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Australia Invests in Local Production of New Bomb Disposal Robots

Australia has contracted Queensland-based L3Harris Micreo to deliver up to 80 explosive ordnance disposal robots for the country’s military, Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy announced during a visit in Cairns.

Valued at 46 million Australian dollars ($31 million), the agreement supports Australian defense efforts to bolster personnel safety during field bomb disposal operations.

The robots will be integrated with enhanced sensors and cameras for a more effective examination, tracking, and neutralization of improvised explosive devices and related hazards.

The systems will replace the government’s existing robots utilized in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

The project will consist of small-to-medium enterprises and prime industry partners to support local jobs in Queensland and other states.

Response to Defence Strategic Review

The new robotic ordnance disposal fleet integration is part of a 3.8-billion-Australian-dollar ($2.6 billion) initiative in response to Australia’s Defence Strategic Review.

The four-year plan will strengthen the country’s northern bases, revamp critical aerospace assets, and further develop maritime estate investments such as the HMAS Cairns naval base.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal robot built by Brisbane-based company L3Harris Micreo. *** Local Caption *** Defence has signed a $46 million contract with Brisbane-based company L3Harris Micreo Pty Ltd to manufacture new explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robots.The project will deliver up to 80 medium and heavy EOD robots through Defence’s Joint Counter Improvised Explosive Device Capability sub-program supporting the ADF’s sailors, soldiers and aviators. The program will replace the current in-service EOD robots with a new generation of EOD robots to deliver a modern and agile capability with endurance and useability improvements for personnel. In addition to partnership with L3Harris Micreo Pty Ltd, LAND 154 will present opportunities for Australian industry through both acquisition and sustainment phases, ensuring sovereign capability and ongoing employment opportunities. The new EOD robots will be delivered under project LAND 154 Phase 4.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal robots built by L3Harris Micreo. Photo: Australian Ministry of Defence

“Cairns will have a vital role to play in our future national security, as we reshape and modernise the Australian Defence Force to prepare for the strategic circumstances we face,” Conroy stated.

“As the Defence Strategic Review makes clear, we need to improve the Defence Force’s ability to operate from Australia’s northern bases, which includes Cairns.”

“The new robots for the Australian Defence Force, to be made in Queensland, are an example of building our local industry and workforce on innovative technologies.”

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