COLOGNE, Germany — Australia has signed a contract with Rheinmetall to supply military trucks worth €430 million (U.S. $500 million) to the country’s armed forces, the company announced Thursday.

The deal for 1,000 logistics trucks comes on top of a previous order for 2,500 such vehicles, worth €1.2 billion. Deliveries for the new order will begin next year and last until 2024, the German company said.

The latest batch of vehicles stems from the Australian LAND 121 Phase 5B program, which is an extension of the larger 3B segment.

“This follow-up order is of great strategic significance to us, providing an excellent reference for other important international projects,” Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger was quoted as saying in the company statement.

“It reflects Australia’s satisfaction with our performance and the quality of our vehicles,” he added. “Rheinmetall’s latest success in the Asia-Pacific region proves that our products are at the cutting edge of technology, and that the customer see in us a proven and reliable partner, fully capable of carrying out sophisticated large-scale projects.”

The Düsseldorf, Germany-based company currently is Australia's largest supplier of military vehicles, according to the website of the state of Queensland. Rheinmetall is establishing a “military vehicle center of excellence” outside of Brisbane, the state's capital.

That location is slated to be a hub for the Australian military’s LAND 400 program, for which Rheinmetall was formally tapped last month to build Boxer wheeled armored reconnaissance vehicles worth €2.1 billion. The award was first announced by the Australian government in March.

There could be yet more business for Rheinmetall in Australia. The next phase of the multibillion-dollar LAND 400 program, which addresses a requirement for new infantry fighting vehicles, began with the release of a tender in late August. Rheinmetall is expected to put forward its Lynx vehicle.

Companies have through March 1, 2019, to submit bids.

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.

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