Germany’s Rheinmetall announced on Friday that it signed a €2.1 billion (Au$3.3 billion, $2.27 billion) contract to supply Australia with 211 Boxer wheeled armored vehicles.
The contract was signed on Friday, August 17 by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart, the company said in a press release.
The Australian Defence Force will introduce several variants of the Boxer 8×8 vehicles including 133 of the reconnaissance variant with the Lance turret system and 30mm automatic cannon, Rheinmetall said.
Delivery of the Boxer vehicles will take place between 2019 and 2026, with the first expected to be available for training in 2020. More than 40 Australian companies will be included in the program, the company added.
In March, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced the Au$5.2 billion (€3.3 billion, $4.1 billion) acquisition, the largest ever for the Australian Army.
“The Government will spend Au$5.2 billion to acquire the 211 vehicles, which will replace the Army’s current ageing Australian Light Armoured Vehicle fleet,” the three said in a joint press release.
“The total acquisition cost of the vehicles is Au$5.2 billion. The Australian industry content of the project was raised significantly through the tender process to over 50 percent, demonstrating the benefits of Defence and industry working together,” Turnbull reiterated on Friday.
Au$2.8 billion (€1.8 billion, $2.2 billion) of the acquisition cost will be spent on Australian content, including Australian steel. Pyne said in March that 70 percent of the Au$15.7 billion (€10 billion, $12.4 billion) total spend over 30 years will be in Australia.