The government has officially signed the contract with Rheinmetall for the delivery of 211 armoured combat reconnaissance vehicles, the largest acquisition project in the history of the Australian Army.
The vehicles will provide mobility, lethality and protection capability for the Army, and the build program will create 1450 high-tech, highly skilled jobs across Australia.
The Boxers replace the ASLAVs (Australian Light Armoured Vehicle), which are more than 20 years old. Fitted with modern sensors and communications equipment, their role is to locate, monitor and engage with enemy forces and provide security to Australian forces.
The vehicles will fill seven different roles on the battlefield including reconnaissance, command and control, joint fires, surveillance, ambulance, battlefield repair and recovery.
The total acquisition cost of the vehicles is $5.2 billion. The Australian industry content of the project was raised significantly through the tender process to over 50 per cent. Australian industry will contribute over 75% for sustainment of the vehicles.
In March, the Boxer CRV edged out the adversary, BAE Systems/Patria AMV35, in a close contest that saw initial delays as Australian Industry Content considerations were sorted and both vehicles were put through a rigorous Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA).
In a statement, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said that the workforce that will deliver the Boxer vehicles will continue to be used to support sustainment, progressive development and upgrades as well as potential export opportunities.
The first vehicles are expected to be available for training in 2020.