Rheinnmetall Defence Australia and the Queensland government have their sights set on securing the multibillion-dollar LAND 400 Phase 2 project, hosting industry events across the states.
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For the latest event, the defence company and state government teamed up to host an event at Hilton Manufacturing, one of Rheinmetall's teaming partners for the project, in Wacol, Brisbane.
Queensland's Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said securing the project would be a "game-changer" for the state's economy.
"With Rheinmetall Defence Australia committed to establishing its manufacturing facility in Queensland if it is awarded the contract, a campaign win will be an economic and industry development game-changer, heralding the beginning of a new next-generation armoured military vehicle manufacturing industry for Queensland," Minister Dick said.
"These are 450 highly-skilled advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs that the Palaszczuk government has been working since April 2016 to attract to Queensland.
"The manufacture of a military vehicle like the Boxer, one of the most technologically advanced combat reconnaissance vehicles in the world, in addition to other future defence projects that Rheinmetall may be involved in, are catalytic projects that will completely transform the defence industry environment in Queensland."
Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said his group was excited about potentially establishing its Australian-New Zealand headquarters and Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in south-east Queensland.
"We are confident that we are offering the best solution for the Australian Army’s new generation of combat reconnaissance vehicles," Stewart said.
Minister Dick said Rheinmetall's promise to establish the MILVEHCOE in south-east Queensland would be an invaluable coup for the state.
"The MILVEHCOE will generate jobs, contribute up to $1 billion to the state’s economy in the first 10 years, and will position Queensland at the forefront of military vehicle development, manufacture and support for the next 50 years," he said.
"With over 100 of the new military vehicles expected to be based at the Townsville and Enoggera Army bases, this could also potentially create long-term support and maintenance opportunities for local industry for decades to come."
Along with others from across Australia, Rheinmetall has already announced several regional Queensland companies for its LAND 400 supply chain, including Redcat Industries from Cairns, Global Manufacturing Group from Maryborough, and G&O Kert from Acacia Ridge.
Rheinmetall is also working closely with NIOA, a Brisbane-based munitions supplier that only last week won a Department of Defence contract worth $100 million, its second such contract in as many months.
Rheinmetall’s LAND 400 Phase 2 industry partners will have the opportunity to not only supply into Rheinmetall’s Boxer vehicle for the Australian market, but to also potentially enter Rheinmetall’s global supply chain for its other military projects.
The German manufacturer is up against BAE Systems Australia for the project. BAE Systems has promised to build the vehicles in Victoria's Fishermans Bend if it wins the $5 billion project.