Minister Pyne was accompanied around the test track and factory by chief finance officer of Rheinmetall vehicle systems division Michael Wittlinger.
“I welcome Rheinmetall’s investment in Australian industry as the first 64 trucks were accepted on schedule in November this year as part of LAND121 Phase 3B,” Minister Pyne said.
LAND121 Phase 3B will acquire 2,707 medium and heavy vehicles along with 3,858 modules and 1,704 trailers.
“Rheinmetall MAN has been focused on creating sustainable links with Australian Defence industry partners, increasing input from Australia,” Minister Pyne said.
“Over the past three years the original Rheinmetall MAN workforce in Melbourne has grown from 15 to more than 125 staff.”
After Phase 3B, the focus shifts to Phase 5B in 2018. This will see more vehicles, modules and trailers brought into service.
“With the first vehicle deliveries to reach more than 2,530 by 2019, I expect LAND121 Phase 5B to maximise Australian industry content,” Minister Pyne said
Rheinmetall currently supply the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with specialised military trucks and are also one of two companies down selected for the Army’s LAND400 Phase 2 contract. The winner will be chosen to deliver Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles to replace the ageing ASLAV fleet.