Australia has awarded Rheinmetall an order for 211 Boxer wheeled armoured vehicles worth a total of AUD3.3 billion (USD2.4 billion).
The contract was signed on 17 August in Canberra by Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA), Gary Stewart, the company said in a statement, adding that delivery of the 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs) will take place between 2019 and 2026.
The move comes after Canberra announced on 14 March that it had selected RDA to meet the Australian Army’s requirement for more than 200 CRVs under Project Land 400 Phase 2. In offering its 8×8 Boxer CRV, RDA beat rival BAE Systems Australia, which had proposed the Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV35) through a partnership with Finnish company Patria.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will introduce several variants of the Boxer with the reconnaissance variant – accounting for 133 of the 211 vehicles – equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge LANCE turret system and armed with a 30 mm automatic cannon.
Turnbull had said in March that the new CRVs, which will replace the Australian Army’s ageing fleet of 257 Australian light armoured vehicles (ASLAVs), will undertake a range of missions “from regional stability and peacekeeping through to high-threat operations”. He added that the government is investing about AUD235 million to upgrade Australian Army facilities in Adelaide, Queensland, and Victoria where the CRVs will be operated.
As Jane’s previously reported, RDA’s CRV build programme will focus on the development of a proposed Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Brisbane, Queensland, which will be the hub for the production of the majority of the vehicles.
Rheinmetall is expected to construct an initial batch of about 20 Boxer CRVs in Germany, which will be delivered from 2019. The remainder will be built by the MILVEHCOE following training and technology transfers to Australia.
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