Rheinmetall Defence Australia has started construction on the $170m Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Ipswich, Queensland.
The MILVEHCOE will support the Australian Defence Forces’ (ADF) Land 400 combat reconnaissance vehicle programme valued at more than A$5bn ($3.63bn).
Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said: “The centre, known as MILVEHCOE, represents a multi-million dollar investment by Rheinmetall, which is delivering both trucks and armoured vehicles for the army.”
Pyne added: “This is a nation-building effort involving 1,450 jobs across Australia for our newest armoured vehicles alone and reinforces the federal government’s drive to support the workforce behind the defence force.”
The MILVEHCOE will manage the production line for the 211 Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles being delivered by Rheinmetall under the ADF’s LAND 400 Phase II contract and support several jobs in the region.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo said: “These are the jobs of the future, working on highly advanced military vehicles with advanced complex systems.
“These are vehicles which are designed and manufactured to give our soldiers the best possible chance of completing their missions on operations and coming home safely to their families.”
In addition, the Queensland facility will serve as a regional hub for the continuous design, development and support of up to 5,000 military vehicles in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
In May this year, construction and civil engineering company Watpac was selected as the managing contractor to build the MILVEHCOE for Rheinmetall Defence Australia, supporting 300 jobs a year over a period of two years.
Deliveries of the new Boxer vehicles are slated to begin in 2020, with the final lot expected to complete in 2026.