NIOA has secured a new A$100m ($80.45m) contract for the delivery of 155mm lightweight towed howitzer ammunition to the Australian Army.

The advanced high-performance 155mm ammunition will help upgrade army artillery.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “NIOA’s partnership with Rheinmetall Defence, their subsidiaries and Junghans Microtec, demonstrates the innovative approaches embraced by Australian companies to ensure our military is equipped with the best capabilities in the world.”

“This ammunition will replace an ageing ammunition stock, providing increased range and lethality, as well as a greater range of effects such as infrared illumination to enhance the army’s advanced night fighting capability.”

“NIOA is looking at additional opportunities for the local development of other types of 155mm ammunition.”

The contract is expected to generate up to 22 new job opportunities with 12 new jobs at NIOA for the next two years while the lightweight towed howitzer ammunition is qualified.

Following this, the Australia-based company expects to employ up to ten additional people in the domestic assembly of training ammunition.

Pyne added: “This is an exciting new market for Australian defence industry and we hope after successful qualification of the ammunition, industry can start making the training rounds locally.”

In addition, NIOA is looking at additional opportunities for the local development of other types of 155mm ammunition.

In November last year, the company secured a separate A$95m ($76.42m) contract to provide the military with more than 30 different ammunition over the next five years.

Founded in 1973, NIOA is the country’s largest privately-owned company that supplies weapons, ammunition and technical support to commercial, military and law enforcement markets.