Rheinmetall today announced it will establish a new artillery manufacturing facility in regional Queensland under an agreement with munitions partner NIOA and the Commonwealth of Australia that will see Australian-made munitions delivered to the Australian Army and exported to selected nations globally.
Under an agreement between Rheinmetall Defence Australia and Brisbane-based NIOA, the two companies will form a consortium to invest in a $60 million facility in Maryborough, Queensland and create up to 100 direct, long term and highly skilled jobs in the Maryborough and Fraser Coast region.
The consortium has also applied for, and been selected to receive, a capital allocation of $28.5 million from the Federal Government as part of a Commonwealth program to introduce investment in regional locations around Australia.
The consortium is also seeking support from the Queensland Government to finalise arrangements around the new facility.
Rheinmetall and NIOA have a significant partnership across a range of munitions products and services in Australia including delivery of Rheinmetall’s Future Family of Artillery Ammunition under the Land 17 1.C2 program.
Under the agreement, Rheinmetall will transfer intellectual property for its artillery manufacturing to Australia to underpin future production from the new Maryborough facility.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said the new facility would replace munitions imported into Australia and ensure the nation has a long term sovereign capability to supply the Australian Defence Force.
“The artillery manufactured at the new facility will be delivered to the Australian Army and for export to selected defence forces globally through Rheinmetall’s Global Supply Chain program,” Stewart said.
“This will not only ensure supply to Australian soldiers but also elevate Australia’s profile globally as an exporter of high quality munitions.”
Commonwealth funding for the program has been allocated under the Federal Government’s Regional Growth Fund, which aims to support projects of greater than $20m investment that would be transformational to a regional economy. The funding is conditional on final approval of a Full Business Case, which includes receiving additional support from the Queensland Government.
NIOA managing director Rob Nioa said the support of the Federal Government had enabled the investment to proceed after significant support from Llew O’Brien MP, the Federal Member for Wide Bay.
“Establishing this facility in regional Queensland has been a critical part of our vision for building this sovereign capability in Australia,” Nioa said.
“We look forward to working alongside Rheinmetall, the Commonwealth and our customers to deliver this new capability for the nation and selected customers overseas.”