Rheinmetall Defence Australia has announced Melbourne-based specialist vehicles company Supacat as the first major supplier for the Commonwealth of Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2 program.
Under the partnership agreement signed today by Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart and Supacat managing director, Asia Pacific Michael Halloran, Supacat will become a Tier One supplier to Rheinmetall – working on the design and manufacture of sub systems for the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (Boxer CRV).
This follows Rheinmetall signing a multi-billion dollar Land 400 Phase 2 contract with the Commonwealth Government in August to deliver the armoured 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles for the Australian Army – a nation-building project, producing high-tech, highly-skilled jobs and a capability that will protect Australian soldiers in combat. Rheinmetall will deliver 211 Boxer CRVs between 2019 and 2026.
“Supacat brings immense experience across a range of areas critical to our program and it’s entirely appropriate they are the first company to formally join our program following contract signature with the Commonwealth,” Stewart said.
“The agreement enables Supacat to be embedded in the LAND 400 Phase 2 program at multiple levels of the organisation, allowing for the free flow of information between the prime and Supacat. This type of teaming agreement will create a flexible and optimised supply chain solution while enabling Supacat to increase its capability to compete for global programs.”
Supacat in Australia is an innovative producer of high mobility military vehicles, specialist vehicles and maritime products. The company has an established presence in Australia based in Melbourne, Victoria and partnered with Rheinmetall through the Risk Mitigation Activities conducted as part of the selection process for Land 400 Phase 2.
The Boxer CRV will enable Army to locate, monitor and engage with enemy forces and ensure Australian soldiers are protected in combat. The vehicles will fill seven different roles on the battlefield: reconnaissance, command and control, joint fires, surveillance, ambulance, battlefield repair and recovery.
“We look forward to working alongside the Supacat team to deliver the most capable, survivable and adaptable field-armoured fighting vehicle available today,” Stewart said.
The Boxer vehicle is already in service with, or being procured by, the armed forces of Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania. The ADF will introduce several variants of the BOXER with the reconnaissance variant – accounting for 133 of the 211 vehicles – equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge Lance turret system and armed with a 30mm automatic cannon.
The Boxer CRV was selected after rigorous trials conducted by the ADF. Under Australia’s LAND 400 Phase 2 selection process, the Boxer CRV was chosen in 2016 as one of two candidates for Risk Mitigation Activity trials where the 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle performed convincingly in the categories of survivability, mobility, firepower, and command & control.
Stewart said production of the Boxer vehicles would take place in a dedicated new facility in Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Government and suppliers across Australia.
“This will allow us to establish as sovereign military vehicle industry in Australia that will underpin the enduring partnership with the Government to design, manufacture, deliver, support and modernise this world-leading capability,” he said.