The first of the fleet of new Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) for the Australian Defence Force has been unveiled at a ceremony at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane.
The ceremony was attended by Linda Reynolds, the the Minister for Defence; Melissa Price, the Minister for Defence Industry; Tony Fraser, the Deputy Secretary Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG); Lieutenant General Rick Burr AO, DSC, MVO, the Chief of the Army; Major General David Coghlan, AM, the Head of Armoured Vehicle Division; Ben Hudson, the Managing Director of Rheinmetall Global Head Vehicle Systems; and Thomas Fitschen, German Ambassador to Australia.
The 211 new Boxer 8×8 CRVs is being delivered by Rheinmetall Defence Australia under the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability program to replace the Australian Army’s Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) fleet.
The LAND 400 program will provide the Army with a fleet of modern armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) characterised by increased levels of protection, lethality and mobility. The new vehicles will be equipped with modern and highly capable sensors and communications suites which will ensure the new vehicles remain a potent weapon system over the next 30 years.
Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds said the new vehicles, with their high levels of protection, firepower and mobility, will provide a world-class capability to the Australian Army.
“These new vehicles are part of the Liberal National Government’s $200 billion investment in our defence capability to ensure the Australian Defence Force is equipped to succeed in our challenging strategic environment,” Minister Reynolds said. “They will be able to undertake a range of missions from regional stability and peacekeeping through to high-threat operations, and will provide improved safety to Australian soldiers on deployment and on exercises around the world.”
Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price welcomed the approximately 1,450 jobs across Australia that would flow from the construction of the vehicles.
“This project presents an exciting opportunity for Australian industry to play a vital role in delivering leading-edge capability and technology to Australia’s Army,” Minister Price said. “Our Government’s investment decisions in defence capability are complemented by a comprehensive defence industry policy agenda to support a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry, which will support jobs and investment across the country.”
Over the 30-year life of the vehicles, Australian industry will secure $10.2 billion of the total investment in acquiring and maintaining the fleet.
Minister Price also today announced an additional seven small businesses that have been contracted by Rheinmetall as suppliers for the first 25 Boxer vehicles.
The companies are:
+ Brisbane-based Frontline Manufacturing: supplying prototype bracketry.
+ Sydney-based Precision Metal Group Australia: supplying prototype bracketry.
+ Burnie-based Direct Edge: supplying prototype bracketry.
+ Melbourne-based MoTeC: supplying information data logging, IT connections and system support.
+ Sydney-based Axalta: supplying specialist paint and paint supply products.
+ Melbourne-based Hilton Manufacturing: supplying prototype bracketry.
+ Brisbane-based Rockpress: supplying mine blast protection plates.
This brings to a total of 12 small businesses across Australia who will contribute to the Boxer program, ensuring the delivery of these vehicles is a national enterprise.
The first 25 vehicles will be assembled in Germany and delivered to Australia as part of technology transfer activities to familiarise Australian workers and suppliers on the specific manufacturing techniques of these vehicles. The remaining vehicles will be assembled at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) facility in Redbank, near Ipswich, using companies located across Australia.