Boxer Combat Vehicle: German defence technology giant Rheinmetall has completed the the delivery of first 25 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRV) to the Australian Army under the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability project, said the company.
Under the deal, Rheinmetall will deliver a total of 211 Boxer 8×8 Vehicles in different versions, 131 will be the CRV variant.
These Boxer combat vehicles will replace the Army’s Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) under LAND 400 Phase 2.
Delivery of the first 25 vehicles enables Army to continue towards Initial Operating Capability on schedule as Rheinmetall moves into the next phase of the LAND 400 Phase 2 program.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said Boxer’s levels of survivability and mobility was proving a game changer for Australia’s armoured cavalry.
“Boxer is now enabling the capabilities that allow the Army to fight, survive and win on the modern, complex battlefields of today and tomorrow,” Gary Stewart said in a statement sent to Defence Star.
Stewart said Rheinmetall was simultaneously delivering early combat vehicle capability to the Australian Defence Force while creating a sovereign industrial capability in combat vehicle design and manufacture.
“Delivery of these vehicles was only possible by taking advantage of the current production lines in Germany, and using this approach as part of technology transfer activities to ensure Australian workers and suppliers become familiar with manufacturing techniques for highly complex military vehicles,” he explained.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia has over 30 Australians currently living and working in Germany, working at Rheinmetall sites and learning from German colleagues. This is fostering close co-operation and a genuine partnership to realise the capability for the Australian Army.
“Australian engineers, project managers, welders, technicians, trainers and more are living and working with their colleagues in Germany to build a deep understanding of Rheinmetall products and, crucially, acquire the skills and certifications to transfer this expertise and intellectual property to Australia,” Steward added.
Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE)
Australia’s defence minister, Peter Dutton visited Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, to review the Boxer vehicles.
According to the company, the MILVEHCOE is the focal point of the Boxer Australian Industry Capability (AIC) program.
It is where Rheinmetall will undertake Australian design, manufacture, testing, training and support of the Boxer vehicles and training systems.
The MILVEHCOE provides a sovereign facility where Defence, industry and research organisations can innovate and collaborate on the Australian Boxer and other defence programs.
Development, production and integration work is well underway within the MILVEHCOE as plant and equipment is installed and commissioned across the main production facility, said the German defence company.
This work is a key component of knowledge transfer activities for full rate Boxer production in Australia. This is scheduled to commence in Australia after commissioning of the MILVEHCOE Boxer production line is complete.
The company said this approach to Australian Industry Capability has allowed it to accelerate involvement of Australian companies into the first 25 vehicles.
This has resulted in Rheinmetall awarding contracts to more than 20 companies to supply products and services, and ensuring that Australian SMEs are building and supplying components onto every Australian Boxer vehicle, it added.
Rheinmetall Boxer Combat Vehicle
The Boxer is a heavily protected 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle.
Its modular architecture enables a variety of variants unmatched by any other vehicle system. This multifaceted diversity underlies the Boxer’s rapid growth, Rhehmetall said.
According to the company, new variants and upgrades are already being planned.
To date, some 1,200 vehicles in more than 20 different configurations are under contract by four NATO nations – Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and the UK.
Australia, a close partner of NATO, has ordered a total of 211 Boxer vehicles in several different versions, the first of which have now been delivered.