Locally manufactured mobility systems designed for tracked infantry fighting vehicles will be delivered to customers in Europe under a newly signed export deal.
Global defence contractor Rheinmetall and Adelaide-based manufacturer Supashock have announced the signing of a European export contract, expected to support the delivery of locally-produced running gear components and technology into overseas markets.
The components, designed and manufactured by Supashock and its qualified local supply chain, can now be integrated in Rheinmetall-built tracked infantry fighting vehicles developed for customers in Europe.
This is expected to increase Supashock’s export activities from 65 per cent of total sales to 75 per cent over the next four to five years.
According to Oscar Fiorinotto, founder and CEO of Supashock, over 250 jobs through the company’s local supply chain would be supported by the deal, with 50 direct jobs supporting sovereign industrial capability priorities.
“Internally, Supashock is forecast to grow to 200+ employees by 2025 through defence, autonomous, commercial and automotive contracts,” Fiorinotto said.
“The latest export contract will also facilitate a major advanced manufacturing expansion for Supashock.
“…Working closely with Rheinmetall, we are focused on providing advanced capabilities to Rheinmetall customers around the world.”
Armin Papperger, global CEO and chairman of Rheinmetall AG, welcomed the establishment of the new export deal, noting Supashock’s contribution to Rheinmetall’s global manufacturing network.
“After great success in developing sovereign industrial capabilities together whilst having served the needs of the Armed Forces in Australia over the past four years, Rheinmetall and Supashock will now use this base as a springboard to exploit new business opportunities in Europe and around the world,” Papperger said.
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“Being part of Australia’s sovereign Defence capability makes us very proud and we are thankful for the continued support of the federal government, the government of South Australia and local authorities, without which all of this wouldn’t be possible.”
Gary Stewart, managing director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, reflected on the evolution of the partnership.
“In four short years, Rheinmetall and Supashock have evolved our partnership, with Supashock today a part of Rheinmetall’s sovereign Defence capability that supports not only the Australian Defence Force, but exports programs in Europe and North America” Stewart said.
The contract has been welcomed by government stakeholders, with senator for South Australia and Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham and South Australian Premier Steven Marshall noting the benefits for the local economy.
“Supashock’s ongoing success represents the rapidly expanding innovation and manufacturing sector that is a driver of South Australia’s vibrant defence industry,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The Morrison government is supporting defence industry businesses like Supashock to pursue opportunities in international supply chains, delivering significant benefits for the Australian economy and creating hundreds of local jobs.”
Premier Marshall added: “Supashock are a real South Australian success story, proving just how important the defence industry is to South Australia.
“They have pivoted from an industry which was winding down, to one which has a pipeline of work and local jobs for decades to come and I congratulate them for continuing to lock in major contracts and employing South Australians in the process.”
This latest contract comes just a month after Rheinmetall agreed to build and export the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle’s test chassis to the US, with components expected to be built in the company’s Queensland factory.
This is expected to provide additional design and manufacturing deliverables to the company’s Australian industry network.