Queensland-based Frontline Manufacturing has taken one step closer to supporting the delivery of the Australian Army’s future logistics and Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles following the company’s ISO 3834 Level 3 certification.
Following the successful tendering by Rheinmetall for LAND 400 Phase 2, in mid-2018 prospective Australian suppliers were tasked with achieving European-recognised standards in order to enter the Rheinmetall global supply chain.
As part of its vision to grow metal fabrication for Defence, Frontline immediately commenced working towards this accreditation in conjunction with Weld Australia. The awarding in April of this certification is the culmination of a 12 month up-skilling and improved systems program at Frontline, which strongly positions the company to support primes sourcing from within Australia.
Matthew Ellis, the founder and general manager of Frontline, welcomed the achievement, saying, "I have enjoyed many proud moments in business over the last 20 years, but none rank higher than this. Frontline did not even perform welding until eight years ago, so to be accredited to a world-class standard is an enormous credit to the team."
Frontline is the first defence-based company in Queensland to achieve this standard. It is one aspect of a rapid transformation undertaken by the company in the last 12 months, along with the upgrading of all welding machines to pulse technology and its expansion of robotics to improve cost efficiency and repeatability, upskilling of several staff to weld supervisor level, appointment of a responsible welding co-ordinator and a senior plant manager, and the commencement of a new high-tech facility.
"By offering a turnkey solution from specialist CNC machining, laser and plasma cutting, heavy presses and precision welding, Frontline is Defence-ready, willing and able to expand our output to a European standard," Ellis added.
Project LAND 121 is a multi-phase project providing the Australian Defence Force with current-generation, high-capability field vehicles, modules and trailers.
Overall, Project LAND 121 will deliver a networked and integrated capability as a significant contribution to the modernisation of the land forces. Ongoing co-operation with a number of projects delivering command, control, communication, computing and intelligence (C4I) and force protection solutions will see the delivery of vehicles with a generational advancement on current fleet technology.
LAND 121 will deliver around 7,500 protected and unprotected vehicles providing battlefield mobility and logistics support.
The Boxer CRV was selected as the successful design for the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 program 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.