The Australian Government has agreed to extend a contract with BAE Systems Australia involving the delivery of technical support services for the army’s armoured personnel carrier (APC) fleet.

Under the agreement, BAE Systems Australia will continue to offer engineering support to the APC fleet for three additional years.

The A$5.3m ($3.81m) extension is expected to ensure continued employment for 20 BAE Systems Australia staff at its Edinburgh site in Adelaide.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “This engineering services contract ensures the operation of the APC fleet for several more years until its replacement is provided under the LAND 400 Phase 3 – Land Combat Vehicle System project.

“The contract extension with BAE Systems Australia represents continued investment and confidence in the highly technical and experienced Australian workforce.

“It is also recognition of the company’s highly valued expertise in supporting the APC vehicles over many years.”

The APC vehicles are used by various units of the Australian Army.

Separately, the Australian Government has signed a A$3.9m contract extension with DMTC to support the development of defence technologies.

According to Price, the extension will help to build a vibrant and competitive innovation sector within the defence industry.

The contract extension includes A$1.65m to support research and development and A$1.1m to support DMTC’s supply chain development activities.