The Australian Department of Defence has launched industry consultation on the proposed tender timeline for the army’s LAND 400 Phase III project.

During the third phase of the programme, the army has plans to acquire mounted close combat vehicle capability, which will be one of largest purchases to be made by the service.

According to Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, consulting on the draft timeline would provide a better-informed tender process that would help reduce tendering costs to the industry.

Pyne said: “Just as with the Phase II Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, Australian industry involvement and Australian workers will be critically important to this project.

“This project is another exciting opportunity for Australian industry to deliver leading-edge technology in support of the army.”

“The proposed tender timeline identifies key milestones in the tender evaluation.”

Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said that the government is committed to investing in advanced vehicles that are capable of meeting the range of current and growing threats.

The multibillion-dollar Phase III project has been designed to replace the M113 armoured personnel carriers with a fleet of up to 450 modern infantry fighting vehicles and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles.

Payne said: “These will provide new levels of protection, firepower, mobility and enhanced communications. The new vehicles are expected to enter into service by the mid-2020s.”

“The proposed tender timeline identifies key milestones in the tender evaluation. We welcome industry’s feedback on the timeline to better enable both industry and defence to plan for this significant boost to capability.”

On 13 March, the Australian Government provided First Pass approval for the LAND 400 Phase III project for the acquisition of the infantry fighting vehicles and the manoeuvre support vehicles.