L3 Micreo successfully delivered the first batch of the new SILVERSHIELD vehicle-mounted counter-improvised explosive device (IED) force protection systems this month to Australian Department of Defence (DoD).
SILVERSHIELD is an advanced vehicle mounted system which will provide additional protection against mobile phone IED threats for Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF). The production order was awarded to 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.
This contract award further demonstrates continued confidence in L3 Micreo by the strategic partners in Australia following investment in new production facilities in Brisbane in 2017.
Sarah Earey, Vice President and General Manager of L3 Micreo, said: “We’re proud to be producing these life-saving force protection systems under contract to the Australian DoD. The REDWING counter-IED devices previously manufactured by L3 Micreo and currently deployed have proved to be vital in addressing the persistent threat in Afghanistan; this enhanced version of the vehicle-mounted system will continue to save lives.”
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.
Announcing the award of the production order under the existing contract in March, Australia’s Defence Minister, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said: “The REDWING program is a well-known example of successful collaboration with industry, and SILVERSHIELD is no exception.
“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. For this reason the REDWING program will continue to develop new product variants to meet this evolving threat.”
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne, added: “SILVERSHIELD’s expedient production demonstrates Australian industry’s ability to meet and surpass the challenge of high volume and time critical manufacturing.”
Since 2015, the REDWING programme has successfully produced and supplied more than 180,000 life-saving systems to the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, National Directorate of Security and Afghanistan Parliamentary Security Forces.