Australia to Upgrade Army’s Amphibious Capabilities

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Australia will invest up to $800 million to acquire new fleets of Australian-built amphibious vehicles and landing craft that will be able to transport land forces with enhanced speed and protection.

Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds said the Army Littoral Manoeuvre – Light project, LAND 8710 Phase 1 will strengthen the ADF’s amphibious capabilities.

The announcement set out in the 2020Force Structure Plan,  is  to enhance the ADF’s amphibious capabilities, especially in Australia’s territorial waters and the near region, Reynolds said.

“These new vessels, introduced from 2026, will be larger, faster, and better protected to support ADF operations. “They will allow Defence to quickly and effectively deploy both domestically and to our near region, as well as remain engaged with regional security partners and support humanitarian assistance to our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific.

“We have also seen the importance of the Army water transport capability most recently on Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20, evacuating Australians to safety off beaches and delivering much needed supplies.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the Government’s investment in these fleets demonstrates its commitment to Australia’s defence industry. “Australian industry involvement will be maximised throughout the design, construction and sustainment phases of this project,” Minister Price said.

With two separate fleets to be acquired, the watercraft will provide independent shore-to-shore, ship-to-shore, and over-the-shore capabilities to better manoeuvre and sustain the ADF in littoral and riverine environments, a Feb 4 Defence Department statement said.

Through the project, it said, an Independent Landing Craft will be delivered to replace the Army’s existing LCM-8 vessels. This will present opportunities for Australian industry in the detailed design, build, maintenance and support elements of the project.

An Amphibious Vehicle will also be built to replace Army’s current LARC-V which will offer significant opportunities for Australian industry in the vehicle’s design, build, maintenance and through-life support phases. –shp/adj/mgm (Photo: Department of Defence)