Germany firms up deal for Australian-built Boxers

The German parliament has passed a deal to acquire more than 100 8×8 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier Vehicles built by Rheinmetall Defence Australia at its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Queensland, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 21 March.

The deal, which it calls “the single largest defence export agreement” in Australian history, follows the in-principle agreement 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 in July 2023.

The DoD statement added that the milestone event for Australia’s defence industry would be worth more than A$1 billion to the Australian economy and will generate more than 600 jobs in Queensland with more opportunities across the country via the supply chain, according to Prime Minister Albanese.

“The build and export of Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles to the German Army highlights a strengthening of the relationship between our two countries,” added Minister for Defence Richard Marles.

Earlier in March 2023, 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.

by Jr Ng