The Australian Defence Force (ADF), in collaboration with Australian industry, has sent the final delivery of life-saving SilverShield counter-improvised explosive devices (Counter-IED) systems to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).
IEDs continue to be the weapon of choice for insurgents in Afghanistan and due to their nature will likely remain a persistent and evolving threat to the ANDSF. Installed on vehicles, SilverShield acts as a jammer disrupting specific cellular-phone signals known to have been used by insurgents to remotely activate IEDs.
Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said that this capability would boost the confidence of Australia’s Afghan partners when operating in a high threat environment.
“Over 15,000 SilverShield systems have now been delivered to Afghanistan for training and initial rollout with deliveries now complete,” Minister Pyne said. “This is an outstanding investment in Australian capability to deliver life-saving, cutting-edge Counter Improvised Explosive Device technology. The REDWING program demonstrates successful collaboration between Defence and industry, and SilverShield is proof of Australian industry’s ability to meet the challenge of high volume and time critical manufacturing.”
The production order for the delivery of SilverShield systems was awarded to Australian company, L3 Micreo in March this year under the REDWING program, with the initial contract valued at AUD$27M (approximately USD$21M) for 13,000 SILVERSHIELD units to be delivered in 2018.
Under the REDWING program, L3 Micreo is contracted to support the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group’s (DST Group) development of the enhanced devices to provide an effective, easy to install and use, force protection system for mounting on light vehicles operating in hazardous environments. The systems require no hands-on tuning or maintenance and are designed ready for high volume production. A quantity of SILVERSHIELD prototypes were produced by L3 Micreo and successfully field-tested at the end of last year.
Since 2015, Australian industry and Defence have produced and exported over 200,000 individual and vehicle mounted REDWING systems to the Afghan National Army (ANA), Afghan National Police (ANP), National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Afghanistan Parliamentary Security Forces which are collectively known as the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).