South Australia’s Supashock has launched its new innovative Automated Load Handling System (ALHS 17) at the Eurosatory defence trade show in Paris.
The new system, designed and built in Australia, is designed to significantly improve efficiency and safety for the automated loading and unloading of containers, module and flat racks onto military trucks.
The cutting-edge system was designed for Germany's Rheinmetall MAN military logistic vehicle HX77 8X8 and its future derivative, which is being delivered for the German Army. Supashock last year become a part of the Rheinmetall global corporate network, with Rheinmetall holding a 49 per cent stake in the South Australian company.
Supashock is considered to be one of the top contenders to take out a contract for the fit out of over 1,000 German Army vehicles.
Oscar Fiorinotto, managing director of Supashock, said the system will go a long way in simplifying how the military distributes its supplies.
"The Supashock team is proud to have developed a revolutionary load handling system in partnership with Rheinmetall that will simplify the distribution of military supplies in demanding battlefield environments while keeping soldiers safe within the protection provided by the integrated armoured cab of the HX 8x8 truck," Fiorinotto said.
Supashock estimates that work on the design, prototype, validation, manufacturing and qualification of the system will create a significant number of high end advanced manufacturing jobs in Adelaide.
The ALHS17 has several integral mechanical degrees of freedom that combine with a computer-assisted user interface, making the task of loading and unloading a container easy in all conditions. The cycle time of loading and unloading ISO containers or modules with the ALHS 17 is also considerably faster than current in-service load handling systems.
Michael Wittlinger, head of Rheinmetall’s logistic vehicle business unit, said the South Australian company's approach to innovation has transformed the playing field for integrated load handling systems.
"Supashock has truly revolutionised the concept of integrated load handling systems for military applications,” Wittlinger said.
"The ALHS 17 introduces a genuine ‘lift and go’ capability that significantly reduces the time spent by military personnel in a hostile environment, thus increasing overall safety and survivability.
"Rheinmetall MAN’s vast experience with large in-service fleets and demanding international customers has resulted in an unique product tailored to the specific requirements of modern armies, further boosting the overall capability of Rheinmetall’s HX series of military trucks."
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne launched the ALHS 17 at Eurosatory, one of the world's largest international security and defence exhibitions, who said the partnership between Supashock and Rheinmetall is crucial in strengthening Australia's defence export success.
"Supashock’s Automated Load Handling System design will enable it to be operated on a range of terrains and by a single soldier from the protection of the cab," the minister said.
"Supashock is a great example of an innovative Australian business transferring its knowledge and skills to take advantage of opportunities available in the defence industry and becoming an advanced manufacturing exporter."