Rheinmetall Defence Australia has named Supacat Asia Pacific as the first major supplier for the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) LAND 400 Phase 2 acquisition program which will see Rheinmetall delivering 211 Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles for the Australian Army.
Supacat, a Melbourne-based specialist vehicles company, has signed a partnership agreement with Rheinmetall for the design and manufacture of sub-systems for the Australian fleet of Boxer armoured vehicles.
Supacat will be among a small number of Tier 1 partners on the program with a broad range of activities across engineering development, systems requirements and validation and manufacturing of sub systems. The partnership agreement will at least double Supacat’s engineering workforce, with the creation of at least 20 new engineering roles.
In March, Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia, announced the selection of Rheinmetall to provide its next generation Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs) as part of plans to modernise the Australian Army under the Land 400 Phase 2 Project.
The contract, worth AUD3.3 billion (€2.1B), for the supply 211 Boxer wheeled armoured vehicles to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was awarded to Rheinmetall in August.
The ADF will introduce several variants of the Boxer with the reconnaissance variant – accounting for 133 of the 211 vehicles – equipped with Rheinmetall’s 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. The other vehicle was Patria AMV35 offered by the BAE Systems.