Rheinmetall Defence Australia has delivered the first Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV) to the Australian Government.

The first of 211 new Boxer 8×8 CRVs for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was handed over during a ceremony at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane.

Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) is procuring the vehicles under the A$5bn ($3.38bn) LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability programme.

The new CRVs will offer enhanced protection, firepower and mobility to the Australian Army.

Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “These new vehicles are part of the Liberal National Government’s A$200bn ($135.43bn) investment in our defence capability to ensure the Australian Defence Force is equipped to succeed in our challenging strategic environment.

“They will be able to undertake a range of missions from regional stability and peacekeeping through to high-threat operations, and will provide improved safety to Australian soldiers on deployment and on exercises around the world.”

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Rheinmetall’s Boxer 8×8 CRV was chosen after 12 months of trials by ADF in 2016-17.

The project to construct the 211 vehicles is expected to generate around 1,450 jobs across Australia.

Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “This project presents an exciting opportunity for Australian industry to play a vital role in delivering leading-edge capability and technology to Australia’s Army.

“Our government’s investment decisions in defence capability are complemented by a comprehensive defence industry policy agenda to support a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry, which will support jobs and investment across the country.”

The programme will also provide opportunities to the Australian industry over the lifecycle of the vehicles.

Rheinmetall has selected seven more local small businesses to supply equipment for the first 25 Boxer vehicles.

The companies are Frontline Manufacturing, Precision Metal Group Australia, Direct Edge, MoTeC, Axalta, Hilton Manufacturing, and Rockpress.

This is in addition to the five local businesses previously selected for the Boxer programme.

Under the project, Rheinmetall will assemble the first 25 vehicles in Germany and deliver to Australia to enable technology transfer.

The remaining 186 will be assembled at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence facility in Australia.

The new CRVs will replace the country’s light armoured vehicles.

Last week, the government shortlisted Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia for the next phase of the LAND 400 Phase 3 Program.