Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced a $15 million contract with Thomas Global to support the delivery of the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles as part of the LAND 400 Phase 2 program.
Under the $15 million contract, Thomas Global will design and manufacture 13 containerised Immersive Tactical Trainer (ITT) sets and six classroom ITT sets. The ITT will assist operators in learning the operation of the Boxer CRV and its role in the Land Combat Vehicle System fleet.
Minister Price announced the signing at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) tradeshow in London.
She said the deal would generate 20 more jobs for western Sydney and demonstrated how local businesses were benefiting from major defence contracts.
"Thomas Global was selected by Rheinmetall to deliver the CRV Immersive Tactical Trainer system, a critical element of the overall LAND 400 Phase 2 Mission System," Minister Price said.
"I’ve tasked the major Defence players with ensuring they maximise local industry content in these large Defence contracts and I’m pleased to see they are delivering on their commitments."
Minister Price added, "While Rheinmetall is building the Boxer CRV in south-east Queensland, small businesses right across Australia are taking up opportunities in the supply chain – creating hundreds of local jobs and strengthening our defence industry."
The $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 program will have Rheinmetall deliver 211 8x8 Boxer CRV 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 (MILVEHCOE) 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. Joint venture partners Varley Rafael will supply the Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system for the Boxer CRV.
The Spike LR2 is a fifth-generation ATGM system, originally developed as a fire-and-forget system.
The vehicle-mounted extended-range variant has a range of eight metres, while the non-line-of-sight variant can hit targets up to 25 kilometres away. The Boxer CRV will support Australian industry, sourcing specialised armoured steel from Australian steel companies BlueScope Steel and Bisalloy, with engineering support provided by Melbourne-based Supacat Asia-Pacific.