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Australian Amy to upgrade its amphibious capabilities

An Army LARC V in Papua New Guinea; The LARC Vs and LCM-8s will be replaced under project LAND 8710 Ph.1. photo: Defence

The Australian Department of Defence will invest up to $800 million to acquire new fleets of Australian-built amphibious vehicles and landing craft that will be able to transport land forces with enhanced speed and protection. The new watercraft will replace the Army’s current LCM-8 landing craft and LARC-V amphibious vehicles and provide independent shore-to-shore, ship-to-shore, and over-the-shore capabilities to better manoeuvre and sustain the ADF in littoral and riverine environments.

Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds said the Army Littoral Manoeuvre – Light project, LAND 8710 Phase 1, will strengthen the ADF’s amphibious capabilities.

“Today’s announcement delivers on this Government’s objectives, set out in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, to enhance the ADF’s amphibious capabilities, especially in Australia’s territorial waters and the near region,” Minister Reynolds said.

Through the project, an Independent Landing Craft will be delivered to replace the Army’s existing LCM-8 vessels. This will present opportunities for Australian industry in the detailed design, build, maintenance and support elements of the project.

An Amphibious Vehicle will also be built to replace Army’s current LARC-V which will offer significant opportunities for Australian industry in the vehicle’s design, build, maintenance and through-life support phases.

“These new vessels, introduced from 2026, will be larger, faster, and better protected to support ADF operations.

“They will allow Defence to quickly and effectively deploy both domestically and to our near region, as well as remain engaged with regional security partners and support humanitarian assistance to our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said, “The new and enhanced platforms will use Australian industry’s expertise both during the detailed design and build phases to support the delivery of the … Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

“By taking this approach, the Morrison Government is also encouraging potential export opportunities for Australian industry through the design and build of this new capability,” Minister Price added.

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