The firms have announced they will compete against Austal for the Commonwealth government’s next-generation amphibious vehicle project.
Navantia Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), collaborating to bid for the Australian Army’s LAND 8710 (Phase 1) program — an $800 million project to develop a new amphibious vehicle (AV) to replace the Army’s Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo – 5 tonne vehicle (LARC-V), and Independent Landing Craft (ILC) to replace the current Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM-8) vessels.
As part of the MOU, signed at the Land Forces Conference 2021 in Brisbane, Navantia Australia and Rheinmetall aim to combine their resources to develop a “fast, formidable and future-proof” amphibious vehicle design.
“We are excited to collaborate with Rheinmetall on the LAND 8710 Phase 1 CE2 program,” Alfonso García-Valdés, managing director of Navantia Australia, said.
“Rheinmetall’s successful track record in manufacturing specialist military vehicles for the Australian Defence Force and globally made the partnership a natural one for Navantia Australia. When we were considering partners for the LAND 8710 program, Rheinmetall was the obvious choice.
“Their land-based expertise married with our in-depth maritime experience, will bring the best of Australia’s engineers together to develop this new capability for Australia.”
Gary Stewart, managing director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, added, “We look forward to working alongside Navantia Australia to develop an amphibious logistics capability that will meet the requirements of the Australian Defence Force and has export potential.
“Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia has delivered more than 2,500 high mobility logistics vehicles to the ADF through LAND 1213B/5B and this ensures we have a world-leading vehicle to meet and exceed the requirements of LAND 8710 Phase 1 CE2.”
The firms will be competing against Austal, which also launched its bid for the program at the Land Forces exhibition.
[Related: Austal to bid for $800m LAND 8710 program]