Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019

State in firing line for defence cash

GLOBAL defence giant Rheinmetall has been announced as one of two final contenders for Australia's richest ever land-based military hardware contract.

Rheinmetall, which plans to base its construction in Queensland, was on Monday night announced as one of two companies in the running for the $15 billion contract in the next stage of evaluation.

The Land 400 Phase 3 Program will replace the M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers providing the Army with an advanced, world-class Infantry Fighting Vehicle capability.

Rheinmetall won the $5 billion Land 400 phase 2 contract to build 225 state-of-the-art armoured vehicles and set up a construction centre near ­Ipswich and will now compete with Victoria-based Hanwha Defense Australia for the phase 3 contract.

The two short-listed bidders will go to a 12-month build program to develop three vehicles for risk mitigation trials.

Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Rheinmetall Managing Director Gary Stewart at their Redbank facility.
Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with Rheinmetall Managing Director Gary Stewart at their Redbank facility.

Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien said it was great to see Rheinmetall make the shortlist, keeping Queensland in the mix to win the huge contract.

Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, said the vehicles would provide "new levels of protection, firepower, and mobility".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said securing the next phase of the Land 400 contract would mean a further 400 Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles would be manufactured at Rheinmetall's new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Ipswich.

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said MILVEHCOE will be the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facility in Australian and he believed it would give Queensland the edge in the final round.

"While the tender evaluation is firmly centred around vehicle capability, having a ready facility of national significance will surely be a compelling consideration," Mr Dick said.

"The Palaszczuk Government has backed this bid the whole way, and it's great to see this next phase come to fruition."

The contract will be the largest land forces investment in Australian history.