by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Aug 12, 2011
Australia's Ministry of Defense has issued a request for proposal for the disposal of up to 12,000 surplus non-combat army vehicles and trailers.
The program would take place over nearly a decade, starting this year and continuing until 2020.
Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare said saying the bulk disposal will bring in much needed cash to spend on new equipment.
"The money raised from the sale of these vehicles will be invested in Force 2030, with one option to fund simulators used for training that will reduce the wear and tear on army vehicles," Clare said.
The government's May 2009 white paper "Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030" provides guidance for defense policy and military upgrades until 2030.
The intention for a bulk sell-off of thousands of vehicles was stated in reforms to the general disposal of military equipment announced last month by the Ministry of Defense.
The vehicles to be sold include Land Rovers, trailers, Unimogs, trucks and truck-mounted cranes. They will be replaced progressively by new vehicles under Defense Project LAND 121, the Ministry of Defense said.
"A number of vehicles will be reserved and offered exclusively to community and heritage organizations," Clare said.
These include the Australian War Memorial, the veterans' Returned and Services League and other historical organizations and groups.
Organizations and businesses interested in acquiring vehicles can register interest with the Defense Disposals Agency, Clare said.
The underlying premise of the Force 2030 white paper is Australia can't rely on the United States for protection in face of an increasingly militarily dominant China in the South Asia region.
To prepare the country's self-defense, the document said Australia's army is to receive up to 1,100 light-armored vehicles, seven new CH-47F Chinook helicopters to replace the current CH-47D models and new self-propelled and towed 155mm artillery guns.
The navy will replace its six Collins-class submarines with 12 new submarines, replace the eight ANZAC-class frigates with eight larger frigates and build 20 corvettes to replace patrol boats and survey ships.
A major purchase under Force 2030 for the air force is up to 100 Joint Strike Fighters -- the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II -- as well as eight new maritime patrol aircraft and up to seven unmanned aerial vehicles. Also, 10 new light tactical transport aircraft along with an additional two C-130J Hercules will be bought.
Earlier this month, Australia said it might consider buying more F/A-18 Super Hornets if delays to the Joint Strike Fighter program mean the country has a capability gap.
A firm decision on this option has hasn't been made and Australia will "continue to monitor the situation very carefully and closely," Defense Minister Stephen Smith said.
In 2007, Australia ordered 24 Boeing F/A-18 fighters -- originally a McDonnell Douglas aircraft -- as an interim replacement for its General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark tactical strike fighters which have been decommissioned.
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Madrid (UPI) Aug 10, 2011
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