Boxers moved one step closer to full service when the Prime Minister opened Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Ipswich, Queensland, on October 11.
The 11ha site is both Rheinmetall’s regional headquarters and manufacturing and support site for the Land 400’s Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle and Land 121’s trucks.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, when opening the facility, it was the “best of its class” anywhere in the world. “I think that speaks volumes about what Australians can do,” he said.
Some of the facilities in the precinct include a vehicle test track, indoor range and a “systems-integration laboratory”, used to optimise the performance of in-service systems into Rheinmetall vehicles.
With six vehicles already in service, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr said training was under way, with some soldiers already qualified.
“The platform, and the Australian soldiers that employ them, are the building blocks of potent and credible land power,” Lieutenant General Burr said.
“The centre will increase Defence’s ability to change the size, scale and type of land forces over time, allowing us to anticipate and respond to a dynamic strategic environment.”
Army personnel also worked in the centre during the acceptance process for the first Boxers, according to Head Armoured Vehicle Division Major General David Coghlan.
He said working closely improved understanding by Rheinmetall and Army and contributed to the “timely and effective” acceptance of the first vehicles.
“Army wasn’t directly involved in its setup, however, it includes allocated space for us to facilitate collaboration on the vehicles produced and supported there,” Major General Coghlan said.