Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that Queanbeyan-based Electro Optic Systems (EOS) will provide 251 remote weapons stations (RWS) to the Australian Army for Bushmaster and Hawkei protected military vehicles (PMV).
Announced two days before the July 4 Eden Monaro by-election at EOS’s Hume, ACT production facility, the announcement was somewhat of a surprise having not been included in the Government’s 2020 Force Structure Plan and accompanying Defence Strategic Update which was announced the previous day, nor had it previously been a published requirement.
“Investments such as the acquisition of Remote Weapon Stations will make the ADF more capable for the wide range of potential scenarios and threats Australia will face in the future,” Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds said in a joint statement.
Defence industry Minister Melissa Price added, “This investment not only secures local jobs, but it also provides certainty for over 100 supply chain businesses across Australia. More than 80 per cent of the parts that Electro Optic Systems use for these weapons are sourced through the Australian supply chain and that’s good for jobs and small businesses.”
The integration work of the RWS with the PMVs will be conducted by EOS in conjunction with vehicle manufacturer, Thales Australia. The RWS will allow vehicle crewman to operate the weapon from with the safe confines of the vehicles’ armoured cabins.