Construction is now complete on Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s faciltiy in Queensland where it will conduct military vehicle manufacturing, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Monday.
The completion of the $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) for Rheinmetall is a major construction milestone, and the 30,000 square metre facility is now ready for fit-out according to Palaszczuk.
The facility will officially launch in July 2020, and will be capable of the design, manufacture, sustainment and export of military vehicles, turrets and tactical systems.
Rheinmetall will initially conduct heavy grade repair, integration and support to Defence’s new logistics vehicles at the facility, before it is used for the production and maintenance of the Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle capability in 2022.
“Larger in size than four football fields, the production facility will be the beating heart of our operations and will accommodate many facets of our military vehicle operations,” Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director, Gary Stewart, said.
“In addition to three simultaneous vehicle production lines, the production facility will feature a weld shop, an armoury, prototyping workshop, turret and simulator assembly, paint booths, heavy maintenance and a large warehouse area.
“When the rest of the facility comes on-line, the MILVEHCOE will be the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility in the country and the home of a truly Australian sovereign military capability.”
Rheinmetall is now step closer to delivering the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract, according to Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick.
“Delivering large and complex infrastructure projects and bringing them in on budget is one of our key capabilities, and under our long-term partnership with Rheinmetall, this has allowed Rheinmetall to remain focused on its core business,” Dick said.
“Since winning the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 tender in February 2018, Rheinmetall has been busy building its Australian workforce, training them in Germany to manage the technology and skills transfer, and importantly delivering the first tranche of Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles to the Australian Army.”
Rheinmetall Defence Australia recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TAFE Queensland for the provision of skills training delivery for jobs to be based at the MILVEHCOE.
“TAFE has already been training experienced welders to the international standards demanded by defence following the purchase of 15 augmented reality welding simulators,” Minister for Training and Skills Development, Shannon Fentiman, said.
“Projects such as this firmly position Queensland as Australia’s home of land defence industrial capability and enhances our existing ecosystem of high-tech expertise that is supporting some of the world’s leading-edge military platforms.
“When completed, the MILVEHCOE will be an asset of national significance that will stand Rheinmetall in good stead to continue building their business in delivering next-generation defence projects to our Australian defence forces and those of our international allies,” Fentiman said.