Rheinmetall confirmed it has opened its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, Australia and said the event establishes a new national sovereign military vehicle capability that enables the design, development and local manufacture of military vehicles, platforms and turrets for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and export to like-minded nations. The MILVEHCOE is an 11-hectare precinct incorporating a regional headquarters for Rheinmetall and a major manufacturing hub that will deliver vehicles into the ADF including Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) under Australia’s project Land 400 Phase 2 and high mobility logistics trucks under the Land 121 Phase 3B/5B program.
Rheinmetall Chief Executive Armin Papperger said the MILVEHCOE heralded a new era in Australian manufacturing as the company transferred technology and systems from Germany to establish a global hub for the continuous design, manufacture, export and support for military vehicles, platforms and turrets. Papperger said the MILVEHCOE’s export focus would also drive the sustainable growth of a military vehicle industry in Australia that would draw on an expanding supply network across the nation to deliver products and services from local industry into Rheinmetall’s global supply chain.
“This state of the art MILVEHCOE establishes a leading edge military vehicle capability that will build on the strong partnership between Rheinmetall and the ADF,” Papperger said. “Moreover, it will enable Australian developed technology and systems to be exported to the world and opens the way for Australian companies to deliver into our programs for current and future nations including NATO members such as Germany and Hungary,” Papperger said.
The MILVEHCOE precinct includes:
- Engineering and manufacturing for vehicles, turrets, weapons, armour, electronics and electro-optics and simulators;
- A vehicle test track and electromagnetic test chamber – used to confirm that vehicles meet the agreed performance specifications prior to delivery to the Australian Army;
- An indoor firing range – a fully-enclosed, state of the art firing range;
- A systems integration laboratory – used to integrate and optimise performance of Australian Army systems and equipment into the vehicles; and
- Facilities for engineering, training, procurement, project management, finance, legal, marketing and management.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said the MILVEHCOE would transform the company’s ability to deliver for the ADF and Rheinmetall customers globally. “This facility has dramatically advanced our business in Australia and the way we engage with the Australian Defence Force and industry,” Stewart said.
Rheinmetall is currently delivering 211 Boxer vehicles to the Australian Army under Land 400 Phase 2 and is also delivering more than 2,500 protected high mobility trucks to the Australian Army under the Land 121 Phase 3B program and building on this logistics backbone for the ADF by supplying a further 1,000 trucks to the commonwealth through the Land 121 Phase 3B/5B program. Rheinmetall has also offered the Lynx KF41 – a tracked, highly protected Infantry Fighting Vehicle – to meet the stringent military requirements of the A$15 billion Land 400 Phase 3 program. The Australian Army needs a new IFV for close combat – to close in and defeat an enemy in the most dangerous and lethal environments for Australian soldiers.
Rheinmetall also announced an export order in excess of A$150 million dollars from Australia to the Hungarian Armed Forces to supply digital Lance turrets to be designed and manufactured at the MILVEHCOE. Last month, the Hungarian government announced it had entered into a joint venture for the delivery of 218 Lynx vehicles to the Hungarian Armed Forces. The program includes the digital Lance turret to enable the crew to access sensor systems, advanced automatic tracking and targeting capabilities and weapon-integrated battle management all in one connected and enabled platform.