Construction work has begun on Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank, in Ipswich.
Watpac has been appointed as the managing contractor to build the $170 million project, which will become Rheinmetall’s regional hub for design, production and support of military vehicles in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
The government announced in mid-March that it has awarded Rheinmetall the $5.2 billion contract to deliver over 200 combat vehicles to the Australian Army as part of the second phase of the Land 400 project.
The first deliveries of the vehicles will happen by 2020, with the first 25 vehicles being manufactured at Rheinmetall’s headquarter in Germany to enable transfer of technology to Australian engineers; as well as to offer enough time for it to build MILVEHCOE.
As a centre of excellence, the MILVEHCOE, will be the focal point for the Land 400 combat vehicles, Land 121 logistics vehicles, and other complex defence projects being delivered by Rheinmetall. It will also draw on a supply network across Australia to deliver products and services from local industry into Rheinmetall’s global supply chain, according to a company statement.
According to Watpac’s announcement, earthworks for stage 1 of the two-stage project are expected to start by mid-year, with the facility to be completed by the end of 2020.
“As Stage 1 managing contractor, Watpac will work closely with the project’s design team to finalise design development and the master program,” the company said in a statement.
“Once constructed, the facility will include a production and warehouse building, RME building, administration building and associated infrastructure including car parking, hard standing, services connection and landscaping.”