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Rheinmetall unveils new factory in Queensland

Rheinmetall has opened its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially opened the MILVEHCOE at a ceremony attended by a delegation of Federal MPs and Senators from across Queensland, representatives from Defence and Australian Defence industry.

The MILVEHCOE is an 11ha 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 billion project Land 400 Phase 2 and high mobility logistics trucks under the Land 121 Phase 3B/5B program.

Rheinmetall AG 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.”

Rheinmetall also announced an export order to Hungary for Lance turrets. More information on this will be available in Defence Week on Thursday.

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 ADF and industry,” Stewart said. “Once fully operational, it will enable the manufacture and sustainment of the Australian Army vehicle fleet of Boxer vehicles and provide a sovereign facility where Defence, industry and research organisations can innovate and collaborate on the Australian Boxer and other defence programs.

“We are hiring welders, vehicle mechanics, systems and integration engineers, electro-optics technicians, software coders and developers and other specialisations,” Stewart said.

Rheinmetall is currently delivering 211 Boxer vehicles to the Australian Army under Land 400 Phase 2. The Boxer’s key purpose is to find the enemy; to identify them and choose how and when to engage.

The company is also delivering more than 2500 protected high mobility trucks to the Australian Army under the Land 121 Phase 3B program and supplying a further 1000 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 – for the $15 billion Land 400 Phase 3 program.

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