Rheinmetall Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle
22 May, 2018
Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan—Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) (16:15): It may have been a drizzly morning on 14 March in Brisbane, but nothing could dampen the spirits of the Prime Minister, Minister Payne, Minister Pyne and my Queensland colleagues, along with the Chief of Army and troops, at Gallipoli Barracks in my electorate of Ryan, because on that particular morning the Prime Minister announced that Rheinmetall was the successful proponent to deliver Australia's new combat reconnaissance vehicle, the Boxer, the Land 400 phase 2 mounted combat reconnaissance capability. During the 30-year life of the vehicles Australian industry will deliver two-thirds, or $10.2 billion, of the acquisition and sustainment, which will create up to 1,450 new jobs right across Australia. The new Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle replaces the ageing Australian light armoured vehicle that has been in service since 1996 and has seen extensive operational service.
Rheinmetall, the manufacturer, will base their manufacturing hub in South-East Queensland and will utilise the services of local Australian-based companies. More than 40 manufacturers Australia-wide will benefit from this major announcement. Rheinmetall's CRV Boxer will deliver our troops the best possible capability, including increased safety, mobility and firepower. As one soldier recently said to me, this vehicle will offer troops greater lethality as well as the best possible safety to ensure their safe return to base.
The combat reconnaissance vehicle started 2½ years ago with five per cent Australian industry content. When we recently announced that Rheinmetall was the successful bidder, that content was at 55 per cent of acquisition out of $5.2 billion and 70 per cent out of the life of the project at $15.7 billion. This is real money going into the Australian economy and creating more jobs.
The decision to award Rheinmetall this contract based in Queensland was purely on merit. There were two competing vehicles in the tender process: one obviously being the CRV from Rheinmetall and one from BAE. As Minister Payne stated during the announcement, these vehicles were tested to the nth degree. They were shot at and blown up. They were tested in the heat, in the cold, in the tropical wet, in the dry of the desert and in every possible scenario. Ultimately, the Rheinmetall vehicle, which will be manufactured in Queensland, was by any measure the leading candidate. Rheinmetall will provide our troops with the best possible capability, including increased safety, mobility and firepower. With these new CRVs being used at facilities in Puckapunyal, Bandiana, Adelaide, Townsville and Enoggera, troops will be well placed to learn their new vehicle's capabilities.
The coalition released our first Defence Industrial Capability Plan, which provides the government's vision and objectives for the development of Australia's defence industry over the next decade. Australia's defence industry has a range of world-leading capabilities and is well positioned to meet Defence's current and future needs. The Turnbull coalition government is ensuring that our ADF, whether it is the Army, the Air Force or the Navy, has the capabilities to keep us safe in the 21st century.