The announcement that Rheinmetall Defence Australia will establish its LAND 400 combat reconnaissance vehicle program in Queensland also revealed it will create a Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) if it is the successful bidder.
Currently the largest supplier of military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force, Rheinmetall has committed to establishing the MILVEHCOE as a sovereign industrial capability for the continuous design, manufacture, export and support for military vehicles, turrets and tactical systems.
Rheinmetall has also said the MILVEHCOE will work to create a supply network across Australia to deliver products and services from local industry into the Rheinmetall global supply chain.
Under the LAND 121 Phase 3B program, Rheinmetall is delivering more than 2,500 logistics trucks to the Australian Army and is currently bidding for the supply of the armoured combat reconnaissance vehicle under the Commonwealth of Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2 program.
As a centre of excellence, the MILVEHCOE would be the focal point for the LAND 400 combat vehicles, LAND 121 logistics vehicles and other complex defence projects. The company said advanced manufacturing jobs would be created in a wide range of technologies including military vehicle design, medium calibre weapons and ammunition, protection systems, fire control and surveillance systems, and systems engineering and integration.
The MILVEHCOE would also include significant design, prototyping, manufacturing and system test capabilities; including a mobility test track, medium calibre firing range and an electromagnetic compatibility test chamber.
Ben Hudson, Rheinmetall Defence executive board member and global head of vehicle systems, said Queensland was chosen as the preferred location because of its access to the Australian Army and the state's workforce.
"Queensland is an outstanding location to establish the MILVEHCOE," said Hudson.
"The state offers a range of significant attributes including access to the Australian Army, industry partners, a skilled workforce and an excellent site to build a state-of-the-art facility.
"The MILVEHCOE will provide a natural hub for government, Army, industry and academia to collaborate in developing a range of new technologies and products for the Australian and global markets. This will in turn ensure the sustainability of the industry in Australia while also generating high quality local jobs and enriching the Australian economy."
Rheinmetall is competing against BAE Systems Australia for the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract, which will see the winner deliver 225 combat reconnaissance vehicles for the Australian Army.