A $500m combat-ready battle pack is being developed for Australia, with the first batch set to be delivered in 2019, the ABC understands.
The $500M Battle Pack will be the first Australian military product to use the ARX-160, the same system that has been used in Afghanistan.
The ARX is a modular system that can be used in many different ways, including a vehicle.
It is also a modular warfighting system that could be adapted to suit specific operations, including aircraft, helicopters, amphibious ships and surface warships.
A small-scale testing exercise for the ARXX was held last year and it was found to be a good match for the US-made ARX, which is designed to be used with the US Navy’s MQ-9 Reaper and Marine Corps’ MQ5 Huey helicopters.
It has been developed to support the AR-15 rifle, which has been designed to fire the more powerful M16A1 rifle.
A senior defence source told the ABC the ARXL would be built by an Australian company, but did not give details.
The Defence Industry Council, which advises the Australian Government on the development of military products, said in a statement that the AR XL would be developed under its Innovative Defence Manufacturing Program.
“The ARXL is expected to deliver value for the taxpayer,” the statement said.
It said the Government had committed $500million to the program and $200million would be earmarked for a second phase to support an expansion of the ARx system to the US military.
ABC News’ Matt Murphy contributed to this report.
Topics:military-science,military-law,government-and-politics,federal-government,military,military/aerospace-industry,military—military-products,combat-prevention,combat,military–instrumentation,airforce,australiaContact Alex Wodak