Australia is moving forward to with Project Overlander, with the selection of Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia and Thales Australia. MAN will provide medium and heavy armored and unarmored trucks while Thales will deliver the Hawkei light tactical vehicle, in protected and unprotected configurations. The two programs are part of an investment of A$7.5 billion, providing the Australian Defence Force with around 7,500 new vehicles over the next decade. Under Project Overlander, the Australian Defence will replace the current fleet of Land Rovers, Unimog, Mack and S-Liner trucks and their associated trailers and modules that have been in service since the early 1980s. Although commercial negotiations are expected to conclude only in two years, the program is expected to exceed the budget estimate set in 2007.
Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia has been down-selected as the preferred tenderer to SUPPLY 2,700 protected and unprotected medium and heavy vehicles under LAND 121 Phase 3B. Under Phase 5B the Australian Defence will have options to by additional 1,000 unprotected vehicles to be used for training missions. The Australian announcement stated that Rheinmetall MAN was selected as it offered the best value for money and met Defence requirements for capability and cost. It is anticipated that approximately 35 per cent of the value of the Phase 3B work will be undertaken in Australia by the prime contractor in Wacol, Brisbane and Australian subcontractors, including the installation of locally supplied bodies and modules, and integration of vehicle parts and testing.
The new trucks will replace the Australian Defence Force’s current fleet of Unimog, Mack and S-Liner trucks, including medium and heavy recovery vehicles, medium and heavy tractors (equipment transporters); heavy integrated load handling vehicles quipped with self-loading hooks or lift trucks and medium-weight tray variants fitted with cranes and tippers. In addition, 2,500 new trailers will be procured from the Australian trailer maker Haulmark Trailers.