Ground Warfare

TEi Services Awarded Over $10 Million AS9 Huntsman Self-propelled Howitzer Contract

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TEi Services Awarded Over $10 Million AS9 Huntsman Self-propelled Howitzer Contract

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TEi Services Awarded Over $10 Million AS9 Huntsman Self-propelled Howitzer Contract
TEi Services Awarded Over $10 Million AS9 Huntsman Self-propelled Howitzer Contract

Townsville-based manufacturer TEi Services stands to create more local manufacturing jobs thanks to a new defense contract. Under the agreement signed last month, TEi Services will manufacture armoured doors, hatches, and covers at their Townsville workshops and deliver the completed items to Hanwha Defence Australia’s facility in Avalon, Victoria for integration onto their LAND 8116 Phase 1 (Protected Mobile Fires) family of vehicles. The contract, valued at over $10 million, marks a new era for the locally owned company. Having provided specialised trade repair support locally for Defense vehicle assets, this contract is the first big leap into Defense prime supply chains for the company.

Leveraging the 55 years of local manufacturing experience, along with heavy investment in systems, certifications and skills development activities, the company has proven it has the expertise and capability to confidently deliver this package of works. As manufacturing ramps up, local jobs will be created for many roles in North Queensland, including boilermaker welders, painters, fitters, machinists, and other skilled areas. It also provides for opportunity for growth amongst the company’s supply-chain partners. In addition to manufacturing these sub-assemblies for the vehicles, TEi Services is also well positioned to provide through-life maintenance support to the vehicles, the majority of which will be based at Army’s 3rd Brigade in Townsville.

Huntsman test gun firing at Australian Defence Force Port Wakefield P&EE, South Australia.
Huntsman test gun firing at Australian Defence Force Port Wakefield P&EE, South Australia. (Photo by Hanwha Defence Australia)

AS9 Huntsman is an Australian variant of the K9A1 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. The Australian variant AS9 was expected to feature the NATO standard FCS, the BMS-F (Battlefield Management System – Fires), the RWS (Remote Weapon System), and anti-tank mine protection. The hydropneumatic suspension was enhanced to support its increased weight. New hull design is similar to AS21 Redback in appearance. In December 2021, the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) of Australia and Hanwha Defense Australia signed a formal contract of producing 30 AS9s and 15 AS10 AARVs under license at Hanwha Defense Australia facility in Geelong, Victoria; the facility, which is included in the contract.

Hanwha Defence Australia has been contracted by the Department of Defence for the LAND8116 Phase 1 Protected Mobile Fires program, a more than $1 billion project to acquire self-propelled artillery systems. Altogether, the Australian Army is acquiring 30 AS9s, a 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer based on the Korean K9 Thunder, and 15 AS10 Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicles (based on the K10) under the program. In the delivery of the program, Hanwha Defence Australia is partnering with sovereign defense industry spanning the country, providing significant economic benefit to Australian industry partners and their corresponding supply chains.

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