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17 Mar 05. Nine companies have been short-listed to supply medium and heavy military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force as part of Project Overlander, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today. The short-listed companies are ADI Limited (including Oshkosh and Automotive Technik), Daimler Chrysler Australia-Pacific, General Dynamics – Land Systems Australia, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG, Mack Truck Australia, Scania Australia, Stewart & Stevenson, Tenix Defence and Terex Corporation.

Senator Hill said the short-list was selected after detailed assessment of responses from 18 companies following an invitation to register interest. Senator Hill also announced that ADF light vehicles would be acquired through an open tender process and that plans for acquisition of trailers were also being finalised.

As part of the initial phase of Project Overlander, vehicles and trailers will be replaced in Army’s high readiness units, such as 3 Brigade, 5 Aviation Regiment, 10 Force Support Battalion located in Townsville and Sydney and RAAF high readiness units located in Amberley. The vehicles and trailers are scheduled to be delivered between 2008 and 2010 at a cost of up to $600 million. A later phase of the project will replace the vehicle and trailer fleet in remaining units.

“Field vehicles and trailers are the backbone of the Australian Defence Force’s land warfighting support, sustainment, deployment and redeployment structure. They are used to transport personnel, combat supplies, materiel, replacement combat systems and to evacuate casualties from the battlefield if necessary,” Senator Hill said.

“These vehicles and trailers also serve as platforms and prime movers for weapons systems, and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance and electronic warfare capabilities. “Our current fleet is ageing and is becoming more costly to maintain and upgrade. The vehicles will comprise six classes of basic vehicle chassis, ranging from lightweight to prime movers with interchangeable modules to increase operational flexibility.”

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