11 April 2024

Contract signed to build Boxer armoured vehicles for Germany in Ipswich

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Boxer in Germany

Members of the Australian Army’s 2/14 Light Horse Regiment supported the German Army’s evaluation of the Boxer CRV in Germany late last year. Photo: ADF via Rheinmetall.

The Commonwealth and Rheinmetall Defence Australia have signed a contract to build more than 100 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier (HWC) armoured vehicles for the German Army in Ipswich west of Brisbane.

The deal has been building for more than a year, and at one point was thought to be at risk after the Australian Army last September selected the Hanwha AS21 Redback over Rheinmetall’s KF41 Lynx for its own Project LAND 400 Phase 3 infantry fighting vehicle requirement.

But, in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a rapid increase in defence spending in Europe which is outpacing its industrial capacity, the deal has now been consummated.

The $1 billion contract will see more than 100 of Germany’s requirement for 123 Boxer HMCs built at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank, in addition to the 186 Boxers already in production for the Australian Army, and will secure 600 jobs.

READ ALSO Deal finalised for export of Australian-made armoured vehicles to Germany

The Boxer is a heavily armoured 8×8 wheeled vehicle than can be configured with different turrets and weapons systems. The first HMC (‘Schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie’ in German) is scheduled to be delivered to Germany in 2026, with production running to 2030.

The Australian Army’s Head Land Systems Division Major General Jason Blain said the contract signing signalled the strength of the ongoing partnership between the Australian Government and defence industry, including Rheinmetall Defence Australia.

“This contract will supply our security partner, Germany, with one of the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world, and supports Australia’s world-class defence industry, not only here in Queensland, but throughout the national supply chain,” he said.

“Rheinmetall Defence Australia has strong, enduring partnerships with a large number of Australian companies skilled in the delivery of military vehicle capabilities.”

The German HWC is based on Australia's Boxer CRV.

The German HWC is based on Australia’s Boxer CRV. Photo: ADF.

Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Rheinmetall AG Armin Papperger said the company appreciated being selected to supply the HWC vehicles for an essential element of the German Army’s new ‘medium forces’ category.

“We are integrating the expertise and capabilities of our Australian MILVEHCOE colleagues from our global Rheinmetall network to provide the German Army with the required combat vehicles as quickly as possible,” he said.

“This further deepens defence ties between Australia and Germany and enhances a sustained sovereign defence capability in Australia.

“We welcome the close partnership between Australia and Germany in strategic defence activities as the two nations work together to increase global security,” he added.

“The German Boxer program from Australia has been made possible by Rheinmetall’s long-term Australian investment in product development and advanced manufacturing.”

MILVEHCOE is also where Rheinmetall services the Australian Army’s 2900 armoured HX truck vehicles, from where more than 200 HX trucks were delivered to the New Zealand Defence Force, and where the Royal Australian Navy’s MASS Multi-Ammunition Soft-Kill System is being assembled.

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