Australia has started local production of the Boxer infantry vehicle with a ceremony at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Ipswich, Queensland.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Premier of Queensland, visited Rheinmetall’s plant on March 20 as the company began welding materials for the first Australian-made Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle.
Accompanied by Deputy Premier Dr. Steven Miles, Australian industry partners Bisalloy, Marand, Intellidesign, and Rheinmetall’s 600-strong Queensland workforce, the commencement of production represents Rheinmetall’s objective to provide an industrial base in the region to support Australia’s Defence Force and its allies.
Premier Palaszczuk stated, “This is a very proud day for Queensland’s defense manufacturing capabilities, as our association with Rheinmetall on the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project delivers locally built Boxer CRVs. Through the delivery of LAND 400 Phase 2 and its other projects, our partnership has already created 600 jobs at the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence, which will be contributing more than $1 billion to Queensland’s economy in its first 10 years of operation. The facility is now the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility in Australia. Our partnership’s continuing success provides long-term certainty to the current workforce, and greater opportunities through the entire supply chain which impacts many SMEs right across Queensland.”
The vehicle is the first of its kind to be produced at the facility, alongside initial vehicles from Germany that are also being assembled at the site.
Australia is buying 211 Boxers from Rheinmetall and received the 1st batch of 25 Boxer vehicles in June 2021. The Boxer reached the initial operational capability with the army in October last year.
According to Nathan Poyner, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, “Rheinmetall has delivered a first batch of 25 Boxer CRVs to Australia. These initial Boxers were built in Germany, and finalized at MILVEHCOE, joining the more than 2900 HX Trucks that were finalized and are today sustained from the facility. This striking of the arc event represents the first of 186 Boxer CRVs that will be built at MILVEHCOE, providing jobs, training, and new opportunities for Australians working at Rheinmetall and in the more than 200 Australian Industry Partners across the nation.”
Rheinmetall is the largest supplier of military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force. They established operational facilities, staff, partnerships, and capabilities for building complete modern armored vehicles, including armor production and electronics manufacturing for the Australian Defence Force.
The Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle is an advanced, armored 8×8 vehicle utilized by various nations such as Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom.