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‘Aussie Thunder’ will deliver $234 million boon for Australian industry

CANBERRA – 3 November 2008: “The AS-9 ‘Aussie Thunder’ Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) will deliver a $234 million boon to the Australian defence industry with the potential for associated Australian work scope to exceed a billion dollars,” the Managing Director of Raytheon Australia, Ron Fisher said today.

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).

 Fisher said if the AS-9 was chosen for LAND 17 it would be worth an estimated $234 million to Australian companies, including Small and Medium Enterprises, over the 20 year life of the program. He stressed that the combination of Raytheon Australia’s experience as a local prime and Samsung Techwin’s production capacity will not only deliver significant work for Australian industry but also 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.”

If the Raytheon team is selected for LAND 17 the improved capability of the AS-9 would also be offered under a Product Improvement Program (PIP) for the K9, currently in service in the Republic of Korea. “This will provide an additional $440 million in opportunities for Australian companies,” said Fisher.

In addition to the K9 PIP, Fisher said there is a further potential for up to $500 million in additional work for Australian industry in international sales of the AS-9. “In all, this is a billion dollar opportunity for Australian industry. That means Aussie jobs and strong revenue streams for local firms.

“Raytheon Australia is committed to developing and supporting SMEs and there is significant work and opportunities for Australia’s SMEs in the Raytheon AS-9 solution. The unique opportunity here for Australian SMEs is not only significant work in Australia but also the potential for new export markets. It all starts with LAND 17,” said Fisher.


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.