National opportunity a step closer
Ararat is a step closer to shoring up its place in the national defence-manufacturing spotlight after confirmation that AME Systems will play an integral role in a Victorian bid to build Australian combat reconnaissance vehicles.
Defence contractor BAE Systems Australia has released details of how it would provide the Ararat electrical wiring manufacturer, a long-time partner, with more than $20-million worth of work if successful in winning the Federal Government contract.
BAE Systems Australia is one of two short-listed bidders for the Commonwealth LAND 400 Phase Two project, which involves construction of 225 vehicles.
The other bid, from global defence manufacturer Rheinmetall, involves a Queensland-based contract.
If BAE is successful, AME Systems will have the responsibility of assembling electrical systems in Ararat for proposed AMV35 military vehicles in a project that might lead to further expansion opportunities.
As part of the announcement BAE Systems took an AMV35 to AME Systems’ factory in Ararat to showcase the vehicle to more than 300 staff members eager to get a closer look at the combat-proven vehicle.
Industry and community leaders joined staff members at the announcement.
BAE Systems Australia and Patria have offered the AMV35 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle as part of their bid for LAND 400 Phase Two project, to replace an aging ASLAV fleet.
LAND 400 is the Australian Army’s largest vehicle replacement program.
The State Government has signed a Heads of Agreement with BAE Systems to build the state-of-the-art eightwheel vehicles at a former Holden site at Fisherman’s Bend, should it win the contract.
The Federal Government is likely to announce a winning bid in the first quarter of 2018.
AME Systems is a leading Australian privately owned designer and manufacturer of electrical wiring harnesses and assemblies.
It has an overall workforce of about 360 and would need to increase its staff by up to 25 should BAE Systems win the Commonwealth contract.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips said his company had worked with AME Systems for many years.
“We’re pleased to be able to continue this relationship with our LAND 400 offering. It has a highly skilled workforce ready to work with us to deliver a high-quality product for the Australian Army,” he said.
“Working with partners like AME will help us develop and maintain Australian Industry Capability on major projects like LAND 400 and to hit the ground running should we win.”
AME managing director Nick Carthew said the opportunity would provide extra long-time employment opportunities at the company.
“As the largest employer in the region, this opportunity is incredibly important for the people of Ararat and the surrounding area,” he said.
AME Systems already has a glowing national defence-contract track record, providing electrical circuitry for military Bushmaster vehicles developed in Bendigo.