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By Julian Nettlefold

27 May 10. The Australian DoD announced the down-select of three contenders for its Land 121 Programme.

Australian manufacturers will be given a chance to win a contract worth more than $1 billion for the manufacture of the next generation of protected mobility vehicles, Greg Combet, Minister for
Defence Materiel and Science, announced today.

“Three Australian based companies will be awarded up to $9 million each for the development of protected mobility vehicle prototypes, putting them in the running to land a manufacturing contract for up to 1300 vehicles,” Mr Combet said.

“I am happy to announce that Thales Australia, Force Protection Europe and General Dynamics Land Systems Australia are the three companies who will be given a shot at this important contract.

“This decision means that these companies now have a chance of competing against prototypes being developed in the US that are also in the running for the contract.”

Mr Combet said that the three companies would be given around six months to produce two test drive ready prototype vehicles each.

“The Rudd Government believes that Australia has some of the best defence equipment manufacturers in the world. This decision will mean that they will have a fair chance to compete with other international competitors,” said Mr. Combet

The announcement follows a decision by the Government in 2008 to participate in the current US Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program which is also working on the development of protected mobility vehicle prototypes.

“Today’s announcement means that there will be greater competition for this very important contract – an outcome that can only lead to better vehicles and capability for the Australian Defence Force,” said Mr. Combet

“The protected mobility vehicles will play an important role in keeping Australian troops safe in combat roles, including command, liaison and light battlefield resupply.

“They will be provided to the Army’s combat units and Air Force’s Air Field Defence Guards and will be designed to operate in future conflict environments.”


LAND 121 Project OVERLANDER is a multi-phased project that will provide the Field Vehicles, Modules and Trailers (FVM&T) and the associated support items that the ADF requires beyond the life-of-type of the current assets in order to meet ADF mobility requirements. This large project will deliver several thousand vehicles, modules and trailers over the next decade. Previously, FVM&T replacement programs were based on a fleet by fleet basis. LAND 121 is an amalgamation of the entire FVM&T requirements of the ADF into a single project, seeking to facilitate a materiel solution based on a ‘capability brick’.

The particular capability offered by the ADF’s FM&T fleet gives all combat, combat support and combat service support organisations within the ADF their mobility both on and off the battlefield. They transport personnel, munitions, replacement combat systems, fuel and critical supplies and when necessary evacuate causalities. The FVM&T Fleet also provides the platforms and prime movers for command, control, communications, computer and intelligence systems and numerous weapon systems. Vehicle characteristics therefore are tailored to suit the units and equipment they support, as well as the conditions under which they are required to operate. Overlander Program is overseeing the delivery of this new generation of field vehicles, trailers and modules that will be well suited to the current and future demands of modern warfare with the aim of reducing whole-of-life costs, rationalising vehicle types and numbers, incorporating emerging and legislative design features and capitalising on new ideas from industry.

Force Protection

On May 26th Force Protection, Inc. announced that its Ocelot light protected patrol vehicle has been down-sel

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