Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Australia's defense ministry has contracted BAE Systems Australia and Sea Box International to competitively develop prototype ammunition load carriers.
Under the agreement with Australia's government, each company will design and engineer prototype Unit Load Carriers. Australia's defense minister says the competitive award is critical for building innovation within the country's security industry.
"This is a wonderful example of the defense innovation system leveraging world class Australian industry research and development to produce a 155mm ammunition Unit Load Carrier that improves the efficiency of the supply chain and ultimately the safety of Australian soldiers," Australia's Defense Minister Christopher Pyne said in a press release.
The project aims to improve operational use and handling of 155mm artillery ammunition used by ground troops. The country's defense leaders will use the development outcomes to make future procurement decisions.
"We as a government are focused on innovation because, in the defense context, that is how we are going to get our war-fighting advantages," Pyne added.
The contracts awarded to BAE Systems and Sea Box International have a combined value of $2.87 million. Australia's Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation program is funding the project.