Rheinmetall Defence Australia today handed over the first Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle to the Australian Army in a ceremony at Gallipoli Barracks in Enoggera.
Minister for State Development and Manufacturing, Cameron Dick said this was a significant day in the historic LAND 400 Phase 2 project that was secured by Rheinmetall with the full backing of the Queensland Government.
“Queensland won big when Rheinmetall elected to establish its Australia-New Zealand Headquarters and Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) here in South East Queensland.
“Winning the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project was an incredibly hard-fought battle but as we all know, Rheinmetall was the victor with its Boxer vehicle being the Commonwealth’s clear choice for our servicemen and women.
“A project of this calibre coming to Queensland was a watershed moment for our state’s defence industry with up to 450 jobs expected to be created for Queenslanders at the MILVEHCOE and many more through the local supply chain, pumping more than $1 billion into the economy over the life of the project.
“Queensland is really gearing-up in the land defence stakes with the largest Australian Army base in the country in Townsville, and the industry capability supporting its needs.
“While Rheinmetall is getting on with the job of delivering military vehicles to the Australian Army, the Queensland Government is using its infrastructure delivery expertise to oversee the fast-tracking of the MILVEHCOE’s construction on Rheinmetall’s behalf,” Mr Dick said.
Although the first 25 Boxer vehicles are being built in Germany to provide Army with an earlier capability and to facilitate the technology and skills transfer to Rheinmetall’s Australian workforce, the vehicles are being assembled and all systems integration is being completed in Brisbane.
Mr Gary Stewart, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia said its Brisbane-based workforce is rapidly expanding and expected to reach up to 200 staff by the end of the year.
“Rheinmetall is proud to be partnered with the Queensland Government and is eagerly anticipating fitting out and moving into the MILVEHCOE which is expected to be completed by mid-next year.
“Rheinmetall is committed to growing an Australian sovereign military vehicle capability and to have that centred in the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility in the country will make it a real asset of national significance,” Mr Stewart said.
Production of the remaining 186 Boxer vehicles and 12 modules will commence at the MILVEHCOE in early 2021.
Last week Rheinmetall Defence Australia was shortlisted for the $10-$15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 tender, progressing through to the next round of evaluation.
Should Rheinmetall be successful in its bid for Phase 3, up to 400 infantry fighting vehicles will also be manufactured at the MILVEHCOE in Ipswich.
Mr Dick said he commends Rheinmetall and its workers on today’s delivery of the first Boxer for Australian forces – a vehicle that is one of the most advanced vehicles of its type in the world.
“Rheinmetall’s success confirms Queensland’s status as Australia’s home of land defence and its next-generation industry supplier.
“The future of Queensland manufacturing is strong, it’s advanced, and it’s creating the high-skilled, high-knowledge jobs of the future,” Mr Dick said.
Image Credit: www.rheinmetall-defence.com