Hanwha Defense Australia will build its state-of-the-art $170m Australian facility at the Avalon Airport precinct, the GMC Member has announced. The 20 hectare site will be the home of specialist armoured vehicle manufacturing in Australia.
Construction will commence in the second quarter of 2022 and take 24 months to complete. It is estimated that over 100 jobs will be created during construction and the facility will ultimately support a large, long-term set of advanced manufacturing jobs when completed.
Hanwha Defense Australia has been contracted by the Australian Government for project Land 8116, a $0.9 to $1.3 billion project that will see the Commonwealth acquire self-propelled artillery systems to be manufactured at the new facility. The company is also one of two shortlisted contenders for another multi-billion-dollar project where the Commonwealth is seeking to acquire up to 450 Infantry Fighting Vehicles for the Australian Defence Force.
Design work on Hanwha’s new specialist armoured vehicle manufacturing plant has been underway for some time and is now in its final stages. The 32,000 square metre state-of-the-art facility will initially be focussed on the production of Hanwha’s AS9 self-propelled howitzer, but pre-planning has been conducted to allow for the rapid expansion of operations should Hanwha also win the Infantry Fighting Vehicle project.
In addition to the potential for multiple assembly lines, the plant will feature a 1500 metre test track, a deep-water test facility and an obstacle course to ensure the Hanwha vehicles function as intended prior to delivery. Ample provision has been made for Hanwha’s Australian industry partners to co-locate on the new site, to streamline the manufacturing process and add maximum versatility as Hanwha’s Australian interests expand.
There are five 100% Australian-owned Victorian-based construction companies currently shortlisted in an ongoing Request for Tender process. Hanwha says support of local opportunities will continue throughout construction with a focus on the supply of locally sourced materials, veteran and indigenous employment opportunities, trainee and apprentice skills development.
Hanwha Defense Australia will provide a brief update at Geelong Manufacturing Council’s upcoming members only event, GMC Connect on March 8.