COLOGNE, Germany – Germany’s Rheinmetall has delivered a new slate of 25 Boxer vehicles to Australia under the country’s multibillion-dollar army modernization program, the company announced on June 2.
The newest vehicles came in a combat reconnaissance configuration, of which Australia stands to receive 131 copies under the $5.2 billion Land 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability project, according to a Rheinmetall statement. The CRV variants make up of the bulk of the country’s total order of 211 Boxers.
Australia is one of Rheinmetall’s major customers for the armored, wheeled vehicles. The company is also outfitting British forces with the rides, though U.K. officials have recently weighed options for boosting the new vehicles’ firepower to take up new missions.
Rheinmetall markets the Boxer in conjunction with its consortium partner and rival Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. The European customer base also includes Germany, Netherlands and Lithuania.
Australia’s Land 400 program is a key military modernization effort meant to increase fighting capabilities and nurse an emerging domestic defense industrial base at the same time. Companies involved in the program typically tout their focus on building local production plants and hiring Australians.
In the case of the Boxer sale, Rheinmetall said there are currently “over 30 Australians” working at sites in Germany to learn everything about the vehicle. The idea is certify a Boxer production line within the company’s Military Vehicle Center of Excellence in Redbank, Queensland, where workers can eventually make the vehicles domestically.
Rheinmetall opened that facility in October 2020, though achieving full production capacity is still a work in progress.
Sebastian Sprenger is associate editor for Europe at Defense News, reporting on the state of the defense market in the region, and on U.S.-Europe cooperation and multi-national investments in defense and global security. Previously he served as managing editor for Defense News. He is based in Cologne, Germany.