St Hilliers has received the head contract to deliver a three-storey armoured vehicle simulation centre for the Australian Army.

The centre will be located in Townsville, a city in the state of Queensland.

The Government of Australia will invest A$31m ($23.58m) in the project, which will house simulated facilities to support training for upgraded M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, as well as incoming LAND 400 and LAND 8160 armoured vehicle capabilities.

Particularly, the third Brigade soldiers at Lavarack Barracks are expected to train in the facility to hone close combat skills.

Construction works are expected to begin this month and be completed in the middle of next year.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “The construction at Townsville will benefit the North Queensland economy by providing local businesses and subcontractors the opportunity to be involved on the project.

“St Hilliers has pledged to source 98% of the workforce from the local area, which is an excellent result for the local economy.”

At the peak of construction, the project is expected to involve around 110 people per day.

The contract was awarded as part of the A$235m ($178.72m) Armoured Fighting Vehicle Facilities Program Stage 1 works.

Recently, the Australian Government announced an investment of up to A$800m ($610.6m) to enhance the armed forces’ amphibious capabilities. The funding will be used to acquire two new fleets of locally built amphibious vehicles and landing craft.