The Australian Government has announced plan to acquire 251 Remote Weapon Stations for the Army’s Bushmaster and Hawkei protected mobility vehicles.
The Remote Weapon Stations, to be procured from local company Electro Optic Systems (EOS), will allow a gunner to operate a weaponised system from a protected position.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new weapons were part of the $270 billion capability upgrade for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), under the new 2020 Force Structure Plan.
“The Federal Government is committed to ensuring Australian Defence Force personnel have the tools they need to protect themselves and keep Australians safe,” the Prime Minister said. “At the same time we must have a robust and resilient defence industry that maximises opportunities for small businesses and supports Australian jobs and local investment.”
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and the 2020 Force Structure Plan would strengthen the ADF’s capabilities to respond to an increasingly challenging strategic environment.
“The Morrison Government is investing a record $270 billion in Defence capability and infrastructure over the next decade,” Minister Reynolds said. “Investments such as the acquisition of Remote Weapon Stations will make the ADF more capable for the wide range of potential scenarios and threats Australia will face in the future.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the investment in new remote weapon stations would provide job stability for over 200 of Electro Optic Systems’ workforce directly involved in engineering and support.
“This investment not only secures local jobs but it also provides certainty for over 100 supply chain businesses across Australia,” Minister Price said. “More than 80 per cent of the parts that Electro Optic Systems use for these weapons are sourced through the Australian supply chain and that’s good for jobs and small businesses. While the Federal Government’s focus is on keeping Australians safe, our investments in Defence have a significant benefit for Australian businesses and workers – around 15,000 businesses and 70,000 workers benefit from our investments and that’s set to grow.”