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Two shortlisted for ASLAV replacement

AAP logoAAP 28/07/2016

Defence has shortlisted two contenders to replace the army's ASLAV armed reconnaissance vehicles, with a new design featuring better protection for occupants and better armaments.

Kim Gillis, head of the defence procurement arm, said bids from BAE Systems Australia and Rheinmetall Landsysteme Gmbh had been assessed as offering contenders based on vehicles already in service with other nations.

Defence is aiming to acquire 225 of the new vehicles to replace 253 of the eight-wheeled ASLAVs which entered service in the mid-1990s and have been deployed to East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The deal is worth up to $5 billion, with much of the work set to be performed in Australia.

This project was launched in 2006 to consider a replacement for the ASLAV, a design dating from the late 1960s and no longer providing acceptable levels of protection against new types of threats, including improvised explosive devices and anti-armour weapons.

Four firms bid for the deal, with Defence assessing that two warranted further consideration:

* Rheinmetall Defence of Germany, teaming with Supacat Australia, with its Boxer 8x8 multi-role armoured vehicle, in service with Germany and the Netherlands.

* BAE Systems Australia, teaming with Patria of Finland and Saab Australia, with its eight-wheel-drive AMV 35 combat reconnaissance vehicle. It's in service in Sweden, Finland, South Africa and Poland.

This was due to be announced in March but the government launched a review to ensure maximum Australian industry involvement.

Defence industry minister Christopher Pyne said the next stage of assessment would require contenders to present options for local industry involvement including use of Australian-made components, domestic assembly or a higher level of local manufacturing.

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