Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank in Queensland has been officially opened by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The 11 hectare greenfields facility was built to manufacture 189 Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRV) for the Australian Army under Project LAND 400 Phase 2 and to assemble trucks for LAND 121 Phase 3B/5B, and will also be the manufacturing site for the Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) if Rheinmetall is successful for LAND 400 Phase 3.
The facility will also manufacture Rheinmetall Lance turrets for other Lynx and Boxer customers, with the first such export announcement being a $150 million contract for 127 turrets for Lynx KF41s for Hungary.
“This Queensland centre will be where some of the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world will be produced, by Australian workers,” the Prime Minister said in a statement. “The MILVEHCOE will create more than 450 long-term jobs and become a national asset for military vehicles.”
In a company release, Rheinmetall AG Chief Executive Armin Papperger said, “This state of the art MILVEHCOE establishes a leading edge military vehicle capability that will build on the strong partnership between Rheinmetall and the ADF.
“Moreover, it will enable Australian developed technology and systems to be exported to the world and opens the way for Australian companies to deliver into our programs for current and future nations including NATO members such as Germany and Hungary.”
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart added, “This facility has dramatically advanced our business in Australia and the way we engage with the ADF and industry. Once fully operational, it will enable the manufacture and sustainment of the Australian Army vehicle fleet of Boxer vehicles and provide a sovereign facility where Defence, industry and research organisations can innovate and collaborate on the Australian Boxer and other defence programs.”
Apart from the vehicle and turret manufacturing, the MILVEHCOE facility will also conduct vehicle sustainment, and engineering and manufacturing for weapons, armour, electronics and electro-optics, and simulators.
The facility also includes a vehicle test track and electromagnetic test chamber, an indoor firing range, a systems integration laboratory, and administration spaces for engineering, training, procurement, project management, finance, legal, marketing, and management.