The Australian Army’s 7th Brigade has taken delivery of the first batch of trucks and trailers from Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia, as part of a contract awarded to the company in 2013.
Under the $3.5bn LAND 121 Phase 3B project, the army will offer significantly increased protection for soldiers and an improved combination of payload and off-road mobility than the existing fleet of Unimog, Mack and S-Liner trucks.
The project will acquire 2,707 medium and heavy vehicles along with 3,858 modules and 1,704 trailers by the end of 2022.
As part of the project, the vehicle fleet to be acquired includes modern medium-weight (4x4), medium (6x6) and heavy (8x8 and 10x10) trucks, in both protected and unprotected configurations, together with matching medium and heavy trailers.
Australian Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said: “The new trucks and interchangeable modules, used on the vehicles for a range of tasks including fuel and water transportation, are being supplied by Rheinmetall together with a range of local suppliers.
“These suppliers come from around Australia and include G.H. Varley (Newcastle, NSW), Sea Box International (Canberra, ACT), Holmwood Highgate (Brisbane, QLD) and RPC Technologies (Sydney, NSW).
“Rheinmetall’s local workforce has grown from 15 to more than 125 staff over the last three years, with approximately 200 direct jobs created across its Australian subcontracted workforce.”
The majority of trailer production is being carried out in Brisbane by a local company, Haulmark Trailers Australia.
In addition to the new Rheinmetall trucks and Haulmark trailers, 122 Mercedes G-Wagons and 49 converted Bushmasters and trailers will be delivered.
Upon completion of the delivery to the 7th Brigade and South East Queensland units, deliveries to the 1st Brigade in Darwin and Adelaide will begin later this year, and to the 3rd Brigade in Townsville in 2018.
Image: Project LAND 121 Phase 3B will acquire around 2,700 medium and heavy vehicles, along with associated modules and around 1,700 trailers. Photo: courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia.