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Rheinmetall starts work on Australian vehicle centre

16 November 2018
An artist’s impression of Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s planned Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE), which will be located in Queensland and is scheduled to be operational from 2020. Source: Rheinmetall

Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) announced the start of construction of its new military vehicle production facility in Queensland, Australia, on 16 November.

In a press release, RDA said its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) will be the centrepiece of an 11.1 hectare precinct incorporating Rheinmetall Defence's regional hub and employing about 450 staff.

RDA said the MILVEHCOE, which is expected to start operations 2020, will be a regional centre for the "continuous design, manufacture, export, and support for military vehicles, turrets, and tactical systems".

The MILVEHCOE precinct will also have capabilities to undertake vehicle testing, systems integration, and test firing as well as facilities for vehicle engineering, training, and administration activities. RDA has not revealed the value of the project but in commenting on the start of construction on 16 November the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) described it as "multimillion-dollar investment".

The new facility - supported by technology transfers from Rheinmetall's headquarters in Germany - will be positioned to supply the majority of vehicles under the Land 400 Phase 2 project through which RDA is contracted to deliver more than 200 8×8 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs) to the Australian Army. This contract, signed in August, is valued at AUD3.3 billion (USD2.4 billion).

In addition, the MILVEHCOE will deliver locally manufactured products into Rheinmetall's global supply chain and be involved in producing and upgrading other Australian military vehicles. RDA will also look to utilise the facility in undertaking regional export contracts.

RDA's managing director Gary Stewart said, "Initially, the MILVEHCOE will focus on engineering, production, and fielding to the Australian Defence Force [ADF] through Land 400 Phase 2.

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