, LAND 400 will allow the Australian Army to successfully sustain mounted close combat operations against emerging and future threats as part of a joint force.