LAND 400

Economic Development Pillar

The Need

LAND 400 is a $20 billion project to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with world class armoured fighting capability. Strategically, the G21 region is the best possible location for the design, production and maintenance of this new combat vehicle for the Australian Army.

Identified in the ADF Defence Capability Plan, the project includes a design and manufacture program ($10 billion) and sustainment ($10 billion). It is the largest program of its type in the world. The program delivers 225 armoured fighting vehicles.

The program will require high-technology manufacturing, advanced composite production, software development/maintenance, vehicle system integration and logistics skills. Geelong has advanced capability in all of these disciplines, and is positioning itself to become an internationally competitive, advanced manufacturing-led economy.

The G21 region has an established innovation precinct. Organisations such as Deakin University, the Gordon Institute, Carbon Nexus, the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research, the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing and the Australian Automotive Research Centre are evidence we can support the research, development and prototype testing necessary to deliver LAND 400.

The diverse skills, high technology components and manufacturing innovation required for LAND 400 make it ideal for Geelong and Victoria, consolidating our transformation into a global, high technology, design, engineering and manufacturing city.

The project would also help the transition of Geelong’s existing manufacturing sector through the re-employment of trained industry workers.

Manufacturing has played a major role in the G21 region economy with large employers being Ford, Alcoa, and Qantas. However, job losses at these employers mean that thousands of workers in the G21 region are facing an uncertain future.

Because of this current adverse employment climate, LAND 400 provides a strong opportunity to invest in the G21 region, creating employment both for now and the future.

Project Description

To secure Geelong as the base for design, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance of the Australian combat vehicle - LAND 400 Sentinel Military Vehicle.

Under LAND 400, the Defence Force will replace it’s fleet of ageing armoured combat vehicles, which are due to retire between 2020 and 2025, with new-generation models. It will involve the design and production of armoured fighting vehicles. The vehicles will also have a substantial ongoing upgrade and sustainment program over a 30-year service life.

With the cancellation of the US Ground Combat Vehicle Program, LAND 400 is now the largest program of its type in the world. To deliver LAND 400, Australia will need to establish a Centre of Excellence to coordinate the integration of all program elements - design, production and sustainment.

The G21 region is strategically placed and ready to work with the Defence Materiel Office to deliver one of Australia’s largest, most expensive and complex major capability projects. There are also significant cost and other benefits to flow from Geelong becoming the location of this Centre of Excellence, including:

  • close proximity to the existing Defence vehicle testing, support and training facilities located in Victoria
  • proven world-class source of innovative research in advanced materials and intelligent systems, with a modern supply chain process easily accessible
  • job-ready, skilled manufacturing workforce and a strong capacity to efficiently re-train workers through the ‘Skilling by the Bay’ incentives and programs delivered by Deakin University and the Gordon Institute of TAFE, and
  • direct and competitive access to world-class logistics - including the unrestricted Avalon Airport, the National Highway network, standard and broad gauge freight rail connections, Geelong Port and the Port of Melbourne.

Project Champion

Kathy Timmins, Manager Enterprise Geelong, City of Greater Geelong.

Benefits for Victoria and the G21 region

Procurement of the LAND 400 project to the G21 region will:

  • provide significant regional investment and employment
  • create 3,740 direct and indirect jobs to Victoria, 2,450 of these in the G21 region
  • increase state output by $1.9 billion in direct and flow-on effects, with a $1.5 billion increase in the G21 region
  • increase Gross State Product by $490 million annually, with Gross Regional Product in the G21 region increasing by 3.8 per cent
  • build Australia’s capacity and capability to manufacture, modify and maintain the Australian Defence Force Armoured vehicle fleet.

What has been committed

The State Government has committed:

  • $5 million to establish a Defence Procurement Business Office in Geelong
  • $60,500 to support the appointment of a specialist defence consultant to advocate Geelong as the centre of expertise for the LAND 400 project.

What is required

A Federal Government commitment to:

  • secure opportunities for the G21 region to participate in LAND 400 attainment and ongoing sustainment programs
  • ensure that the G21 region is considered and included in programs, briefings and other opportunities for defence related procurement
  • explore Defence Integrated Investment Program opportunities’s that align with the G21 region’s capability
  • encourage defence primes involved in LAND 400 Phase 2 (Rheinmetall and BAE) to explore Geelong as a base for their Victorian operations and/or consider supply chains from the G21 region in their procurement activities.