Rheinmetall Defence Australia has announced a joint venture to establish a new artillery manufacturing facility in regional Queensland as part of an agreement with NIOA and the Commonwealth government to expand the munitions manufacturing capacity in the state.
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Under an agreement between Rheinmetall Defence Australia and Brisbane-based NIOA, the two companies will form a consortium to invest in a $60 million facility in Maryborough, Queensland and create up to 100 direct, long term and highly skilled jobs in the Maryborough and Fraser Coast region.
The consortium is also seeking support from the Queensland government to finalise arrangements around the new facility. Rheinmetall and NIOA have a significant partnership across a range of munitions products and services in Australia including delivery of Rheinmetall’s Future Family of Artillery Ammunition under the LAND 17-1C2 program.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said, "The artillery manufactured at the new facility will be delivered to the Australian Army and for export to selected defence forces globally through Rheinmetall’s Global Supply Chain program."
Expanding on this, Stewart said the new facility would replace munitions imported into Australia and ensure the nation has a long-term sovereign capability to supply not only the Australian Defence Force, but also expand export opportunities to selected markets.
Commonwealth funding for the program has been allocated under the federal government’s Regional Growth Fund, which aims to support projects of greater than $20 million investment that would be transformational to a regional economy.
The federal government funding is conditional on final approval of a full business case, which includes receiving additional support from the Queensland government.
NIOA managing director Robert Nioa said the forging and manufacturing facility would ensure future munitions supplies to the ADF will be Australian-made and create Australian industry capability for current and future contracts.
"Establishing this facility in regional Queensland has been a critical part of our vision for building this sovereign capability in Australia," Nioa said.
Rheinmetall Defence is one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology, including wheeled and tracked military vehicles, weapons, ammunition, simulation solutions, command and control technology, force protection systems and sensor technologies.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia will deliver 211 Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles as part of the $5.2 billion, LAND 400 Phase 2 project. Australia's Boxer CRVs will be built in Queensland at a specialised Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Ipswich.
The German company is also presenting the Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle to the approximately $10-15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 project, which will see the recapitalisation of the Vietnam-era M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) force, with an Infantry Fighting Vehicle and APC.
NIOA is an Australian-owned company and one of the largest suppliers of munitions to the Department of Defence. The company has partnerships with many of the world’s leading munitions manufacturers, including Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (previously Orbital ATK), Vista, Day and Zimmerman, Junghans, and Nitrochemie.