This article has been updated with new information from L3Harris on 31st March 2020 at 3:30pm AEDT
Australia’s Department of Defence and the defence industry will continue to deliver counter-Improvised Explosive Device kits to Afghanistan’s security forces, with 15,000 Silvershield units set to be handed over in 2020.
Silvershield is the latest evolution in vehicle-mounted systems being developed under the Redwing program, which provides protection against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices.
L3 says that the systems require no hands-on tuning or maintenance and are designed for high volume production. The company is the manufacturing partner for the program, supporting DST Group’s development of the devices. We initially field-tested Prototypes were field tested in 2017, with the first batch of 13,000 Silvershield units delivered to Afghan security forces in 2018 followed by 14,000 more units in 2019.
Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds said this capability would empower the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces to operate confidently in a high-threat environment.
“The Redwing program is one of Australia’s largest contributions to the Afghan security forces through the Afghan National Army Trust Fund,” Minister Reynolds said.
“We are extremely proud to produce life-saving force protection systems for our Afghan partners to help address the evolving threat of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.”
More than 224,000 individual and vehicle-mounted Redwing systems have been delivered to Afghan security forces since 2015 by Defence, with the systems being produced in Australia. The Silvershield units will be assembled in Brisbane at the L3 Micreo facility. The units are comprised of component parts sourced from companies across Australia, including:
- Axiom Precision Manufacturing (based in Adelaide, South Australia)
- SRX Global (Australia) (based in Melbourne, Victoria)
- ZCG Scalar (based in Lindenow, Victoria)
- LINTEK (based in Queanbeyan, New South Wales)
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said that “the success of the Redwing program is a result of the remarkable diversity of Australia’s defence industry nationwide,”