Rheinmetall has been awarded an AUD3.3 billion (€2.1B) order to supply 211 Boxer wheeled armoured vehicles to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The contract was signed at Parliament House in Canberra on Aug. 17 by the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull and the Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia Gary Stewart. Delivery of the advanced 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) will take place between 2019 and 2026.
The selection of the Boxer CRV ensures Rheinmetall will play a key role in the comprehensive modernisation of the Australia’s armed forces. Mr Turnbull first announced his government’s intention to order the fleet of Boxer vehicles in March 2018.
Rheinmetall AG Chief Executive Armin Papperger said it was a great honour for the company to be chosen as a partner by the Australian Government at such an important time for the ADF.
“This demonstrates, in no uncertain terms, the continued successful cooperation between Rheinmetall and the Government and Armed Forces of Australia,” Mr Papperger said. “As a company, we are extremely pleased to have secured one of the biggest orders in the recent history of Rheinmetall.”
The Boxer vehicle is already in service with, or being procured by, the armed forces of Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania. The ADF will introduce several variants of the Boxer with the reconnaissance variant – accounting for 133 of the 211 vehicles – equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge Lance turret system and armed with a 30mm automatic cannon.
The Boxer CRV was selected after rigorous trials conducted by the ADF. Under Australia’s LAND 400 Phase 2 selection process, the Boxer CRV was chosen in 2016 as one of two candidates for Risk Mitigation Activity trials where the 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle performed convincingly in the categories of survivability, mobility, firepower, and command & control.
Rheinmetall is co-operating closely with Australian defence industry, having established a strong, highly effective team in the country. A significant share of the industrial value added during production of the Boxer will take place in country. More than 40 Australian companies will be included in the programme.
Head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division Ben Hudson said the Boxer CRV is the most capable, survivable and adaptable field-armoured fighting vehicle available today.
“The Boxer CRV is highly protected against both asymmetric threats that have been faced by Australian soldiers in recent operations, while also being highly protected against conventional battlefield threats that our soldiers may face one day in a conventional war-fighting scenario,” Mr Hudson said.
“We look forward to building on our successful Land 121 program and extending the trustful partnership we have with the Australian Government and our Australian suppliers and partners into Land 400 to deliver an outstanding combat vehicle to the Australian Army.”
Mr Stewart said production of the Boxer vehicles would take place in a dedicated new facility in Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Government.
“This will allow us to establish as sovereign military vehicle industry in Australia that will underpin the enduring partnership with the Government to design, manufacture, deliver, support and modernise this world-leading capability,” Mr Stewart said.