Rheinmetall wins Land 400 for Ipswich

Rheinmetall Boxer CRV on the live fire range with an in-service Army Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) at Mount Bundey Military training area, Northern Territory. (Defence).

Rheinmetall has won the arms race against BAE Systems by securing the $5 billion LAND 400 contract from the Australian Government – the single largest land vehicle acquisition for the ADF.

Committing to building their Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at the Redbank Plains Industrial Centre means Rheinmetall will build 211 light armoured vehicles in Ipswich, directly creating 350 jobs and approximately 1500 jobs through small to medium enterprises.

Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said Ipswich’s reputation as one of the largest garrison cities in Australia means it’s well equipped for the task. “Ipswich already has an established Defence Force industry, we have the Base and we have a number of industries based here,” Cr Antoniolli said.

“We’ll be working with the Department agencies to ensure we get some great export opportunities out of this, through Rheinmetall.”

Mayor Antoniolli also defended the Government’s decision to choose Rheinmetall’s Boxer CRV over BAE Systems AMV35, which earned an outstanding combat reputation in Afghanistan in it’s own right.

“This decision has been based on capability, on survivability, and with respect to the Boxer CRV, it has no peer,” he added.

Rheinmetall Managing Director Gary Andrews said the site at the Redbank Plains Industrial Centre was beneficial for many reasons.

“The fact [Ipswich has] the C-17 strategic air lift right there, it’s in the right location to be able to get this equipment where it needs to be quickly, so it makes sense in a lot of ways [..] and we’ve got a state government and council willing to work with us in partnership to create an enduring military capability,” Mr Stewart said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the decision by the Australian Government was based on politics, rather than capability.

In a lengthy Twitter rant, Mr Andrews said Victoria was best placed to build the next generation of the ADF’s Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, but instead chose Queensland to win over nine marginal seats.

However, at the announcement at the Enoggera Army Barracks, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the contract was a national enterprise that would have flow-on benefits for the entire nation.

“This is the largest single acquisition that has been made for the Australian Army,” Mr Turnbull said.

“It is a national enterprise. There will be hundreds of jobs around the nation. We are creating for the first time a sovereign, national enterprise, a sovereign Defence industry. “

“We are ensuring that you have the vehicle that will enable you to complete your missions with the best capability, the greatest lethality, but will also protect you and ensure that when you have completed your mission you will come home safely.”

The lifespan of the LAND 400 contract is set for approximately 30 years.