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With the full support of the Queensland Government behind it, Rheinmetall Defence Australia has been successfully shortlisted by the Commonwealth to enter the next stage of the $10-$15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 tender process.
Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Rheinmetall on its progression in the tender and reiterated the governments strong support of the companys bid.
Should Rheinmetall be successful for the LAND 400 Phase 3 tender, the outcome of which is expected in 2022, up to 400 Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles would be manufactured at the companys new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Ipswich, she said.
The delivery of significant defence contracts creates long-term, highly skilled jobs and with Rheinmetalls MILVEHCOE already supporting 450 jobs for Queenslanders, the potential delivery of the Phase 3 contract from the facility would create even more jobs and consolidate job security for those workers.
The development of the $170 million MILVEHCOE is being overseen by the Queensland Government on Rheinmetalls behalf and is on-track for phased practical completion from early next year.
Accommodated across an 11-hectare site will be production, electronics and administration buildings, a corporate training centre, vehicle test track, an indoor weapons test firing tunnel, and an electromagnetic compatibility test chamber.
The production warehouse building will be 28,200 square metres providing Rheinmetall with the capacity to simultaneously manage three production lines for the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles, maintenance on 3500 LAND 121 trucks and the manufacture of the Lynx infantry fighting vehicles.
Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said MILVEHCOE will be the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility in Australia.
While the tender evaluation is firmly centred around vehicle capability, having a ready facility of national significance will surely be a compelling consideration, Mr Dick said.
The Palaszczuk Government has backed this bid the whole way, and its great to see this next phase come to fruition.
Gary Stewart, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia said that in addition to having a vehicle that was specifically designed to meet the LAND 400 Phase 3 tender requirements, only Rheinmetall will have a manufacturing facility that is ready, capable and proven.
With local production of the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles for LAND 400 Phase 2 commencing in early 2021, the MILVEHCOE will have its highly skilled workforce and supply chains in place, allowing Rheinmetall to prove its Australian manufacturing capabilities.
The Queensland-based manufacture of Rheinmetalls Lynx vehicle is certainly the tender option with the lowest project delivery risk for the Commonwealth in what is a very significant Defence procurement, Mr Stewart said.
South East Queensland has the workforce and skills base that is supporting a thriving high-tech defence industry ecosystem as well as the expertise behind the largest heavy vehicle manufacturing and sustainment precinct in Australia.
Thats why there is no better place to manufacture the vehicles for LAND 400 Phase 3 than Queensland, Minister Dick said.
Rheinmetalls MILVEHCOE will be the key enabler of Australias sovereign military vehicle capability and an export hub of defence technology for global markets.
While the tender assessment will continue for the next three years to determine the best choice for Australia, the Queensland Government will continue to advocate for LAND 400 Phase 3, for Rheinmetall and its Lynx vehicle, for a Queensland-based manufacture and for Queensland jobs.