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Elbit Australia to reorganise after BMS disappointment

Elbit Systems of Australia (ELSA) is reorganising to better position the company to meet the challenges and opportunities of future programs within the Australian defence industry sector.

The company’s CEO, MAJGEN (ret’d) Paul McLachlan, said that after more than a decade of intense activity supporting the ADF with advanced technological solutions, the current program of work is concluding.

EX2 understands that the company is awaiting second pass decisions on some projects and is shortlisted for others, but a spokesman said, “As a consequence of the changes to the business, an organisational review has also commenced and may result in a number of redundancies.”

“The Land 200 Tranche 2 program has been the principal driver for the structure and capabilities within Elbit Systems of Australia, which will be adjusting its workforce to optimise delivery of existing projects and focus more clearly on our breadth of capabilities that will support its future upcoming business and significant opportunities in the Australian market,” Mr McLachlan said.  “Over the past three years ELSA has conducted a comprehensive transformation into a truly Australian subsidiary of a global prime defence company. This transformation has significantly strengthened the governance, engineering, IT infrastructure and security within the company.

“This transformation has been acknowledged by the Commonwealth, which we believe positions us well to continue to support the ADF with some of the most advanced Australianised technology available.”

Last year, after working with the Australian Army for more than a decade, ELSA was notified that the Australian Army had suspended the use of the in-service Battle Management System. An interim solution, provided by Danish company Systematic, has been put into service but EX2 understands this is not delivering the functionality sought by the Australian Army.

ELSA and the Commonwealth remain in contract until March 2023 to sustain the BMS it has delivered, along with associated capabilities, and train soldiers in its employment. And the spokesman said ELSA will retain its core capabilities as a sovereign Australian defence company to continue to support its existing and future defence business, including C2 software network development supporting international programs.

“ELSA also has a number of contracts that it is under final tender evaluation for, including our contribution to Land 400 Phase 3, shortlisting for L125-4 Individual Soldier Systems and a small UAV contract,” the spokesman added. In addition, ELSA continues to maintain about 5000 of the Australian Army’s small arms thermal weapon sights, XACT TH65.

ELSA remains committed to adding value to national resilience through the transparent transfer of technology directly into an Australian engineering workforce, the company said in a statement. “We also continue our partnership with the Victorian State Government through our Centre of Excellence for Innovation to conduct cutting-edge research and development, teaming with local universities and SMEs,” said McLachlan. “Furthermore, ELSA is taking part in the wider global R&D activities of Elbit for the international market.”

“The restructuring of Elbit Systems of Australia will positively position the company for a bright and sustainable future by broadening the skill set and application of the engineering workforce and to provide better access to the company’s growing portfolio of capability solutions,” Mr McLachlan said. “Elbit Systems Ltd continues to see Australia as an important market and we look forward to our future partnership to provide cutting-edge capability to the ADF through our enduring Australian workforce.”

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