Australia’s ambassador to Germany Lynette Wood, senior Australian military officials and representatives from Rheinmetall attended an official inspection ceremony of the first Boxer Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) in Germany.
The first Boxer MPV, being delivered to the Australian government under the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 program, was inspected prior to being shipped to Australia in the coming weeks.
The Boxer vehicles will enable Army to locate, monitor and engage with enemy forces and ensure Australian soldiers are protected in combat, Australia's Boxer vehicles will fill seven different roles on the battlefield, including:
- Reconnaissance and surveillance;
- Command and control;
- Joint fires;
- Multipurpose; and
- Battlefield repair.
The reconnaissance variant accounting for 133 of the 211 vehicles to be delivered to the Australian Army, with the reconnaissance variant to be equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge Lance turret system and armed with a 30mm automatic cannon.
Gary Stewart, managing director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, said, "These first Boxer vehicles will enable the Australian Army to develop training programs for soldiers who will operate the vehicles out of bases in Townsville, Adelaide and Brisbane."
The vast majority of Australia's Boxer CRV fleet will be built at Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE), located in Ipswich on the outskirts of Brisbane. Rheinmetall's MILVEHCOE facility will include:
- Manufacturing and administration buildings;
- A corporate function centre;
- A vehicle compliance testing track;
- An electromagnetic compatibility chamber;
- A fully-enclosed weapons test firing tunnel; and
- Car parking for employees and visitors, vehicle storage, refuelling and wash-down bays, water storage tanks, waste and recycling facilities.
Armin Papperger, corporate CEO Rheinmetall AG, said, "Work on these first vehicles in Germany will help Rheinmetall transition the know-how necessary to establish a sovereign military vehicle industry in Australia and enable the local manufacture of combat vehicles."
The workforce that will deliver the Boxer vehicles will continue to be used to support sustainment, progressive development and upgrades, as well as potential export opportunities.
"This, in turn, will underpin the enduring partnership with the government to design, manufacture, deliver, support and modernise this world-leading capability," Papperger added."
Once in Australia, these first Boxer vehicles will receive a number of Australia specific modifications prior to final delivery to the Army, modifications include installation of Australian Army-specific communications and computing equipment, a remote weapon station and Australian Army paint.
The Boxer CRV was selected after rigorous trials conducted by the ADF. The Boxer CRV was chosen in 2016 as one of two candidates for risk mitigation activity trials, where the 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicle performed convincingly in the categories of survivability, mobility, firepower, and command and control.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia is also presenting the Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle to the $10-15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 project, which will see the recapitalisation of the Vietnam-era M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier force with an IFV and APC.