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Australia signs record foreign military export deal with Rheinmetall

Australia has signed a deal to produce and export 123 Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles, with over 100 earmarked for the German Army, marking Australia’s biggest foreign military export to Germany.

The signing of a production contract between the Australian Government and Rheinmetall Defence Australia has been completed.

Nathan Poyner, managing director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, confirmed that the order is Australia’s largest foreign military export to Germany.

“Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2025 with the first Australian-built vehicle to be delivered in 2026,” said  Poyner.

The Heavy Weapon Carrier, or “Schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie” vehicle is based on the Australian Army’s Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV).

Australian Defence announced this contract, worth more than $1 billion to the Australian economy, will see Boxer Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles, built at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Redbank, Queensland, supplied to the German Army.

According to the Australian Defence, this contract will secure 600 direct jobs in Queensland, in addition to the economic opportunities that will flow through the defence supply chain.

The Boxer vehicle, a 8×8 armoured vehicle used worldwide, prioritises troop safety, security, and firepower for various operations. It features a reconnaissance mission module with a two-person digital Lance turret, the first of its kind on the Boxer platform.

Armin Papperger, Rheinmetall chief executive officer said, “We appreciate to have been selected to supply the Heavy Weapon Carrier vehicles for an essential element of the German Army’s new force category, the ‘medium forces’.

“We welcome the close partnership between Australia and Germany in strategic defence activities as the two nations work together to increase global security. The German Boxer program from Australia has been made possible by Rheinmetall’s long-term Australian investment in product development and advanced manufacturing,” said Papperger.

Major General Jason Blain, Head Land Systems Division said, “This contract signing signals the strength of the ongoing partnership between the Australian Government and our nation’s defence industry, including Rheinmetall Defence Australia.”

Apart from fulfilling Australia’s order of 211 Boxer vehicles through the LAND 400 Phase 2 project, including 133 equipped with the CRV variant featuring the digital Lance turret, the company also maintains Australia’s HX truck fleet, consisting of over 2,900 vehicles.

Rheinmetall supplies the Royal Australian Navy with the MASS Multi-Ammunition Soft-Kill System, oversees training systems for Defence, and has supplied over 200 HX Trucks to the New Zealand Defence Force.

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