Overlander is On! Australia’s A$ 3+ Bn Vehicle Program
October 6/15: Australia has signed a A$1.3 billion ($910 million) contract with Thales Australia for 1,100 Hawkei protected vehicles and 1,000 trailers as part of the country’s LAND 121 Phase 4 procurement program. Full rate production is scheduled for 2018 as the company’s Bushmaster production in Bendigo, Victoria slows. LAND 121, also known as Project Overlander, is a multi-billion dollar acquisition program to modernize the Australian Defence Force’s vehicle fleet as part of the country’s Defence Capability Plan . The 4×4 Hawkei was downselected in 2011 and will replace most of the Australian Defence Force’s unprotected Land Rover fleet.
LAND 121 – also known as Project Overlander – is the largest land project in Australia’s Defence Capability Plan. Overall, this is currently estimated as an A$ 7.5 billion (USD $7.6 billion) investment in the Australian Army to replace its fleet of Army trucks, patrol vehicles, trailers and modules. Australia’s “Hardened and Networked Army” meta-program needed to pay attention to these vehicles as well, given an existing fleet that was bought between 1959-1994. As Defence Minister Hill said in 2005:
“Our current fleet is ageing and is becoming more costly to maintain and upgrade. The vehicles will range from lightweight four-wheel drives to heavy trucks and prime movers with interchangeable modules to increase operational flexibility.”
This article looks at Project Overlander, with a particular focus on the major vehicle buys from Phase 3 onward. Some parts of Overlander are even linked to America’s JLTV program, though Australia is also preparing a domestic competitor.
Overlander: The Program
Contracts & Key Events
2011 – 2012
2009 – 2010
2007 – 2008
2006 and Earlier
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