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MILVEHCOE production building constructed and ready for fit-out

The production building that will be the engine room of military vehicle manufacture at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s new headquarters in Redbank is finished and ready for fit-out. This is a major construction milestone in the delivery of Rheinmetall’s $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE).

The Queensland Government has been focused on successfully delivering the facility to Rheinmetall as quickly as possible to ensure they can complete fit-out and commence production and manufacturing activities on-site without delay.

In addition to accommodating three vehicle production lines, the 30,000m2 building will also feature a weld shop, an armoury, prototyping workshop, turret and simulator assembly, paint booths, heavy maintenance and a large warehouse area.

Rheinmetall unveils first Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle

On 24 September 2019, Rheinmetall Defence Australia unveiled the first Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle to the Australian Army under the LAND 400 Phase 2 project.

The mission and drive modules for the first 25 Boxer vehicles are being manufactured in Germany. The modules are then shipped to Australia and the vehicle assembly and systems integration is being completed in Brisbane. This process is providing Army with an earlier capability and is also facilitating the technology and skills transfer to Rheinmetall’s Australian workforce.

Full production on the remaining 186 Boxer vehicles and 12 modules will commence at the MILVEHCOE from early 2021.

Rheinmetall shortlisted for $10-$15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 project

On 16 September 2019, Rheinmetall Defence Australia was successfully shortlisted by the Commonwealth Government to progress through to the next stage of tender evaluation for the LAND 400 Phase 3 project.

Rheinmetall specifically designed the Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle to meet the tender requirements of the LAND 400 Phase 3 tender.

Should Rheinmetall be successful in the tender, the outcome of which is expected in 2022, up to 400 infantry fighting vehicles would be manufactured at the company’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Ipswich. On track for phased practical completion from early 2020, the state-of-the-art facility will be an asset of national significance.

The Queensland Government strongly supports Rheinmetall’s bid for the LAND 400 Phase 3 project and will continue to advocate on its behalf.

Rheinmetall Group CEO from Germany inspects MILVEHCOE construction site

On Tuesday 6 August 2019, Mr Armin Papperger, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Rheinmetall Group inspected the construction site of the company’s new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE).

The MILVEHCOE is set to become Australia’s most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility when it becomes operational from late 2020. The facility will manage the delivery of Rheinmetall’s Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles under the LAND 400 Phase 2 project for the Australian Army. Construction is progressing well with phased practical completion on-track to commence from early 2020.

While Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) has been steadily recruiting since its selection as the successful LAND 400 Phase 2 tenderer with 63 new employees now based in Brisbane, the company is ramping up its recruitment activities and is aiming to have 200 permanent staff in Brisbane by the end 2019.

First Australian Boxer vehicle inspected in Germany

On 29 March 2019 in Kassel Germany, senior Australian military representatives and the Australian Ambassador to Germany inspected the first Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle that will be delivered under the LAND 400 Phase 2 project.

While the construction of the MILVEHCOE in Redbank, Ipswich is progressing, the first 25 Boxer vehicles are being manufactured in Germany. In addition to providing Army with an earlier than expected capability, this work is allowing the transfer of German technology and skills to Rheinmetall’s Queensland workforce.

Once shipped to Australia, these vehicles will receive a number of Australia-specific modifications prior to the final delivery to Army. Modifications include installation of Australian Army specific communications and computing equipment, a remote weapon station, and Australian Army paint.

Watpac delivering military vehicle manufacturing facility in Ipswich

In May 2018, Watpac was appointed managing contractor to build the $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) for Rheinmetall Defence Australia in Redbank, Ipswich, supporting an average of 300 jobs over two years.

Watpac is well-placed to deliver the MILVEHCOE and has demonstrated through past projects its commitment to engaging with local trades and suppliers, and will harness the highly skilled local construction workforce from Ipswich and across South East Queensland.

The MILVEHCOE will be Rheinmetall’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Germany, and its location in the Redbank Motorway Estate will position Rheinmetall in the heart of the largest vehicle manufacturing and sustainment hub in Australia.

The Queensland Government is using its expertise in the delivery of large capital works projects to oversee the construction of the MILVEHCOE on Rheinmetall’s behalf.

Progress is already well underway with construction commencing in November 2018. Phased practical completion of construction will occur from early 2020.

Rheinmetall wins LAND 400 Phase 2 contract

In an historic moment for Queensland, on 14 March 2018, the Australian Government announced Rheinmetall Defence Australia as the successful tenderer for the Department of Defence’s $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project.

Rheinmetall is establishing its Australia-New Zealand Headquarters and Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Redbank, Ipswich. This heralds the beginning of a new military vehicle manufacturing industry for the state and confirms Queensland’s reputation as Australia’s front line for defence industries.

The LAND 400 Phase 2 project will deliver the next generation of combat reconnaissance vehicles to the Australian Army. It is a catalytic project that will create opportunities for local industry for many decades to come. Rheinmetall expects the MILVEHCOE and its impact across the Queensland supply chain will support at least 450 jobs in the first 10 years and will contribute more than $1 billion to the state’s economy over the life of the project.

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