Howitzer project on track for Geelong home

October 29, 2020 BY

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds has praised Geelong's manufacturing capabilities.

THE multi-billion-dollar Geelong-based Howitzer Mobile Protected Fires Program – also known as LAND 8116 – is on track, with the tenderer to be decided on in early 2021.

In September, the federal government announced Hanwha Defence Australia had been selected to build 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles along with their supporting systems.

The Chief of Army Lieutenant-General Rick Burr told the Senate estimates committee this week the project was “in good shape and is on track in accordance to the schedule in the election commitment”.

Lieutenant-General Burr said the howitzers were important to Australia’s defence capabilities.

“As threats change, the need for greater firepower and protection for our Land Forces obviously increases,” he said.

“This is a vital capability. There has been a gap for some time, and this remediates that gap.”

Victorian Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson said Geelong being home to the project would greatly benefit the region.

“This is an incredible win for the Geelong region and Victoria.”

Senator Henderson said the Howitzer Mobile Protected Fires Program would have great benefits for regional Victoria, as would the Hawkei defence vehicle manufacturing project in Bendigo.

“Both projects are delivering many hundreds of new jobs and are a testament to the vehicle manufacturing skills and ingenuity of regional Victorians.”

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds also praised Geelong’s capacity for manufacturing the howitzers.

“We have the faith in the great city of Geelong and in Victoria to manufacture these capabilities,” she said.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds has praised Geelong’s manufacturing capabilities.