The Victorian government has thrown its support behind Hanwha Defense Australia to build and maintain Australian military vehicles in Geelong.
FILE PHOTO: Hanwha’s K9 Thunder – possibly called Huntsman in Australia. Photo courtesy Hanwha.
Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanwha this week to formalise a long-term partnership that will support the establishment of Hanwha’s defence manufacturing operations in Victoria.
Minister Pakula was at Laverton North to see Hanwha’s LAND 400 Phase 3 vehicle, Redback, after the Commonwealth selected Hanwha as one of two final tenderers, along with Rheinmetall in Queensland.
Hanwha is also looking to build 30 self-propelled Howitzers and 15 armoured resupply vehicles in Geelong, and carry out maintenance and repairs during their years of service for the Australian Army, having been recently announced as the sole tenderer for the Commonwealth’s LAND 8116 tender.
This week’s MoU will enable the Victorian government and Hanwha to explore investment opportunities in defence and non-defence sectors.
The Victorian Budget 2020/21 allocated $6million to give the state’s defence sector a competitive edge in attempting to capture a larger share of Australia’s defence spend.
Mr Pakula said the range of companies working in defence industries was staggering, and the Victorian government was backing them to grow further.
Hanwha Defense Australia managing director Richard Cho said Hanwha saw the MoU as a strong platform from which to develop mutual interests in a range of technologies and to establish an advanced manufacturing facility in Victoria.
Project LAND 400 Phase 3, worth north of $20billion, will see a fleet of up to 450 tracked infantry fighting vehicles and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles mostly built in either Victoria or Queensland, depending on which of the final two contenders prevails.