The Australian Government is creating jobs and strengthening the future of defence manufacturing in Victoria, with a new state-of-the-art armoured vehicle centre of excellence to be established at Avalon Airport in Greater Geelong. Hanwha was contracted by the Australian Government last December to deliver 30 AS9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzers and 15 A10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles, collectively referred to as the Huntsman family of vehicles. A first of its kind, Hanwha Defense Australia’s 32,000sqm armoured vehicle centre of excellence is estimated to create a minimum of 300 jobs over the life of the $1 billion projects, generating ongoing support opportunities for Australian industry until the late 2040s.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said,“ Hanwha would build the sovereign armoured vehicle manufacturing and maintenance facility to deliver core platforms of the Protected Mobile Fires project. Hanwha will draw on Greater Geelong’s highly skilled and experienced workforce to deliver this project. About 100 jobs are expected to be created during the two-year, $170 million construction of the armoured vehicle centre of excellence. It is great news for the Geelong region economy that the $1 billion programs will support at least 300 jobs during its lifespan. This project demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to supporting local jobs.”
Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson said, “Avalon Airport was an ideal location for the armoured vehicle centre of excellence. Avalon Airport, complete with its international terminal which the Morrison Government helped build, is a wonderful asset for our region and will make a first-class home for the Howitzer defence project. The Government’s election commitment to base this $1 billion defence project in the Geelong region, announced in May 2019, is an absolute game-changer for our local economy and Victoria. Geelong is set to become one of Australia’s most important defence manufacturing centres. It is expected that other defence industry suppliers will consider re-locating to the Geelong region so the opportunities for future growth are enormous.”
Design work on the facility is now in its final stages, and there is an opportunity for Australian defence industry partners to co-locate on-site to streamline the manufacturing process and maximise export opportunities for the Australian defence industry. The new facility will include multiple assembly lines, a 1500m test track, a deep-water test facility, and an obstacle course to test capability. Hanwha Defense Australia will build the new facility on a 20-hectare site at Avalon Airport. The site will be leased from Linfox Pty Ltd, an Australian-owned logistics and supply chain management company.