First Australian SME signs supply contract for Rheinmetall Global Supply Chain

First Australian SME signs supply contract for Rheinmetall Global Supply Chain
First Australian SME signs supply contract for Rheinmetall Global Supply Chain

Rheinmetall Defence Australia has signed the first supplier contract for an Australian company under its new Global Supply Chain agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia.

Melbourne-based company Cablex Pty Ltd will manufacture and supply electrical wiring harnesses and electrical sub-assemblies for the BOXER Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) project in Lithuania, a program driven by Rheinmetall’s global vehicle arm Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV).

The Republic of Lithuania and ARTEC - a joint venture between RMMV and KMW - signed a contract for the procurement of BOXER IFVs in August this year.

The contract comprises the delivery of 88 BOXER vehicles in four IFV versions developed for Lithuania, which will be called ‘VILKAS’ within the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The IFVs will be equipped with a remote controlled turret with a 30mm cannon and an anti-tank missile.

The electrical wiring harnesses and electrical sub-assemblies have been designed and purpose-built for the BOXER 8x8 vehicle. The vehicles are scheduled to be supplied to Lithuanian Armed Forces in 2017.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia and New Zealand managing director Andrew Fletcher said Australian innovation, technology and skills would bring a new capability to the Lithuanian Army.

“The success enjoyed by Cablex demonstrates the immediate opportunities open to Australian companies under our new Global Supply Chain agreement,” Fletcher said.

“This comes at a critical time for many Australian companies seeking new markets, particularly in the vehicle industry, and Rheinmetall’s worldwide leadership in the military vehicles sector will provide a new pathway to global markets.”

Cablex has a team of 200 employees, including highly trained electrical assemblers, and is highly regarded for its ability to develop systems for harsh environments.

Cablex founder and managing director Michael Zimmer said the company had significant experience in developing and building electrical systems for harsh environments or developing solutions where electrical noise is a critical factor.

“Cablex is excited about the engagement with RMMV and believe they can be a valuable partner supporting the delivery of harnesses and electrical assemblies for the BOXER as part of the Global Supply Chain,” Zimmer said.

The battle proven BOXER CRV is also one of two contenders for the Australian LAND 400 Phase 2 program. If selected, BOXER CRV will provide the Australian Army with a combat proven, low risk capability that can be rapidly transitioned into service and easily supported through life.

Cablex has been among SMEs who have presented to Rheinmetall Defence Australia and BAE Systems Australia as part of the Land 400 Phase 2 national roadshow facilitated by the Commonwealth over the past five weeks.

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