While Victoria’s state government mourns the loss of the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 contract, the real winners of the project extend far beyond Rheinmetall and Queensland, with 69 per cent of the total project cost slated to go towards Australian industry content.
Over 40 Australian companies will take part in the project that will see the Australian Army acquire up to 225 Rheinmetall Boxer CRVs. The vehicles will be built in Brisbane and will replace the ageing Australian Light Armoured Vehicle fleet.
The project is tipped to create 1,450 jobs across the country, with 330 to be created in Queensland, 170 in Victoria and 140 in NSW during the project's acquisition phase.
Of the $5.2 billion contract, $2.8 billion will go into the acquisition phase, $1.8 billion of which will be spent in Queensland and $635 million in Victoria.
Queensland companies make up the bulk of companies chosen to participate in the project, with 13 companies from the sunshine state chosen to contribute. Victoria follows closely behind with 12 companies, including AME, Cablex, Supacat and Tectonica.
Chief executive of Supacat Group Nick Ames said its partnership with Rheinmetall on the LAND 400 Phase 2 project will extend well beyond the Australian project.
"We are delighted that the involvement between Supacat and Rheinmetall will continue through the LAND 400 program," Ames said.
"This complements our interactions with Rheinmetall on a number of European projects."
NSW's defence industry will also receive a large chunk of the pie, with $90 million set to be spent across the eight NSW companies included in the project.
NSW Defence Advocate Air Marshal (retired) John Harvey AM congratulated Rheinmetall and the NSW companies set to contribute to the project.
"NSW companies have played an essential role supporting the Army’s combat vehicle fleet in the past and today’s decision to select Rheinmetall to build the next generation Army vehicles will ensure this continues as part of the national effort," Harvey said.
Among the main winners from NSW, Rheinmetall has signed teaming agreements with Port Kembla-based BlueScope Steel to potentially supply thousands of tonnes of feedstock and with Unanderra-based specialist steel finishing company Bisalloy to manufacture armour plates for its Boxer CRV vehicles.
"Bisalloy’s armour steel has been used in a range of Navy and Army projects in Australia and internationally – including our Collins Class submarines, the Army’s Hawkei and Bushmaster vehicles as well as mine resistant vehicles for the US Army – winning acclaim for its strength, toughness and versatility," Harvey said.
"A number of other NSW-based companies have signed teaming agreements with Rheinmetall – including Land Air Sea Space of Brookvale, Milspec Manufacturing of Albury, and Rojone of Ingleburn – which could lead to further project work and support up to 140 jobs across the state."
The Boxer CRVs will undertake a range of missions, from regional stability and peacekeeping through to high-threat operations. Over the 30-year life of the vehicles, Australian industry will secure two-thirds, or $10.2 billion, of the total investment in acquiring and maintaining the fleet, the government said.
The full list of Australian companies confirmed to contribute to the LAND 400 Phase 2 project:
Able Industries (VIC)
AW Bell (VIC)
Century Engineering (SA)
Curtiss Wright (NSW)
Direct Edge (TAS)
Elbit Systems (QLD)
Ferra Engineering (QLD)
Frontline Manufacturing (QLD)
G&O Kert (QLD)
GCI Group (QLD)
Global Manufacturing Group (QLD)
Hofmann Engineering (WA)
Kiddie Deugra (VIC)
Land Air Sea Space (NSW)
Nupress Manufacturing (NSW)
Precision metal Group (NSW)