Construction and civil engineering company Watpac has been selected as the managing contractor to construct the $170m Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) for Rheinmetall Defence Australia.
The new MILVEHCOE facility is expected to support 300 jobs a year over two years. It will be located at Redbank in Ipswich, Queensland.
In a statement, Queensland State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said that the earthworks on the project are expected to commence by the middle of this year after Rheinmetall concludes its contract negotiations with the Australian Government.
Construction work is expected to begin by the end of the year, while the MILVEHCOE facility will be completed by the end of 2020.
As Rheinmetall’s largest facility outside of Germany, MILVEHCOE will help the company to manage the delivery, continued development and sustainment of the initial 211 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles under the Australian Army’s Land 400 Phase II programme.
Dick said: “It will serve as a regional hub with an expected programme of continuous design, manufacture and support for up to 5,000 military vehicles across Australia and the Asia Pacific.”
Workers from Queensland, Australia, will be based in Rheinmetall’s German factory to carry out production of the first 25 Boxer vehicles, developing the technical skills to install the systems onto the 25 vehicles.
Dick added: “The MILVEHCOE will be the base for Rheinmetall to deliver the $5.2bn Land 400 Phase II contract for next-generation combat reconnaissance vehicles for the Australian Army.
“Progress is well underway with GHD completing the initial designs, work they will finalise in association with Watpac, and the development application has been approved by Ipswich City Council.”