Queensland has won the race to build $5 billion worth of fighting vehicles as part of the largest purchase in the Australian Army’s history.
German contractor Rheinmetall is set to build the 211 light armoured vehicles at a new facility in Ipswich, west of Brisbane.
The Federal Government estimates the acquisition will create 330 jobs in Queensland, along with 170 roles in Victoria, and 140 in New South Wales.
“Australian businesses will be big winners in Victoria and in Queensland, but also in other states,” Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said.
“And of course, most importantly, we’re providing the capability the Defence Force needs to be a modern army meeting the challenges that we may face at some stage in the future.”
“The Army will get a very lethal and protected vehicle to look after our soldiers.”
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Mr Pyne said the Defence Department recommended Rheinmetall’s Boxer CRV following a three-year tender and testing process.
Federal Cabinet also considered a bid from BAE Systems, which was set to build the light armoured vehicles in Victoria.
Buying and maintaining the vehicles is expected to cost $15.7 billion.
The Government said this was a record purchase for the Army, and would create 1,450 jobs across Australia.
Defence expects the vehicles will have a 30-year life, and will be equipped for peacekeeping and high-threat operations.
The acquisition will also see upgrades to military facilities at Puckapunyal, Bandiana, Adelaide, Townsville, and Enoggera.
Despite an intense lobbying campaign for the vehicles to be built in Queensland, Mr Pyne said “politics played absolutely no part” in the decision.
“The Rheinmetall bid was assessed by Defence as being the successful tenderer,” he said.
“These decisions are taken very seriously by the Government and of course by the Department of Defence.”