Israel weapons firm Elbit to give Australia military tech in $600m. deal


Australia has recently signed a massive contract with Elbit Systems, an Israeli military technology company, as part of its arms race against China.

Elbit will supply the Australian Army with key components for its 129 new Redback APCs. Each APC (armored personnel carrier), will be equipped with a turret with a 30 mm cannon, a spur arrow defense system equivalent to the  Iron Dome. It will also supply observation systems and a system that detects laser locks on the APC. These systems warn the crew that they have been targeted by an enemy missile.

The Australian tanks will also be equipped with a situational awareness system, providing the commander with an outside view of the tank through helmet display, similar to fighter pilots. Some of these systems are now integrated into the IDF’s new Merkava M. 4 Barak battle tanks, and will also install a windshield system on the heavy-duty APCs and the D-9 bulldozers of the Israeli Combat Engineering Corps.

The Australian APC is actually the South Korean K21 heavy combat APC, equivalent to the Israeli Namer, which will be manufactured in Australia. In separate deals, two other Israeli defense industries will be integrated into the APC: Rafael will supply it with Spike missiles, and Plasan, global leader in vehicle protection, will supply part of the armor. According to estimates, each Australian APC will have Israeli systems worth more than $2.5 million.

The Australian procurement is part of a broader effort to upgrade its military capabilities in response to the growing Chinese influence. With American assistance, Australia will equip itself with nuclear submarines for the first time, acquire F-35 fighter jets, and more.

Elbit-made weapon system. Second deal within a week. (credit: ELBIT, PR)

Elbit System’s global accomplishments highlighted

Bezalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems, stated that “This milestone reaffirms our commitment to providing advanced and critical solutions to the Australian Army. Elbit Systems is committed to providing advanced defense technologies that will protect the soldiers on the battlefield.”

The deal for Elbit comes after it was announced last week that the company had earned a new contract worth $300 million for supplying systems for armored vehicles to a country in Western Europe.

The contract includes weapon systems, tours, navigation, and situational awareness for approximately 230 armored vehicles. The contract will be executed over a period of 6 years and includes custom design, manufacturing, product lifecycle maintenance, and full in-country product support.

These are systems similar to those supplied by Elbit for the IDF’s Merkava tanks and armored personnel carriers and the IDF that operate in the Gaza Strip and accumulate significant operational experience.

Although Elbit has not specified names, there are currently many countries with significant armored vehicle fleets, mainly Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Germany, most of which are equipped with the Swedish armed CV90 or the Finnish Patria wheeled APC.

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