Queensland company NIOA has been awarded a $100 million contract to supply 155mm M777 Lightweight Towed Howitzer ammunition to the Army.
FILE PHOTO: Soldiers from Townsville-based 4th Regiment fire an M777 155mm Howitzer in High Range Training Area. Photo by Brian Hartigan.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said this ammunition would replace an ageing ammunition stock, providing increased range and lethality, as well as a greater range of effects, such as infrared illumination to enhance the Army’s advanced night-fighting capability.
“This is an exciting new market for Australian defence industry and we hope after successful qualification of the ammunition, industry can start making the training rounds locally,” Mr Pyne said.
“NIOA is also looking at additional opportunities for domestic manufacture of other types of 155mm ammunition.
“This follows my announcement in November last year where I congratulated NIOA on winning a separate contract worth $95 million to supply more than 30 different munitions over the next five years to the military.”
Established in 1973, NIOA is Australia’s largest privately owned company supplying weapons, ammunition and technical support to commercial, military and law-enforcement markets.
Minister Pyne said NIOA’s partnership with Rheinmetall Defence, their subsidiaries and Junghans Microtec, demonstrated the innovative approaches embraced by Australian companies to ensure our military is equipped with the best capabilities in the world.
“Up to 22 new jobs will be created to acquire the modern high-performance 155mm ammunition.
“The contract will create 12 new jobs at NIOA for the next two years while the ammunition is qualified and then, subject to a successful business case, NIOA estimates employing up to 10 more people in the domestic assembly of training ammunition.”