The Australia Government is set to acquire 251 Remote Weapon Stations (RWS) to enhance the protection of Australian Defence Force (ADF) during operations.

The RWSs are for the Australian Army’s Bushmaster and Hawkei protected mobility vehicles.

The stations are designed to allow a gunner to operate a weaponised system from a protected position, defending the country’s army personnel.

The acquisition of RWSs will increase the ADF’s capability for diverse potential scenarios and future Australian threats.

Under the new 2020 Force Structure Plan, the new weapons will be a part of the A$270bn ($186bn) capability upgrade for the ADF.

The Australian Government announced the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and the 2020 Force Structure Plan to strengthen the ADF’s capabilities in challenging strategic environments.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “The federal government is committed to ensuring ADF personnel have the tools they need to protect themselves and keep Australians safe.

“At the same time, we must have a robust and resilient defence industry that maximises opportunities for small businesses and supports Australian jobs and local investment.”

The acquisition will also generate jobs and opportunities for small Australian businesses.

Investments made for the new remote weapon stations are expected to create direct job opportunities for 200 Electro Optic Systems’ workforce involved in engineering and support.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “This investment not only secures local jobs but it also provides certainty for over 100 supply chain businesses across Australia.

“More than 80% of the parts that Electro Optic Systems use for these weapons are sourced through the Australian supply chain and that’s good for jobs and small businesses.

“While the Federal Government’s focus is on keeping Australians safe, our investments in Defence have a significant benefit for Australian businesses and workers, around 15,000 businesses and 70,000 workers benefit from our investments and that’s set to grow.”