The first of two high-performance armour steel grades has passed stringent German government certification after two years of research, development and testing in a collaboration between the Bisalloy Steel Group and Rheinmetall Defence Australia.
This qualifies the steel to be manufactured for Rheinmetall’s Australian-built Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRV), for export to customers and as a source of supply for Rheinmetall in Germany.
The new type of ‘O-grade’ armour steel was developed in order to meet the protection levels required for the Boxer 8x8 CRV.
Testing of even stronger ‘Z-grade’ armour steel will soon take place in order to meet the exacting protection levels required for each Boxer 8x8 CRV and ensure the best protection for Australian soldiers to ensure they survive and win in combat.
Final phases of testing are scheduled to commence in Germany next month with final certification expected this year. Bisalloy Steel Group chief executive and managing director Greg Albert said the achievement confirmed the company’s place in the new military vehicle industry for Australia, for supply to the Australian Defence Force and among world-class producers of armour steel globally.
“Bisalloy is proud to have achieved this critical milestone after significant investment in research, development and testing of armour steel alongside our partners Bluescope Steel and Rheinmetall,” Albert said.
Bisalloy had long worked in partnership with Australian steel producers, defence scientists and manufacturers of military vessels and vehicles to produce the best armour plate products in the world.
“Our work with Rheinmetall will ensure Bisalloy’s capabilities have created the best possible protection for the Australian soldier but also significant export opportunities for Australia,” Albert added.
Bisalloy is also working closely with Rheinmetall as part of the company’s offer – the LYNX KF 41 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) – for the $10 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 program and the supply of more than 400 IFVs to the ADF.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said achieving the German government qualification validated Australian steel for the Boxer program and Bisalloy’s status as a world-class supplier of armour grade steel.
“Meeting this quality threshold ensures supply to the LAND 400 Phase 2 vehicles and qualifies Bisalloy to work globally with Rheinmetall on future projects, including LAND 400 Phase 3 and other offshore defence programs,” Stewart said.
Listed on the ASX and operating for 40 years, Bisalloy is Australia's only manufacturer of high tensile and abrasion-resistant quenched and tempered steel plate used for armour, structural, protection and wear-resistant steel applications.