The Australian Ministry of Defence has released a request for proposal for the disposal of 12 000 surplus Army vehicles and trailers as part of the nation’s biggest military disposal drive since the Second World War.
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare yesterday announced the release of the RFP. “By disposing of this equipment in bulk, it will increase the amount of revenue Defence can raise and reinvest in new equipment,” Clare said.
“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.”
The Army vehicles that will be disposed of are non-combat vehicles such as Land Rovers, trailers, Unimogs, trucks and truck-mounted cranes. The vehicles will be progressively replaced by new vehicles under Defence Project LAND 121. The disposal will take place over the period 2011 – 2020, the Australian Department of Defence said.
“A number of vehicles will be reserved and offered exclusively to community and heritage organisations, including the Australian War Memorial, RSLs and other historical organisations,” Clare noted.
At the end of June, Clare said that over the next ten years the Defence Force will dispose of up to 24 ships; up to 70 combat aircraft; up to 110 other aircraft; up to 120 helicopters; up to 600 armoured vehicles; up to 12 000 other vehicles; and a variety of communications systems, weapons and explosive ordnance.
Clare said this represents 10% of the current value of the entire Australian Government’s non-financial assets and is in line with the Australian Defence Force’s aim to replace or upgrade up to 85% of its equipment over the next 15 years.
The government has told the Defence Force to save AU$20 billion over the next ten years, which will supposedly then be spent on an influx of new equipment, such as the Joint Strike Fighter, new amphibious ships, armoured vehicles, helicopters and trucks.
Clare pointed out that, since 1997, the British Government has generated ?650 million (about AU$1 billion) from their military equipment disposals. However, over the same period and with a similar number and type of assets, the disposal of Australian military equipment has cost around AU$20 million.
“That’s why I am reforming Australia’s system of military disposals – to reduce costs, generate potential revenue and provide opportunities for Defence industry involvement,” Clare said.
Clare noted that the first opportunity for the Australian defence industry was the release of a Request for Proposal for the disposal of up to 24 Navy ships across the coming decade, including the HMAS Manoora amphibious ship (decommissioned this year), Adelaide Class frigates and Mine Hunters.
Request for Proposals for the HMAS Manoora will close on September 15 this year while submissions for all other ships will close on October 14. This will allow companies to bid for all ships, a class of ships or a single ship. Companies will be allowed to sell the ships in within Australia or to foreign countries.