Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have confirmed that the first of the fleet of new combat reconnaissance vehicles for the Australian Defence Force has been delivered at a ceremony at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane.
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The 211 new Boxer 8x8 CRVs will be delivered by Rheinmetall Defence Australia under the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability program.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the new vehicles, with their high levels of protection, firepower and mobility, will provide a world-class capability to the Australian Army.
“These new vehicles are part of the government’s $200 billion investment in our defence capability to ensure the Australian Defence Force is equipped to succeed in our challenging strategic environment,” Minister Reynolds said
Over the 30-year life of the vehicles, Australian industry will secure $10.2 billion of the total investment in acquiring and maintaining the fleet.
“They will be able to undertake a range of missions from regional stability and peacekeeping through to high-threat operations, and will provide improved safety to Australian soldiers on deployment and on exercises around the world,” Minister Reynolds added.
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price also announced an additional seven small businesses that have been contracted by Rheinmetall as suppliers for the first 25 Boxer vehicles.
The companies include:
- Brisbane-based Frontline Manufacturing: supplying prototype bracketry.
- Sydney-based Precision Metal Group Australia: supplying prototype bracketry.
- Burnie-based Direct Edge: supplying prototype bracketry.
- Melbourne-based MoTeC: supplying information data logging, IT connections and system support.
- Sydney-based Axalta: supplying specialist paint and paint supply products.
- Melbourne-based Hilton Manufacturing: supplying prototype bracketry.
- Brisbane-based Rockpress: supplying mine blast protection plates.
“Our government’s investment decisions in defence capability are complemented by a comprehensive defence industry policy agenda to support a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry, which will support jobs and investment across the country,” Minister Price explained.
This brings to a total of 12 small businesses across Australia who will contribute to the Boxer program, ensuring the delivery of these vehicles is a national enterprise.
The $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 program will have Rheinmetall deliver 211 8x8 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles to the Australian Army.
Under the company’s offering to the Commonwealth, Rheinmetall will build a majority of the vehicles at the company’s specialised Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Queensland.
The first 25 vehicles will be built in Germany as part of the technology transfer process, with the remaining vehicles to be built in Australia. Boxer will replace the ageing ASLAV vehicles that have served with the Australian Army in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Army will accept 133 reconnaissance variants of the Boxer, which will be equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge Lance 30mm automatic cannon turret system, amongst a number of other variants.
Joint venture partner Varley Rafael will supply the Spike LR2 Anti-Tank Guided Missile system for the Boxer CRV. The Spike LR2 is a fifth-generation ATGM system, originally developed as a fire-and-forget system.
The vehicle-mounted extended-range variant has a range of 8m, while the non-line-of-sight variant can hit targets up to 25km away.
The Boxer CRV will support Australian industry, sourcing specialised armoured steel from Australian steel companies BlueScope Steel and Bisalloy, with engineering support provided by Melbourne-based Supacat Asia- Pacific