Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Defense contractor NIOA and the Australian Government's Defense Department reached a deal worth more than $100 million for 155mm Lightweight Towed Howitzer ammunition.
"NIOA's partnership with Rheinmetall Defense, their subsidiaries and Junghans Microtec, demonstrates the innovative approaches embraced by Australian companies to ensure our military is equipped with the best capabilities in the world," said Australian Minister of Defense Industry Christopher Pyne in a press statement.
"This ammunition will replace an aging ammunition stock, providing increased range and lethality, as well as a greater range of effects such as infrared illumination to enhance the army's advanced night fighting capability."
In addition to providing Howitzer ammunition that has a maximum range of between 14 miles and 26 miles, depending on the type of round, NIOA is exploring additional opportunities for domestic manufacturing of other types of 155mm ammunition, according to a press statement.
"This is an exciting new market for Australian defense industry and we hope after successful qualification of the ammunition, industry can start making the training rounds locally," said Pyne.
Last November, NIOA won a separate contract worth $95 million to supply more than 30 different munition variants over the next five years to the Australian army.