Prime Minister Opens New Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued October 11, 2020)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially opened the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, where Rheinmetall will produce the Australian Army’s Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV). (Rheinmetall photo)
The [Australian] Government has officially opened Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, which will see hundreds of long-term jobs created for Queensland workers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the new defence industry facility in Redbank is part of the Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are committed to keeping Australians safe, while protecting the nation’s interests in a rapidly changing global environment,” the Prime Minister said. “This week’s budget has seen the Federal Government bring forward $1 billion worth of capability projects and reservist days to support jobs, the Australian defence industry and the wider economy.”

“This Queensland centre will be where some of the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world will be produced, by Australian workers.”

“The MILVEHCOE will create more than 450 long-term jobs and become a national asset for military vehicles.”

The Prime Minister also congratulated Rheinmetall Defence Australia for securing work to export at least 30 Lance Turrets from MILVEHCOE to Hungary.

“This is a significant export order, and a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment to supporting Australian defence industry to achieve export success,” Mr Morrison said. “We make things in Australia. We do it well. And this is an example of how we are continuing to make things in Australia.”

“Defence is one of six priority areas under our $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy and is backed by measures from Tuesday’s budget. This includes the JobMaker hiring credits to boost employment, a $2.8 billion programme to support apprenticeship and trainee jobs through wage subsidies and tax incentives so businesses can deduct the full cost of any eligible assets and to offset loss against previous profits, for businesses with a turnover of under $5 billion.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the vehicles from MILVEHCOE represent a new level of capability for the Army.

“As outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, the Boxer will provide enhanced mobility, firepower, protection and situational awareness to our troops,” Minister Reynolds said.
“They will allow our Australian Defence Force personnel to rapidly deploy, achieve their missions and importantly, return home safely.”

“I join the Prime Minister in congratulating Rheinmetall Defence Australia on securing new export opportunities. A resilient and internationally competitive defence industry is essential to Australia’s national security.

Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price said MILVEHCOE represented a watershed in Defence self-reliance, backed by a secure domestic supply chain provided by home-grown Australian businesses.

“Australian industry will play a vital role delivering and sustaining key Australian defence capabilities at the facility,” Minister Price said.

“Rheinmetall will use suppliers across Australia to design, build, assemble, test and support the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles and training systems.”
“The work at this facility is terrific news for Queensland workers and defence companies across the country.”

Rheinmetall will use the MILVEHCOE facility to build and assemble the majority of Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, which are being delivered to the Australian Army under the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project.

The facility will also be used to conduct integration, support and heavy grade repair for the logistics trucks and modules being delivered under the LAND 121 Phase 3B and 5B projects.

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MILVEHCOE Opening Establishes New Australian Sovereign Military Vehicle Capability
(Source: Rheinmetall Defence; issued Oct. 13, 2020)
Rheinmetall is pleased to confirm the opening of its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, Australia and the establishment of a new national sovereign military vehicle capability that enables the design, development and local manufacture of military vehicles, platforms and turrets for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and export to like-minded nations.

The Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Scott Morrison MP officially opened the MILVEHCOE at a ceremony attended by a delegation of Federal MPs and Senators from across Queensland, representatives from Defence and Australian Defence industry.

The MILVEHCOE is an 11ha precinct incorporating a regional headquarters for Rheinmetall and a major manufacturing hub that will deliver vehicles into the ADF including Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) under Australia’s billion project Land 400 Phase 2 and high mobility logistics trucks under the Land 121 Phase 3B/5B program.

Rheinmetall AG Chief Executive Armin Papperger said the MILVEHCOE heralded a new era in Australian manufacturing as the company transferred technology and systems from Germany to establish a global hub for the continuous design, manufacture, export and support for military vehicles, platforms and turrets.

Mr Papperger said the MILVEHCOE’s export focus would also drive the sustainable growth of a military vehicle industry in Australia that would draw on an expanding supply network across the nation to deliver products and services from local industry into Rheinmetall’s Global Supply Chain.

“This state of the art MILVEHCOE establishes a leading-edge military vehicle capability that will build on the strong partnership between Rheinmetall and the ADF,” Mr Papperger said.

“Moreover, it will enable Australian developed technology and systems to be exported to the world and opens the way for Australian companies to deliver into our programs for current and future nations including NATO members such as Germany and Hungary,” Mr Papperger said.

The MILVEHCOE precinct includes:
-- Engineering and manufacturing for vehicles, turrets, weapons, armour, electronics and electro-optics and simulators;
-- A vehicle test track and electromagnetic test chamber – used to confirm that vehicles meet the agreed performance specifications prior to delivery to the Australian Army;
-- An indoor firing range – a fully-enclosed, state of the art firing range;
-- A systems integration laboratory – used to integrate and optimise performance of Australian Army systems and equipment into the vehicles; and
-- Facilities for engineering, training, procurement, project management, finance, legal, marketing and management.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said the MILVEHCOE would transform the company’s ability to deliver for the ADF and Rheinmetall customers globally.

“This facility has dramatically advanced our business in Australia and the way we engage with the Australian Defence Force and industry,” Mr Stewart said.

“Once fully operational, it will enable the manufacture and sustainment of the Australian Army vehicle fleet of BOXER vehicles and provide a sovereign facility where Defence, industry and research organisations can innovate and collaborate on the Australian Boxer and other defence programs.

Rheinmetall is establishing an advanced manufacturing workforce of more than 450 employees within the MILVEHCOE precinct including highly skilled and qualified workers across a range of specialist disciplines.

“We are hiring welders, vehicle mechanics, systems and integration engineers, electro-optics technicians, software coders and developers and other specialisations,” Mr Stewart said.

“Rheinmetall continues to invest in people, technology, infrastructure, program management, supporting functions and industry networks so we can deliver some of the most complex and advanced programs in the world and meet the demands of customers for military vehicles, electronic systems, simulation, training and support.”

These programs will see the design, development, manufacture and sustainment of a world class military vehicles and a focus on research and development of vehicle technologies including autonomous systems and new civilian vehicle capabilities.

Rheinmetall is currently delivering 211 Boxer vehicles to the Australian Army under Land 400 Phase 2. The Boxer’s key purpose is to find the enemy; to identify them and choose how and when to engage.

The company is also delivering more than 2500 protected high mobility trucks to the Australian Army under the Land 121 Phase 3B program and building on this logistics backbone for the ADF by supplying a further 1000 trucks to the Commonwealth through the Land 121 Phase 3B/5B program.

Rheinmetall has also offered the Lynx KF41 - a tracked, highly protected Infantry Fighting Vehicle - to meet the stringent military requirements of the $15 billion Land 400 Phase 3 program. The Australian Army needs a new IFV for close combat - to close in and defeat an enemy in the most dangerous and lethal environments for Australian soldiers.

“Design, development and manufacture of the in Australia for the ADF will also build on the advanced manufacturing jobs at the MILVEHCOE as well as a strong industrial network of SMEs across Australia,” Mr Stewart said.

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