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.
“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.”