SoldierMod.Com :: Soldier Modernisation
  SoldierMod Volume 14 - December 2014
Volume 14 Articles

Country flagMajor Improvements Announced under Australia’s Land 125 Phase 3B

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Speaking recently at the Australian Defence Force Academy, (ADFA) Australia’s Defence Minister David Johnston, announced more than 20,000 Australian Defence Force personnel will be issued upgraded and improved body armour and other personal protective gear under ADF’s modernisation programme Land 125 Phase 3B.

Photo: © Australian Defence Force.
Photo: © Australian Defence Force.

The modernisation programme, which was first proposed in 1996, has successfully completed the first two of the projected four phases, and is now going through the third.

The overall goal of “Phase 3B” is to increase soldier mobility and endurance by providing next-gen body armour, tactical helmets, hearing protection, ballistic glasses and goggles, all of which are to be lighter, modular and better integrated.

Accompanied by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, the Defence Minister made the announcement during a visit to ADFA in August, where he inspected a range of armoured vehicles and cutting edge new military equipment including the Australian-made Hawkei Light Protected Vehicle (LPV). In a press release discussing his visit and announcement, Johnston said, “This [program] will increase soldier mobility and endurance through the acquisition of lighter and better integrated components and materiel.” He added that the multi-million dollar roll-out would significantly enhance the capability of ADF personnel deployed on military operations.

Under the terms of a five-year contract, the first of the Land 125 Phase 3B contracts has been awarded to Bendigo-based Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) for the supply of load carriage equipment, including ballistic plate carriers, packs, basic pouches and equipment bags.

The first thousand sets of Load Carriage Equipment are expected to be delivered in May 2015 with packs and pouches to be supplied to more than 20,000 ADF personnel in a staged roll-out over the next several years.

New Camo

In a related announcement, in September 2014, the ADF officially launched the Australian Multicam Camouflage Uniform (AMCU), as their only camouflage uniform, replacing the Disruptive Pattern Camouflage Uniform (DPCU) and Australian Multicam Pattern Operational Combat Uniform (AMP OCU).

The new Australian MultiCam Pattern, which was deployed in October, is a hybrid pattern and color palette that combines pattern features of AMP OCU with the original color palette used for the DPCU. The kit consists of combat and field uniforms as well as a bush hat, belt and rank slides.

During the launch of the new uniforms at the Chief of Army’s Exercise in Brisbane, the Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert said he was pleased that the new uniforms will be made in Australia by Australian companies. “At the moment there are two manufacturers for the AMCU – Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) and Pacific Brands Workwear Group (PBWG). Defence is pleased to partner with Australian companies to manufacture the AMCU. I am confident the manufacturing of the AMCU in Australia not only supports local business, but also maintains high standards and keeps pace with current technology.”

The current issued Disruptive Pattern Camouflage Uniform and Australian Multicam Pattern Operational Combat Uniform will continue to be worn until all Army personnel have been issued with the AMCU.

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