Hanwha and Defence form manufacturing alliance in Victoria

24-02-2022

As the Russian aggression towards Ukraine increases, experts are saying that Australia faces the greatest challenge to its defence capacity since WWII. Yesterday, the Government advised that Avalon, Victoria will house a major defence manufacturing facility, bringing more than 300 new jobs to the Geelong region. 

The Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula revealed that Hanwha Defense Australia’s $170 million Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence will be established at the Avalon Airport Industrial Precinct. 

“We’re backing Hanwha to make the Geelong region its home because we know it will grow the economy for years to come. 

“Victoria continues to lead the way in advanced manufacturing and this state-of-the-art facility in Avalon will create hundreds of jobs and deliver major benefits for local businesses in the supply chain.” Pakula said. 

Self-propelled howitzers

Hanwha will use the new Avalon facility to build self-propelled howitzers to deliver the Commonwealth’s approximately $1 billion LAND 8116 program. Pakula said that the investment will strengthen the state’s defence capabilities and create hundreds of highly skilled local jobs in design, engineering and advanced manufacturing. 

Construction on the 32,000 square metre state-of-the-art facility is expected to start later this year and take two years to complete – creating more than 100 jobs during construction. 

Victoria’s supply chain will directly benefit from Hanwha setting up in the Geelong region with businesses expected to generate $200 million in flow-on investment, more local jobs and export opportunities. 

According to Hanwha Defense Australia managing director Richard Cho, “The Hanwha Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence will become the home of Hanwha tracked vehicle operations in Australia and, if successful under the Land 400 phase 3 program, the home of our Redback family of vehicles for both the Australian Defence Force and global markets"

Largest defence company

Hanwha Corporation is South Korea’s largest defence company and also operates in other sectors including aerospace, fintech, mining and clean energy. Hanwha Defense Australia was established in 2019 and is headquartered in Melbourne.

In January 2021, the Victorian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanwha to formalise a long-term partnership to support the establishment of Hanwha’s defence manufacturing operations in the state. 

Hanwha is also one of the final two bidders to deliver the Commonwealth Government’s multi-billion LAND 400 Phase 3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle program. If successful, Hanwha will create more than 1,000 jobs in the Geelong region over the next 12 years and an estimated $5.7 billion for Victoria’s economy. 

The Labor Government is supporting major global firms like Hanwha to invest in Victoria and develop the state’s capabilities in defence and advanced manufacturing. Victoria is already home to world leading defence companies, including SYPAQ Systems, Moog Australia and Segula Technologies. 

The Victorian defence sector contributes $8.4 billion to the economy each year, supporting around 36,000 jobs, across the industry and Australian Defence Forces.

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