The Government of Australia is set to invest up to A$800m ($610.6m) to enhance Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) amphibious capabilities in territorial waters and near regions.

The move will involve acquiring new fleets of locally built amphibious vehicles and landing craft as part of the Army Littoral Manoeuvre – Light project, LAND 8710 Phase 1 programme.

Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “These new vessels, introduced from 2026, will be larger, faster, and better protected to support ADF operations.

“They will allow defence to quickly and effectively deploy both domestically and to our near region, as well as remain engaged with regional security partners and support humanitarian assistance to our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific.”

ADF is expected to procure two separate fleets to improve shore-to-shore, ship-to-shore, and over-the-shore capabilities. The acquisition will also help in transporting land forces with enhanced speed and protection.

The Independent Landing Craft and amphibious vehicles are expected to replace the Army’s existing LCM-8 vessels and LARC-V respectively.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “Australian industry involvement will be maximised throughout the design, construction and sustainment phases of this project.

“The new and enhanced platforms will use Australian industry’s expertise both during the detailed design and build phases to support the delivery of the MORRISON government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

“By taking this approach, the Morrison government is also encouraging potential export opportunities for Australian industry through the design and build of this new capability.”

Recently, The Australian Government awarded ten Defence Innovation Hub contracts. The contracts will accelerate the development of new technologies for Australian Defence Force (ADF).