Australia has reached a new milestone in its defence manufacturing capabilities as it begins full-scale local production of the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs) at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Ipswich, Queensland.
The Boxer CRV is a highly mobile, versatile and survivable armoured vehicle that can perform a range of missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, peacekeeping and security operations. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has ordered 211 Boxer CRVs from Rheinmetall as part of the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project.
The first 25 Boxer CRVs were partially manufactured in Germany and delivered to Australia in October 2022, where they achieved Initial Operating Capability after rigorous testing and live exercises. The remaining 186 vehicles will be wholly manufactured in Australia by Rheinmetall’s local workforce at the MILVEHCOE, which was officially opened in July 2020.
The MILVEHCOE is a state-of-the-art facility that integrates engineering design, manufacturing, vehicle systems testing and evaluation, training and sustainment for military vehicles. It has created 600 jobs for Queenslanders and is expected to contribute more than $1 billion to the state’s economy over its first decade of operation.
The Queensland Government has been a strong supporter of Rheinmetall’s bid for the LAND 400 Phase 2 project and has invested $170 million to establish the MILVEHCOE in Ipswich. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the start of local production of the Boxer CRVs was “a very proud day for Queensland’s defence manufacturing capabilities”.
“This is an example of what happens when you have a government prepared to back advanced manufacturing here in Queensland,” she said.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said that Queensland was “Australia’s home of land defence industrial capability” and praised Rheinmetall for its commitment to developing local supply chains and skills transfer.
“Through Defence Jobs Queensland we are working closely with Rheinmetall and other companies across our state to improve industry capability and maximise opportunities for local businesses,” he said.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said that the company was proud to deliver “the most advanced combat reconnaissance vehicle capability ever produced for Australia”.
“The commencement of full-scale production today represents another significant milestone for Rheinmetall Defence Australia as we continue our journey as an Australian company delivering next generation combat vehicles,” he said.
The Boxer CRV project has also opened up potential export opportunities for Australia. Rheinmetall is currently in talks with Germany to manufacture and export Queensland-made Boxer CRVs for the German Army under a government-to-government agreement. This could result in increased employment and a longer production line for Boxer CRVs at the MILVEHCOE.
Rheinmetall is also shortlisted for the LAND 400 Phase 3 project, which involves delivering up to 450 infantry fighting vehicles to replace the ageing M113 armoured personnel carriers. If successful, Rheinmetall will produce its Lynx KF41 vehicles at the MILVEHCOE alongside the Boxer CRVs.
The start of local production of the Boxer CRVs demonstrates Australia’s world-class defence industry capabilities and its ability to deliver cutting-edge military vehicles that enhance national security and regional stability.