Rheinmetall and BAE Systems have today launched a new, independent UK-based joint venture for military vehicle design, manufacture and support – known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL).
Headquartered in Telford in the West Midlands, the joint venture will sustain around 450 jobs across the UK and is well positioned for future growth.
RBSL intends to play a major role in manufacturing the Boxer 8x8 for the British Army's Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme and other strategic combat vehicle programmes, while also providing support to the British Army's in-service bridging and armoured vehicle fleets.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: "This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in the UK's defence industry as a world-leader in designing, supplying and supporting military vehicles. This exciting venture clearly demonstrates how Defence sits at the heart of the prosperity agenda. Its benefits will be felt in the West Midlands and across the UK defence supply chain, creating jobs, boosting exports and guaranteeing our technical skills base into the future."
RBSL will draw on Rheinmetall's broader military vehicle technologies combined with the additional capabilities and systems brought to the Joint Venture by BAE Systems' Land UK business, such as Trojan, Terrier, Warrior, military bridging and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system. RBSL will have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs, both in Telford and the wider supply chain.
Peter Hardisty, formerly of Rheinmetall UK, has been appointed as Managing Director of the new company. He said: "RBSL is a new business drawing on the significant strengths and expertise of both BAE Systems Land UK and Rheinmetall. Our employees in Telford, Bristol, and Washington (UK) have a valuable skill set and extensive experience in combat vehicle engineering. With new orders, we shall be able to sustain these capabilities and expand over the coming years, seeking new opportunities in the UK and overseas."
The new management team that will lead RBSL into the future also includes Carrie White as Finance Director and Phil Simon as Operations Director, both of whom join from BAE Systems.
Regulatory approval for the joint venture was granted on 13 June 2019.
Rheinmetall Defence is one of the world's leading makers of military vehicles and systems. In the United Kingdom, the Group is already present in the form of Rheinmetall Defence UK and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles UK.
These two businesses are well-established suppliers to the British Ministry of Defence. They assist Her Majesty's Armed Forces in a number of areas, including vehicle systems, ammunition and technical support.
For many decades BAE Systems has been the UK's premier land systems manufacturer and source of technical support. BAE Systems companies have produced the Challenger 2 main battle tank, the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle as well as the Terrier combat engineering vehicle.
BAE Systems Land UK is currently supporting the British Ministry of Defence and British Army in maintaining and upgrading the operational effectiveness of the UK's combat vehicles and systems. It has over 400 employees devoted to military vehicle systems, primarily in Telford in the West Midlands.
Excluded from the Joint Venture are activities of BAE Systems Land UK in the field of weapons and ammunition in Great Britain, as well as the CTAI project with Nexter.