Prime Contractor: BAE Systems Australia Defence.
This project is upgrading the Army's M113 A1 vehicles to improve protection, lethality, mobility and habitability. The upgrade replaces most of the vehicle, retaining only the hull, hatches, rear door and communications systems.
In addition to the 350 vehicles for the initial requirement, 81 vehicles are being purchased to support the Army’s ELF. In August 2009, a contract change was approved to stretch the only un-stretched variant, the armoured mortar. The final contracted delivery date for all 431 vehicles is April 2012.
Construction of the recovery vehicles is complete and assembly of the armoured personnel carrier and fitters variants is continuing. Deliveries of major drive system sub-assemblies for all variants are ahead of schedule. The design development reviews of the command and ambulance variants are complete.
The logistics variant requires further testing to confirm the proposed minor design changes to increase the ground clearance in production vehicles. The testing is scheduled to be completed in late 2010. The seventh variant, the armoured mortar vehicle, is in the early stages of design development. Its final design review is scheduled for early 2011.
The designs for the first six variants (personnel, fitters, recovery, command, ambulance and logistics) are now in a mature state. The key remaining technical risk is the restoration of the mortar firing platform area in the seed hulls used for stretching the mortar variant. Defence is working with the contractor to develop approved repair methods ahead of commencement of the hull conversions scheduled for mid 2011.
The contractor remains committed to the delivery of the 431 vehicles as contracted by April 2012. However, Defence assesses this as a high risk as the contractor is reporting that the current delays will not be recovered until after December 2010 and full recovery relies on maintaining the current capacities of its Bandiana, Victoria facility and its new facilities at Williamstown, Victoria and Wingfield, South Australia.