The Australia government has agreed to a major defence export deal with Germany and signed an in-principle agreement for Australia to supply more than 100 Boxer 8×8 Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 10 July.
The agreement was signed by Ambassador to Germany Philip Green and German Federal Ministry of Defence State Secretary Benedikt Zimmer and witnessed by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during his visit to Berlin.
Once finalised, the deal would see Rheinmetall Defence Australia leverage its Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) production line at its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Queensland to supply the vehicles to Germany.
According to the DoD, the deal represents one of Australia’s largest ever defence export contracts, worth over A$1 billion to the Australian economy in the production and supply of vehicles, supporting approximately 1,000 local Australian jobs and providing a significant boost to our sovereign defence industry.
“We are excited that Boxers made in Brisbane, using Australian suppliers, will be used by the German Army,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy.
“This export opportunity highlights the world-leading skills and capabilities within Australia’s defence industry,” added Conroy. “This deal will support hundreds of well-paid, high skill jobs and grow the defence relationship between Australia and Germany.”
Earlier in March, the Queensland government and Rheinmetall Defence Australia announced that full-scale local production of the second batch of Boxer CRVs at the MILVEHCOE can commence following the transfer of technology and skills to the local workforce.
The Australian Army earlier announced in October 2022 that the first batch of 25 Boxer CRVs, partially manufactured in Germany but assembled in Australia, had achieved initial operating capability following testing and live exercises.
The DoD contracted Rheinmetall Defence Australia to deliver and support 211 Boxer CRVs for the Australian Army under the Land 400 Phase 2 project. The Boxer CRV will replace the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle, which has seen extensive operational service since its introduction in 1996.
Australia and Germany are also in negotiations to produce and export tracked Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles for the German Army, depending on the success of the platform in Land 400 Phase 3.
by Jr Ng