Rheinmetall has completed the delivery of the first batch of 25 Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs) on order for the Australian Army under the Australian Department of Defence’s (DoD’s) A$5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability programme.
The company said on 2 June that the initial 25 Boxer CRVs, produced in Germany to meet the army’s requirement for familiarisation and training as the service pursues initial operating capability (IOC) for the vehicle.
The remaining 186 vehicles – which includes a variety of variants including ambulance, battlefield repair and recovery, combat reconnaissance, command-and-control, and joint fires – will be locally manufactured in Australia at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s (RDA’s) Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Ipswich, Brisbane, from 2022. According to RDA, 131 out of 211 total vehicles will be the CRV variant.
The MILVEHCOE is the centrepiece of Rheinmetall’s Boxer Australian Industry Capability (AIC) programme where it will carry out local design, manufacture, testing, training and support of the Boxer vehicles and training systems. The facility will also enable the DoD and defence research organisations to develop new capabilities for the vehicle and support other future defence projects.
RDA noted that development, production and integration work is in process within the MILVEHCOE’s main production facility in anticipation of full-rate production.
“Australian engineers, project managers, welders, technicians, trainers and more are living and working with their colleagues in Germany to build a deep understanding of Rheinmetall products and, crucially, acquire the skills and certifications to transfer this expertise and intellectual property to Australia,” said RDA Managing Director Gary Stewart, noting that the company is also engaging the country’s technical and tertiary education institutions to boost the pipeline for skilled labour.
The company also revealed that around 1,200 Boxer vehicles in more than 20 different configurations are under contract by four NATO countries: Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
by Jr Ng