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Australian Government to Improve Army's Firepower

Government to Improve Army's Firepower

The Government has provided first pass approval for the replacement of Army's current 105mm and 155mm artillery pieces with new, more capable, artillery systems under a project known as LAND 17. Defence will now develop the project which invests in artillery systems with longer range, improved precision, and better crew protection.

Options for replacing the current towed artillery pieces include a mix of protected self-propelled artillery systems, and lightweight towed artillery systems.

As an additional benefit, the project will also examine advanced high precision munitions and a networked command and fire control system.
LAND 17 will give the Army a very potent and accurate land-based firepower capability.

The project is another example of the Government's ongoing commitment to providing the ADF with enhanced firepower to meet current and emerging threats in complex warfighting environments.

The implementation of LAND 17 supports the Government's strategy for a Hardened and Networked Army (HNA). LAND 17 will make the combined arms groups being developed under HNA more capable and versatile, by providing them with improved firepower, extended range, greater mobility and accuracy.

The capability is an important contributor to the requirements set out in the Defence 2000 White Paper, by providing sustained investment in land force capabilities, and by supporting the ADF's capacity to sustain a brigade deployed on operations for extended periods whilst maintaining at least a battalion group available for deployment elsewhere.

Defence has been working closely with industry and the Department plans to release an open Request for Tender later this year, to identify companies that can provide artillery systems with the level of capability sought.

The new system would be brought into service over the period 2011-2013 at a total cost of between $450 million and $600 million. Once in service, the new artillery pieces will be used to re-equip units based in Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane and the Combined Arms Training Centre in Puckapunyal, Victoria.

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