Joint press release
- HON Andrew Gee MP, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Minister of Defense Personnel, MP for Calare
Thales Australia has been contracted by Rheinmetall Defense Australia to manufacture critical weapon components for the Australian Army’s new 8 × 8 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, which signifies a strong show of support to our defense industry.
Defense Industry Minister Melissa Price announced today that Thales will draw on its vast experience and Australian supplier base to help manufacture the components for the Boxer’s 30mm gun.
The components will then be assembled at the Rheinmetall Military Vehicle Center of Excellence in Redbank, Queensland, officially opened by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in October last year.
Minister Price said partnerships with the local defense industry are essential to ensure that our industrial base effectively supports Australia’s national security.
“This contract is a great testament to the Morrison government’s commitment to strengthening Australia’s sovereign defense industrial capacity and maximizing opportunities for local defense manufacturing companies,” said Minister Price.
“Australian industry will play a critical role in the delivery of Boxer vehicles.
“Rheinmetall will use suppliers across the country to design, build, assemble, test and support Boxer vehicles for the military.
“We are supporting Australian businesses and supporting local jobs.”
Veterans Affairs and Defense Minister Andrew Gee welcomed the announcement, which is a boon to jobs and investment in the Lithgow community.
“In 1912 the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, which would later become Thales Australia, began producing SMLE 303 rifles carried by Australian forces during World War I,” said Minister Gee.
“More than a century later, the tradition of the Australian Defense Force of using not only Australian-made but also Lithgow-made weapons continues, with Thales Australia supplying 30mm gun components for the new vehicles of 8 × 8 Boxer combat reconnaissance.
“The first samples of weapon components manufactured by Thales Australia in Lithgow have been given the green light, passing rigorous quality controls by Rheinmetall in Germany.
“The manufacturing partnership will create approximately 10 new jobs and support the 130 jobs already present at the Lithgow site.
“The Lithgow Weapons Factory is part of the fabric of the Lithgow region and plays a key role in our national defense capability, ensuring our ADF personnel have access to world-class military weapons. “
Rheinmetall Defense Australia will supply and support 211 Boxer 8 × 8 combat reconnaissance vehicles – a key investment under Force Structure Plan 2020 – as part of the LAND 400 Phase 2 – Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle to replace Australian Light Armored Vehicles of the Australian Army.
Boxer vehicles will deliver enhanced mobility, firepower and protection in environments ranging from regional stability missions to high threat operations.