Rheinmetall officially kicks off local manufacture for Aussie Boxers
March 20, 2023
Photo: Defence Connect
Rheinmetall Defence Australia has officially “struck the arc” in the first weld of materials for the first Australian Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle entering production at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Ipswich, Queensland.
This milestone vehicle will be the first to enter the production line together with initial vehicles from Germany currently being assembled at the site in south-east Queensland and marks a major evolution in the history of the local Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) program.
Joining Rheinmetall’s 660-strong Queensland workforce was Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Dr Steven Miles, and the company’s Australian industry partners including Bisalloy, Marand, and Intellidesign to celebrate the start of production realising Rheinmetall’s goal to support Australia’s Defence Force and its allies with an industrial base in the region.
Recognising the milestone, Nathan Poyner, managing director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, commented, “Rheinmetall has delivered a first batch of 25 Boxer CRVs to Australia. These initial Boxers were built in Germany, and finalised at MILVEHCOE, joining the more than 2,900 HX Trucks that were finalised and are today sustained from the facility.
“This striking of the arc event represents the first of 186 Boxer CRVs that will be built at MILVEHCOE, providing jobs, training, and new opportunities for Australians working at Rheinmetall and in the more than 200 Australian industry partners across the nation.
“Rheinmetall has taken a long-term partnership approach to working in Australia, and we’re proud to be the largest provider of military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force. We have an operational facility, the staff in place, our partnerships in place, and as part of the capability to build a complete modern armoured vehicle, we have established real sovereign capabilities including armour production and electronics manufacturing for the Australian Defence Force; all of which happens right here in Queensland,” said Poyner.
Premier Palaszczuk expanded on the comments made by Poyner, saying, “This is a very proud day for Queensland’s defence manufacturing capabilities, as our association with Rheinmetall on the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project delivers locally built Boxer CRVs.
“Through the delivery of LAND 400 Phase 2 and its other projects, our partnership has already created 600 jobs at the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence, which will be contributing more than $1 billion to the Queensland’s economy in its first 10 years of operation.
“Our partnership’s continuing success provides long-term certainty to the current workforce, and greater opportunities through the entire supply chain which impacts many SMEs right across Queensland,” said Premier Palaszczuk.
The Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle is an advanced, armoured 8×8 vehicle in service with nations including Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The Boxer offers enhanced safety, security, and protection of Australian troops with high levels of protection, firepower, and mobility for sustained operations across peacekeeping and close combat activities.
The $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 program will have Rheinmetall deliver 211 8×8 Boxer CRVs to the Australian Army. Under the company’s offering to the Commonwealth, Rheinmetall will build a majority of the vehicles at the company’s specialised Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Queensland.
The first 25 vehicles will be built in Germany as part of the technology transfer process, with the remaining vehicles to be built in Australia. Boxer will replace the ageing ASLAV vehicles that have served with the Australian Army in East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The Army will accept 133 reconnaissance variants of the Boxer, which will be equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge Lance 30mm automatic cannon turret system, among a number of other variants.