Australia signs record military export contract with Germany for Boxer vehicles

Image credit: Rheinmetall Defence Australia,

Australia has sealed a manufacturing deal for 123 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles, with over 100 slated for export to the German Army, marking the country’s largest foreign military export to Germany to date.

Rheinmetall, a defence contractor, has confirmed the contract with the German authorities, totaling €2.7 billion (AUD 4.5 billion), which includes maintenance and repair services following commissioning in March 2024.

The production contract for these vehicles has now been awarded in Australia, the company said in a news release.

Nathan Poyner, managing director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, emphasised the significance of this order, stating that it marks Australia’s largest foreign military export to Germany.

“Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2025, with the first Australian-built vehicle expected to be delivered in 2026,” Poyner affirmed.

The Heavy Weapon Carrier, also known as the “Schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie” vehicle, is based on the Australian Army’s Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), a highly advanced, armoured 8×8 vehicle utilised by armies worldwide.

Equipped with the reconnaissance mission module, including the innovative two-person digital Lance turret, the CRV offers superior troop safety, security, and firepower, catering to a spectrum of operations from peacekeeping to high-intensity combat.

The German Boxer vehicles will be produced at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Redbank, South East Queensland, where over 650 skilled workers contribute to vehicle production, armour manufacturing, and electronics assembly for both domestic and international clients.

This contract underscores Rheinmetall’s commitment to bolstering Australia’s defence industry capability, fostering local value creation, and integrating Australian companies into its global supply chain.

Armin Papperger, chairman of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall AG, expressed appreciation for being selected to supply the Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles, emphasising the collaboration between Australian and German partners to enhance global security.

“We are integrating the expertise and capabilities of our Australian MILVEHCOE colleagues from our global Rheinmetall network to provide the German Army with the required combat vehicles as quickly as possible. This further deepens defence ties between Australia and Germany and enhances a sustained sovereign defence capability in Australia,” Papperger noted.

In addition to the Boxer vehicles ordered under Australia’s LAND 400 Phase 2 project, Rheinmetall serves various defence needs, including servicing the Australian Army’s HX truck fleet.

The firm provides advanced systems to the Royal Australian Navy, manages defence training systems, and delivers military vehicles to international clients like the New Zealand Defence Force.