Rheinmetall Australia names Supacat first major supplier for Boxer CRVs
Rheinmetall Defence Australia has announced its first major Australian supplier contract for the production of its 211 Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles for the Australian Army.
Rheinmetall Australia's Boxer CRV displayed at DVD 2018 (Picture source: Army Recognition)
Melbourne-based specialist vehicles company, Supacat Asia Pacific, has signed a partnership agreement with Rheinmetall for the design and manufacture of sub-systems for the Australian fleet of Boxer armored vehicles. The partnership agreement will at least double Supacat’s engineering workforce, with the creation of at least 20 new engineering roles.
The Boxers replace the ASLAVs (Australian Light Armoured Vehicle), which are more than 20 years old. Their role is to locate, monitor and engage with enemy forces and provide security to Australian forces. The vehicles will fill seven different roles on the battlefield including reconnaissance, command and control, joint fires, surveillance, ambulance, battlefield repair and recovery. The total acquisition cost of the vehicles is AU$5.2 billion. The Australian industry content of the project was raised significantly through the tender process to over 50 per cent. Australian industry will contribute over 75% for sustainment of the vehicles. Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said that the workforce that will deliver the Boxer vehicles will continue to be used to support sustainment, progressive development and upgrades as well as potential export opportunities. The first vehicles are expected to be available for training in 2020.
In March 2018, the Boxer CRV edged out the adversary, BAE Systems/Patria AMV35, in a close contest that saw initial delays as Australian Industry Content considerations were sorted and both vehicles were put through a rigorous Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA).