Australian manufacturing company Elphinstone has secured a contract to manufacture 45 turrets and hulls for the Australian Army’s new AS9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzers. Tasmania will share in the benefits of a A$1 billion ($720 million) defense industry contract signed by Australia’s Department of Defence last year, with around 55 new jobs to be created at Wynyard-based manufacturing company Elphinstone. Elphinstone will manufacture 45 turrets and hulls for the Australian Army’s new Huntsman howitzers, delivering a major boost to Tasmania’s defense industry. This is part of a $1 billion defense contract for new self-propelled howitzers for the Australian Army which was last year awarded to Hanwha Defense Australia, based in Greater Geelong. Elphinstone will complete the steel fabrication, machining, and painting of the turrets and hulls at their Wynyard factory, before shipping them to Hanwha in Geelong where the Huntsman vehicles will be assembled.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “My Government will always back Tasmanians and ensure they benefit from our significant investment in the defense industry. After decades specializing in mining manufacturing capabilities, Elphinstone has secured its first defense contract – this is a big win for our highly skilled workers in Wynyard. As manufacturing ramps up, around 55 new jobs will be created for locals in northwest Tasmania, in so many roles, including boilermaker welders, painters, fitters, machinists, and other trades. Tasmanians should be proud that they will be significant contributors to increasing the firepower and security of Australian artillery capability. My Government can always be trusted to keep our nation and our region safe and to protect our interests in a rapidly changing global environment.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “ Australian industry will play a vital role delivering and sustaining the Huntsman howitzers. Right across the country we are backing our small and medium businesses and creating local jobs, and Elphinstone is a prime example of this commitment to grow our defense industry. Tasmania has a formidable reputation for exporting niche, high-quality products, and services to the world. I have no doubt it will continue to make an outstanding contribution to our Government’s Defence programs, boosting statewide employment and economic opportunities. Our Defence investments are giving Elphinstone an important opportunity to diversify its manufacturing operations. Our decision to back Australian industry is a demonstration of our determination to ensure that we can maintain a lethal, relevant, and effective sovereign defense capability in Australia.”
The Australian Government has announced a $788 million (AS$1 billion) defense contract for new Self-Propelled Howitzers for the Australian Army has been awarded to Hanwha Defense Australia. Based in Greater Geelong, the contract will procure Self-Propelled Howitzers and Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicles, under the LAND 8116 Phase 1 project. This initial contract covers 30 Self-Propelled Howitzers, 15 Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicles, and weapon locating radars that help find enemy artillery, collectively referred to as the Huntsman family of vehicles. The Government committed to this project in May 2019. The contract signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. This contract will create a minimum of 300 jobs spread across facility construction, acquisition, and maintenance, as well as generate ongoing support opportunities for the Australian industry until the late 2040s.