THE HON KEVIN ANDREWS MP
Minister for Defence
Defence and Australian industry collaborate on counter improvised explosive device for Afghanistan
Defence and Australian industry partners have collaborated to manufacture the first-of-a-kind counter improvised explosive device equipment.
Australia continues to be on the cutting edge of the development of defence science and technology needed to address the global threat posed by improvised explosive devices.
Micreo, Ultra Electronics Australia, Associated Electronic Services, AXIOM Precision Manufacturing and Lintek have worked in close partnership with the Defence Materiel Organisation, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and Defence’s Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force to produce this potentially lifesaving equipment.
Under Defence’s REDWING program, Australia has developed low‑cost, robust and lightweight force protection systems. The equipment has particular application for use in austere operating environments by military and police units as it requires minimal operator training and limited logistic support.
Through this project, the Australian Government will invest up to $50 million in the Australian defence manufacturing industry, demonstrating Defence’s ability to transfer domestically developed counter improvised explosive device technology into jobs for Australians.
This project is an example of Australian industry and Defence collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation to a deliver unique solution that is able to help address a persistent threat in almost every conflict zone.
With defence industry partners supporting an accelerated production schedule, delivery of this vital equipment to Afghanistan commenced in January.
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are now deploying this equipment in the current fighting season, their first without significant coalition support.
Australia will continue working with our Afghan partners to defeat the threat of improvised explosive devices, including supporting future Afghan National Defense and Security Forces requirements for these force protection systems.