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Hanwha readies vehicle manufacturing complex in Australia

Hanwha Defense Australia plans to invest AUD170 million in its new military vehicle manufacturing facility near Melbourne (pictured above in a computer-generated image). (Hanwha Defense)

Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has announced the site of a new military vehicle production facility near Melbourne that will build the country's on-order Huntsman family of vehicles.

The company told Janes on 24 February that construction of the manufacturing complex – to be located at Avalon Airport in Geelong – will start in the second quarter of 2022 and that the facility will be operational by 2024.

HDA said design work on the facility has been under way for some time and is now in its final stages. The company added that it will invest about AUD170 million (USD123.1 million) in the 32,000 sq m facility, which will feature multiple assembly lines, a 1,500 m test track, a deep-water testing system, and an obstacle course.

A spokesperson from Hanwha Defense in South Korea, HDA's parent group, said production capacity of the new facility will be determined at a later date.

The Huntsman family of vehicles comprises the AS9 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and AS10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles (AARVs) that Australia ordered from HDA in late 2021 for about USD720 million.

The first AS9s, which are based on Hanwha Defense's K9 SPH, are scheduled to be delivered to the Australian Army by the second quarter of 2025. The last AS9s are intended for delivery by the third quarter of 2027.

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