Supacat has been involved with Rheinmetall on the LAND 400 program since 2015. To date the contribution has largely been on engineering, trials, prototyping and testing, but as the program has moved into the production element, Supacat has commenced design and build activities.
The first Boxer CRV is fitted with external racks designed by Supacat specifically to cater for the Australian Army’s requirements. The racks were designed by the Supacat engineering team in Port Melbourne and have been delivered from Supacat’s assembly facility in western Sydney.
Michael Halloran, managing director, Supacat, said, "It’s an exciting day for all of the members of the Rheinmetall LAND 400 team. This is just the start of a long production run, and as MILVEHCOE opens in 2020 and the full production capability evolves on Australian soil, we look forward to growing our part in the program."
In delivering these first parts, Supacat drew on the expertise developed through the delivery of its HMT programs in Australia and New Zealand in partnership with Australian SMEs under the Supacat Team Asia Pacific banner. These first deliveries exercised the skills of a number of Australian SMEs including Able Industries, Hoffmann Engineering and C.E. Bartlett.
Supacat’s involvement in the program clearly illustrates the benefits of the enduring capability developed as a result of defence industry policy.
Halloran added, "We are also very excited to be entering the RMA stage of LAND 400 Phase 3 and supporting the Rheinmetall team through that process."
Supacat is an innovative producer of high mobility military vehicles, specialist vehicles and maritime products. From its Australian offices, its primary focus is to act as a compact prime, delivering through life capabilities to its customers in specialist and niche applications with both Supacat and other OEM equipment throughout the Asia Pacific.
Supacat has an established presence in Australia, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
The $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 program will have Rheinmetall deliver 211 8x8 Boxer CRVs to the Australian Army.
Under the company's offering to the Commonwealth, Rheinmetall will build a majority of the vehicles at the company's specialised Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Queensland.
The first 25 vehicles will be built in Germany as part of the technology transfer process, with the remaining vehicles to be built in Australia. Boxer will replace the ageing ASLAV vehicles that have served with the Australian Army in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Army will accept 133 reconnaissance variants of the Boxer, which will be equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge Lance 30mm automatic cannon turret system, among a number of other variants.
Joint venture partners Varley Rafael will supply the Spike LR2 Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) system for the Boxer CRV. The Spike LR2 is a fifth-generation ATGM system, originally developed as a fire-and-forget system.
The vehicle-mounted extended-range variant has a range of eight kilometres, while the non-line-of-sight variant can hit targets up to 25 kilometres away.
The Boxer CRV will support Australian industry, sourcing specialised armoured steel from Australian steel companies BlueScope Steel and Bisalloy, with engineering support provided by Melbourne-based Supacat Asia-Pacific.