Construction of Rheinmetall’s $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank is ramping up, with more than 240 tradies, apprentices and trainees now on site.

Rheinmetall, a global defence giant, is establishing the new facility to deliver a $5.2 billion contract for the Australian Defence Force.

Under the contract, the company will manufacture 211 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles at Redbank using local Rheinmetall staff and selected local suppliers.

Rheinmetall Group CEO Armin Papperger toured the Redbank site earlier this month with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Development Minister Cameron Dick.

Ms Palaszczuk said the project now had 240 trade workers on site and had awarded trade packages worth more than $100 million to 60 South East Queensland businesses.

‘The project to deliver 211 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles under the $5.2 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 project is progressing exceptionally well and is on-track for phased practical completion from early next year,’ she said.

‘There are 33 apprentices and 20 trainees here on site at MILVECHOE, learning their trade at what will ultimately be the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility in Australia.

‘Rheinmetall has also been steadily recruiting their permanent workforce since its selection as the successful tenderer, with over 60 new employees now based in Brisbane, expanding to 200 permanent Brisbane staff by the end of the year.’

Mr Papperger said MILVEHCOE would be Rheinmetall’s largest presence outside of Germany.

‘The MILVEHCOE will be unique within Rheinmetall, as the one site will house some of the best technologies from across our entire defence business – electronics, electro-optics, armour, turrets, vehicles and simulators in addition to an impressive range of development and test facilities,’ he said.

When completed, MILVEHCOE will rely on a network of companies to deliver component products and services.

With almost 10% of employment in Ipswich associated with the defence industry, TIQ’s Ipswich office is working with the new Ipswich Defence Hub and local suppliers to take advantage of the opportunities created by MILVEHCOE and other defence projects.

The Queensland Government is also supporting Rheinmetall’s bid to win the LAND 400 Phase 3 project, which will deliver up to 400 infantry fighting vehicles for the Australian Army, worth $10–15 billion.

The defence and aerospace sector is identified as one of Queensland’s growing export priorities in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’re a Queensland company looking to access Rheinmetall’s global supply chain, contact TIQ or Defence Jobs Queensland.