General Dynamics Land Systems – Australia (GDLS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Thales Australia to submit a proposal for Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2-Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability programme.

In February, the Australian Department of Defence issued a request for tender to replace the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Australian light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) fleet.

Under the terms of the agreement, the team aims to offer a cost-effective solution, comprising the complete suite of Land 400 capabilities, as required by the Australian Army.

GDLS – Australia managing director Ian Cook said: "GDLS and Thales will leverage our strengths to deliver a low-risk, land combat vehicle system capability for Land 400.

"This is a great opportunity for us to combine world-leading MOTS 8×8 platforms with proven in-country manufacturing, integration, upgrade and through-life support.

"Our arrangement will maximise domestic and international opportunities for Australian industry and builds on the success of our current platforms in protecting Australian soldiers."

"We believe the collective expertise of our two companies represents a compelling offer for Land 400."

Thales Australia Armaments and Protected Vehicles vice-president Kevin Wall said: "Combined with our experience delivering, supporting and upgrading the life-saving Bushmaster in Australia, we believe the collective expertise of our two companies represents a compelling offer for Land 400."

The two companies have already collaborated on a range of vehicle programmes, including Canada’s LAV III upgrade, the UK’s Foxhound and Scout Specialist Vehicle programmes, Switzerland’s Piranha chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear project, and also the ASLAV programme for crew procedural trainer and electro-optics in Australia.

The ASLAV, an Australian version of the light armoured vehicle LAV-25, has been used by the ADF in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, and is scheduled to reach the end of its life by 2021.

Image: An Australian light armoured vehicle drives through the Tangi Valley, Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of the US Army, photo by Spc Edward A. Garibay, 16th mobile public affairs.