Thales Australia has been contracted by Rheinmetall Defence Australia to manufacture critical weapons components for the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price today announced Thales would draw on its experience and Australian supplier base to assist with the manufacture of components for the Boxer’s MK 30-2 cannon.
Thales Australia’s Lithgow facility has commenced manufacturing the 30mm cannon components, leveraging the support of 16 current and new Australian SME suppliers. According to Thales, pproximately 50 per cent of the work will be done by these SME suppliers and the overall AIC is over 85 per cent. The components will then be assembled at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Redbank, Queensland.
“Australian industry will play a vital role in the delivery of the Boxer vehicles," Minister Price said. “Rheinmetall will use suppliers across the country to design, build, assemble, test and support the Boxer vehicles for the Army.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee welcomed the announcement.
“In 1912, the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, which would become Thales Australia, began producing SMLE 303 rifles carried by Australian forces in WW1,” Minister Gee said.
“More than a century later, the tradition of the Australian Defence Force employing not only Australian-made but Lithgow-made weapons continues, with Thales Australia to deliver 30mm cannon components for the new Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles.
“First samples of the weapon components manufactured by Thales Australia in Lithgow have been given the green light, passing stringent quality control checks by Rheinmetall in Germany."