The Hon. Peter Reith, MP

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01 Oct 2001
398/01
  MEDIA RELEASE

MEDIA RELEASE

1 October, 2001 MIN 398/01

AMPHIBIOUS WATERCRAFT FOR THE ARMY

Newcastle shipbuilder ADI Limited has been selected as the preferred tenderer to build 6 Amphibious Watercraft for the Australian Army.

The acquisition and set up cost of the project is approximately $30 million dollars. The through life support costs will be an additional $15 million dollars (approx). The project will create 40 jobs in the Newcastle area.

The Watercraft are lightweight, but extremely strong, vessels powered by two diesel engines and waterjet propulsion.

They will be carried on the decks of the Royal Australian Navy’s transport ships HMAS MANOORA and HMAS KANIMBLA.

The Watercraft will provide the Australian Army with an important new capacity to move tanks, vehicles, soldiers and supplies to a beach in a significantly shorter time than can presently be achieved.

ADI tendered its own design of an aluminium Watercraft which was a clear winner, with its very large carrying capacity and shallow draught.

Defence and ADI will now enter into contract negotiations to finalise the contract.

The first Amphibious Watercraft will enter service in early 2003.

This project supports the Government’s commitment, made in the Defence White Paper, to significantly enhance the capability of the Australian Army.

It follows the recent announcement of the selection of Eurocopter International Pacific as the tenderer to advance to the tender development stage for the production of Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters for the Army.

The ADI workforce in Newcastle is completing the last of 6 state of the art fibreglass hull MineHunters.

Four of these MineHunters are delivering excellent service. The fifth is undergoing sea trials.

These MineHunters are providing exceptional service to the Royal Australian Navy.

Picture Editors: Stills of similar Watercraft, Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, MineHunter; available at http://www.defence.gov.au/media/gallery/nwc

Betacam vision of same available from Claire Bannon 0408 498 664

For further information: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095

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