"Under Phase 2 of Land 400, Defence is seeking to acquire 225 Mounted Combat Vehicles to replace the existing fleet of Light Armoured Fighting Vehicles.
"Each of the four contenders for Phase 2 of Land 400 have been on a long journey to reach this point in supplying such an important armoured vehicle for the Australian Army. The Federal Government's decision to ensure that Defence, in partnership with Deloittes, took further time to develop stronger Australian industry involvement the program made considerable sense. We congratulate all the bidders for their efforts and commitment to Australian industry participation.
"Three key recommendations in the Deloitte report on Land 400 provide a firm basis for ensuring maximum local SME involvement in the program. Technology transfer and upskilling of these SMEs will be added benefits.
"Both shortlisted companies now proceed to the next stage of consideration offering vehicles which will improve the mobility, protection and survivability of our troops in dangerous operational situations.
"During the next stage of the Phase 2 evaluation, Defence will undertake a series of nationwide workshops to maximise Australian industry involvement in the program.
"Ai Group looks forward to Defence completing its further evaluation of the contenders in a timely manner," Mr Willox said.
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