The sod has been turned at the site of Rheinmetall’s new Australian headquarters at Ipswich in Queensland, marking the beginning of works for the facility that will build a pipeline of military vehicles for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
When complete, the $170 million MILVEHCOE facility will deliver the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 program of Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles and the LAND 121 Phase 5B program of logistics trucks for the ADF.
Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, Gary Stewart, said MILVEHCOE would be a state-of-the-art facility for the design and manufacture of military vehicles, turrets, armour, electro-optics, simulation and other advanced systems.
“In addition to delivering the Boxer CRVs and the integration of 1000 logistics trucks under the LAND 121 Phase 5B project, the facility will be a regional hub for the support for up to 5000 vehicles from Australia and the Asia Pacific region,” Stewart said.
“We are looking forward to growing our business here in South East Queensland for decades to come, and a vital element is continuing to be a leader in defence technology, research and development.
“We will be investing accordingly both here in Queensland and with our research partners across the country.”
Watpac is the managing contractor for the construction of the facility that will include manufacturing and administration buildings, a training centre, a fully enclosed weapons test firing tunnel, an electro-magnetic compatibility chamber and a vehicle compliance test track.
Watpac Managing Director Martin Monro said the company has been working closely with GHD to finalise the facility’s design and is ready to commence construction immediately.
“The MILVEHCOE construction will support an average of 300 jobs over two years and we are committed to providing full, fair and reasonable access to tender opportunities for the construction, with the Industry Capability Network promoting all tenders and work packages on its ICN Gateway,” he said.
Defence minister Christopher Pyne said that the new centre was a vote of confidence in the capabilities of the Australian defence industry.
“The centre – known as MILVEHCOE – represents a multi-million-dollar investment by Rheinmetall, which is delivering both trucks and armoured vehicles for the Army.”
“This is a nation-building effort involving 1,450 jobs across Australia for our newest armoured vehicles alone and reinforces the Federal Government’s drive to support the workforce behind the Defence Force.”