A Brisbane-based metal fabrication business will supply vehicle componentry to a new infantry fighting vehicle currently vying for a multi-billion-dollar Australian Defence Force (ADF) project. Rockpress at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane’s south has already commenced fabricating components for the LYNX KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle developed by Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) as part of its offer to the Land 400 Phase 3 project. A final decision on the A$18 billion – A$27.1 billion project is expected to be announced in 2022.
Dave Osborne, general manager at Rockpress, said that participating in such an important project was validation of the company’s investment in machining technology, skills development and its production footprint. “Over the past decade in particular, Rockpress has consistently invested in state-of-the-art equipment, our production line practices and the technical skills of our people; all of which gives us the capacity to take on projects of this scale,” Osborne said, adding that while Rockpress was still working through the prototype stage of the competitive tender, he believes the business is well-placed to meet the project’s specific requirements. “Rockpress has a history of expertise in the heavy transport industry and the supply of custom vehicle components, as well as past experience working with the ADF though its supply chain affiliates.” he said.
Osborne highlighted Rockpress’ long-term associations with major trucking brands Volvo and Mack Trucks, as well as Queensland Rail as examples of similar project works. Rockpress has also been a preferred supplier to the Queensland mining sector, including the fabrication of heavy vehicle protection and safety components, which Osborne said stands it in good stead to meet the expectations of the ADF brief.
Rheinmetall is delivering three LYNX vehicles to compete in RMA trials conducted in Australia from November 2020. The extensive testing regime, considered world leading, will put vehicles through a range of trials including lethality, mobility and blast tests. If successful, the LYNX fleet will be manufactured in Queensland at Rheinmetall’s new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Redbank south west of Brisbane. The signing of the Hungarian Armed Forces as the first LYNX customer also means Australian SMEs will see future potential export opportunities for Australia.