A billion-dollar manufacturing project set to create hundreds of local jobs in the Geelong region has moved a step closer after the Victorian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week with Hanwha Defense Australia.
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula was at Laverton North on Tuesday where Hanwha launched its LAND 400 Phase 3 vehicle, AS21 Redback advanced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (pictured). This follows the Commonwealth selecting Hanwha as one of two final tenderers, along with Rheinmetall in Queensland.
Hanwha Defense Australia managing director Richard Cho said the company was delighted to enter into the MoU with the Victorian Government. “We see it as a strong platform from which to develop our mutual interests in a range of technologies and to establish an advanced manufacturing facility here in Victoria.”
The MoU will enable the Government and Hanwha to explore investment opportunities in defence and non-defence sectors. The partnership will strengthen Victoria’s relationship with South Korean industry, driving collaboration and creating opportunities for expanded bilateral trade and investment.
Founded in 1952, Hanwha Corporation has grown to become South Korea’s largest defence company and also operates in aerospace, fintech, mining and clean energy.
Victorian Defence Industry Advocate, John O’Callaghan, welcomed the announcement today. “The Memorandum of Understanding between the Victorian Government and Hanwha Defense Australia affirms the government’s strong support for regional Victoria’s advanced technology and research credentials”, Mr O’Callaghan said.
A PWC report estimated that the LAND 400 Phase 3 manufacturing effort would generate $5.7 billion in total economic impacts in Victoria.
Hanwha is also looking to build 30 Self-Propelled Howitzers and 15 armoured resupply vehicles in Geelong, and carry out maintenance and repairs during their years of service for the Australian Army, having been recently announced as the sole tenderer for the Commonwealth’s LAND 8116 tender.
Hanwha is one of two final tenderers, along with Rheinmetall in Queensland, for the LAND 400 Phase 3 contract to build infantry fighting vehicles.
If successful, Hanwha will construct the vehicles at a purpose-built facility in Greater Geelong heralding the return of large-scale vehicle manufacturing to the region.
“The Redback would represent a huge step forward for the Australia Defence Force in terms of its capability to deliver land forces safely and effectively in very high threat scenarios.”Richard Cho | Managing Director, Hanwha Defense Australia
Victoria’s defence sector contributes $8.4 billion annually to the state’s economy with 6300 small-to-medium businesses working across military vehicle production, maritime design, aerospace components, cyber security and munitions, according to state government.