Night Fighting Equipment Replacement Contract Finally Signed
28 October 2016
The first tranche of Night Fighting Equipment replacements has been approved under Land 53 Phase 1BR (otherwise known as NINOX).
Contracts worth $307 million have been signed with L-3 Oceania, which will see the ADF supplied with the latest night vision goggles, helmet mounts, head harnesses and laser aiming devices with ongoing support also part of the deal.
Land 53 is a multi-phased project intended to provide a suite of night fighting equipment (NFE), surveillance and target acquisition systems. This includes perimeter surveillance equipment, NFE, ground surveillance radar and thermal surveillance systems that provide land forces with detection, recognition and identification capabilities under various battlefield conditions. Integration and interoperability linkages exist with other projects delivering elements of the soldier system, surveillance systems and combat identification.
“These night vision goggles will be provided to Army close combatants, such as Special Forces and Infantry, as well as general combatants, such as drivers, medics and elements of the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force,” Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said.
The project has had a long gestation period, having been delayed as the Commonwealth stalled to allow the technology to mature. The tender was closed in July 2014, and the initial evaluation was completed in December of that year. Detailed evaluation trials took place between February and May 2015.
ADM Editor Katherine Ziesing revealed in the September 2016 edition that 11 companies had been in the mix for the contract across five broad categories. Given that much of the technology is produced overseas, Australian industry content will predominately be through resellers and sustainment opportunities.
Ninox has also been working closely with soldier systems under Land 125 (Soldier Combat System) to ensure equipment can be successfully integrated with existing and future kit.
This includes working with the new F88 Steyr and about a dozen other weapons systems already in service.
Initial Materiel Release is anticipated in 2018 with Final Materiel Release due in 2020.
Source : australiandefence.com.au