The first Rheinmetall Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle was handed over to the Australian Army on September 24 at a ceremony at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane.
The vehicle – the first of 211 Boxers on order and one of about 25 that will be manufactured in Germany – was presented by Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds, Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price, and Chief of Army LTGEN Rick Burr.
“These new vehicles… 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,” Senator Reynolds said in a statement.
The vehicle was rolled out at Rheinmetall’s Kassel facility in Germany in April, and arrived in Australia in July where it received Australian-specific modifications including communications and computer equipment, its EOS remote weapons station, and the Australian Army’s paint scheme.
The handover comes just 13 months after the contract was signed between the Commonwealth and Rheinmetall for LAND 400 Phase 2 in August 2018. While the final number of vehicles to be manufactured in Australia is yet to be decided, about 186 Boxers will be built at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVECOE) facility in Redbank, near Ipswich in Queensland.
“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.
Minister Price said 19 Australian businesses had been contracted by Rheinmetall to supply components and materiel for the first 25 Australian vehicles.