World converges on ‘Defence State’

By Lauren Ferrone

The latest in South Australia’s defence and military hardware is being shared on a global platform as delegates around the world converge on Adelaide for the nation’s premier land defence conference Land Forces 2016 today (Tuesday, September 6, 2016).

Land Forces 2016 reinforces South Australia’s position as the “natural home for defence land programs”, including the $50 billion LAND 400 program, which is apparently Australia’s largest armoured fighting vehicle program since World War II.

The conference follows last week’s Defence SA forum for local industry to reinforce what it takes to be involved in the defence industry and the opportunities they can tap into the future.

Land Forces 2016 will also showcase the State’s capabilities and commitment to supporting the Army’s Land Combat System, which will be happen through the development of a purpose-built defence-managed Land Integration and Innovation Centre at a new defence and industry Land Systems Precinct at Edinburgh Parks.

Watch fly over footage of the new Land Systems Precinct

As a “core pillar of the State economy”, the defence industry employs 28,500 South Australians.

Companies based in South Australia have built more military vehicles than any other state since World War II and local companies are also currently responsible for the heavy grade repair and sustainment of all of Army’s fleets of armoured fighting.

Minister for Defence Industries, Martin Hamilton-Smith, says the defence industry is a vital part of South Australia’s transition to a “high tech advanced manufacturing future”.

“South Australia is the only place in Australia which has the combination of defence training areas, defence scientists, operational Army armoured fighting vehicle units, supporting industry and supportive state government in one location,” he says.

According to Minister Hamilton Smith, the South Australian Government is working to create a long-term, sustainable armoured fighting vehicle and shipbuilding industry in South Australia, to maximise local industry involvement and support South Australian workers and create new jobs.

The biennial Land Forces 2016 conference is held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, from 6-8 September. More than 460 companies are expected to attend, including thousands of military, government, and industry decision-makers. View the full program and stay tuned for more Land Forces 2016 stories on Inside South Australia this week.