Friday, April 19, 2024

Queensland rolls out first locally made specialist combat vehicles

Full-scale production has begun on the first locally made Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs) to be wholly built at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Ipswich.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk; Deputy Premier, Steven Miles and Member for Bundamba, Lance McCallum visited the advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility this week to mark start of production.

“This is a very proud day for Queensland’s defence manufacturing capabilities, as our association with Rheinmetall on the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project delivers locally built Boxer CRVs,” the Premier said.

“That means local, specialised jobs for Queenslanders.

“Through the delivery of LAND 400 Phase 2 and its other projects, our partnership has already created 600 jobs at the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence, which will be contributing more than $1 billion to the Queensland’s economy in its first 10 years of operation.

“The facility is now the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility in Australia,” she said.

Rheinmetall, with the support of the Queensland Government, secured the LAND 400 Phase 2 project to deliver 211 Boxer CRVs to the Australian Defence Force.

In mid-October 2022, the Australian Army announced that the first 25 Boxer CRVs, partially manufactured in Germany, had achieved Initial Operating Capability following extensive testing and live exercises.

With the technology and skills transfer to Rheinmetall’s Australian workforce now complete, full-scale local production of the Boxer CRV at the MILVEHCOE can now commence.

The MILVEHCOE has already created 600 jobs for Queenslanders at the facility with more through the local supply chain, and the facility will contribute more than $1 billion to Queensland’s economy over the life of the project.

“The delivery of LAND 400 Phase 2 and Rheinmetall’s other projects firmly positions Queensland as Australia’s home of land defence industrial capability and enhances our existing ecosystem of high-tech expertise that is supporting some of the world’s leading-edge military platforms,” said Deputy Premier Miles.

“The Queensland Government, through Defence Jobs Queensland, is working closely with Rheinmetall and Queensland companies to improve industry capability and to maximise local supply chain opportunities.”

Australia and Germany recently announced talks are underway to manufacture and export the Queensland-made Boxer CRVs for the Germany Army.

This potential export opportunity demonstrates the world-class capabilities of Australia’s defence industry and will likely result in increased employment and a longer production skyline for Boxer CRVs at the MILVEHCOE. 

Additionally, Rheinmetall has been shortlisted for the multi-billion-dollar LAND 400 Phase 3 project, and should it be successful, will deliver hundreds of Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles from the MILVEHCOE.

“Rheinmetall has taken a long-term partnership approach to working in Australia, and we’re proud to be the largest provider of Military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force,” said Managing Director for Rheinmetall Defence Australia, Nathan Poyner.

“We have an operational facility, the staff in place and we have established real sovereign capabilities including armour production and electronics manufacturing for the Australian Defence Force; all of which happens right here in Queensland.” 

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