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Boxer armoured vehicle: troop carriers made by Rheinmetall … – The Australian Financial Review

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Bigger, faster, stronger. The next-generation Boxer armoured vehicles being made in Australia by German defence giant Rheinmetall are in high demand in armies around the world.
The Boxer, which is being manufactured at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s factory at Redbank, near Ipswich in south-east Queensland, is almost twice the size of the current Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV), but is still faster.
Despite the Boxer weighing 24 tonnes (or 38.5 tonnes in combat configuration) it can still travel at a maximum speed of 103 kilometres per hour, pipping the ASLAV (13.4 tonnes) which has a top speed of 100 kilometres per hour.
It also has significant firepower that includes a 30mm cannon and 7.62mm machine gun, while some Boxers also have the capacity for anti-tank guided missiles.
The Boxer, which carries three crew and up to four others, is installed with the latest laser warning detection system and a high level of blast protection.
The Australian army has already ordered 211 of the Boxers to replace the ASLAV, which has been used extensively since 1996 but is being phased out.
The German government this week placed an order for 100 Boxer heavy weapon carriers as part of a $1 billion deal with the federal government.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed the deal with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday, which could be a downpayment for Australia’s biggest export defence contract.
It also puts Rheinmetall in the box seat to win the Australian army’s infantry fighting vehicle contract, which was controversially scaled back in the Defence Strategic Review.
Mr Albanese sees the deal as crucial to underpinning ties with Germany, not just bilaterally but also as a conduit to the broader European Union following Brexit and the diplomatic rupture with France over the cancelled submarine project.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the deal with Germany. The Rheinmetall production facility west of Brisbane supports more than 600 local jobs.
“This announcement is a huge win for advanced manufacturing and jobs in Queensland. It means long-term good secure jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.
The federal government hopes the Boxer will enhance the safety, security and protection of Australian troops for years to come.
“The Boxer CRV [Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles] will operate in a range of environments, from the littoral environment of our near region, to contested complex urban environments,” it said.
“The high levels of protection, firepower and mobility provided by the vehicle will ensure sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.”
Rheinmetall Defence Australia has already delivered the first 25 “Block I” Boxers – which were built and assembled primarily in Germany but underwent final testing in Australia – to the Defence Department.
The next Block CRVs, also known as Block II vehicles, will be built and assembled in Queensland, under the close eye of the parent company in Germany.
The Australian workforce at Rheinmetall’s factory in Redbank will also work on the Boxers being exported to Germany.
The vehicles bound for Germany would largely share the same specifications as the Australian ones.
As part of its winning bid in 2018 for the Australian Defence Force contract, Rheinmetall established a factory and testing ground at Redbank, dubbed the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence.
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