The Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Scott Morrison MP 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. Rheinmetall is pleased to confirm the opening of its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, Australia and the establish¬ment of a new national sovereign military vehicle capability that enables the design, development and local manufacture of military vehicles, platforms and turrets for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and export to like-minded nations. 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. 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. 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.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the new defence industry facility in Redbank is part of the Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister also congratulated Rheinmetall Defence Australia for securing work to export at least 30 Lance Turrets from MILVEHCOE to Hungary. Scott Morrison said “We are committed to keeping Australians safe, while protecting the nation’s interests in a rapidly changing global environment, This week’s budget has seen the Federal Government bring forward $1 billion worth of capability projects and reservist days to support jobs, the Australian defence industry and the wider economy.This Queensland centre will be where some of the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world will be produced, by Australian workers.This is a significant export order, and a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment to supporting Australian defence industry to achieve export success.”
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 Australian Defence Force and industry. 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. “Rheinmetall continues to invest in people, technology, infrastructure, program management, supporting functions and industry networks so we can deliver some of the most complex and advanced programs in the world and meet the demands of customers for military vehicles, electronic systems, simulation, training and support.” Mr Stewart said.
Rheinmetall is establishing an advanced manufacturing workforce of more than 450 employees within the MILVEHCOE precinct including highly skilled and qualified workers across a range of specialist disciplines. 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 building on this logistics backbone for the ADF by 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 – to meet the stringent military requirements of the $15 billion Land 400 Phase 3 program. The Australian Army needs a new IFV for close combat to close in and defeat an enemy in the most lethal environments for Australian soldiers.