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AS-9 “Aussie Thunder” Self Propelled Howitzer on display at Land Warfare Conference

CANBERRA – 22 October 2008: Raytheon Australia has confirmed that the AS-9 “Aussie Thunder” self propelled howitzer (SPH) will be displayed at the Land Warfare Conference (LWC) in Brisbane next week.

“LWC provides a forum to introduce the quality and capabilities of the AS-9 to the broader defence community,” said Raytheon Australia’s Managing Director, Ron Fisher.

“Our solution brings all of the benefits of a local prime delivering world-class capability,” he said.

Raytheon Australia is the prime contractor for the AS-9, which has been offered to the Australian Army for the LAND 17 Artillery Replacement Program. The Raytheon team includes South Korea’s Samsung Techwin (manufacturer of the proven K9 Thunder SPH); Australia’s SEAL Solutions (crew protection); and Turkey’s leading defence communications specialist, Aselsan (on-board weapon management system).

The AS-9 offers a number of advanced features, including high rates of fire, an automatic ammunition handling system (positioned to maximise survivability from mine blast), appliqué armour which can be removed for training, an advanced weapon management system, and integration with the future C2 environment—including Raytheon’s AFATDS battle management system.

“The AS-9 also incorporates Australian designed armour enhancements and seating for mine blast and improvised explosive device (IED) protection,” explained Fisher. “When fitted with the Kongsberg remote weapon station (RWS), AS-9 will allow our troops to fight safely in any likely operational environment.”

Mr Fisher stressed that the combination of Raytheon Australia’s experience as a local prime and Samsung Techwin’s production capacity will ensure the AS-9 is a world-class capability supported by a cost-effective long-term sustainment solution.

“The AS-9 is an outstanding platform, unmatched anywhere in the world,” he said. “It’s hard-hitting, exceptionally well protected and fully integrated with the Australian operational environment.

“As well as being the best possible solution for the LAND 17 Program, AS-9 offers a terrific opportunity for regional engagement between the Korean and Australian defence industries.”

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LAND 17 self-propelled howitzers (SPH) will bring ground commanders a land-based indirect firepower system able to fight and communicate in the digital battlespace. They will be linked to the broader Australian joint fires environment, providing precision terminal effects at long ranges and unprecedented situational awareness to minimise the risk to friendly forces and enable a fast and lethal response to authorised targets. Gun crews will be protected under armour and the platforms will be fully interoperable with Australia’s likely coalition partners.

With facilities located across the country, Raytheon Australia is a highly capable prime contractor with an engineering and technical workforce of 1300 backed by world-class management and quality systems. This local presence is bolstered by strong relationships with small and medium sized enterprises and access to the global resources of Raytheon Company.

Raytheon Company, with 2007 sales of $21.3 billion, is a technology leader specialising in defence, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 86 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 72,000 people worldwide.