Home World Business Australian steel to armour $5b new tanks fleet

Australian steel to armour $5b new tanks fleet


“The partnership between BlueScope, Bisalloy Steel and Rheinmetall Defence is quite unique and will see us as only the third accredited supplier of this type of steel in the world, and the only supplier outside of Europe, with the capability to manufacture this highly technical product.”

BlueScope said it would be working closely with its project partners over the coming 12 months to develop the required grade of steel before its first supply for the Boxer tank begins in 2021.

Announcing the winner of the so-called “Land 400” contract on Wednesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the project would create as many as 1450 jobs over the 30-year life of the combat vehicles.

Malcolm Turnbull announces Rheinmetall will build $5 billion of new armoured vehicles in Redbank for the Army.

Malcolm Turnbull announces Rheinmetall will build $5 billion of new armoured vehicles in Redbank for the Army.

Photo: AAP

“The world-class vehicles will be manufactured and delivered by Australian workers, using Australian steel,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Rheinmetall is working with more than 40 companies across Australia, ensuring the delivery of these vehicles will be a national enterprise.”

The federal government’s decision to choose Rheinmetall’s Boxer vehicles over BAE Systems’ AMV35s has angered the Victorian government, as BAE had promised to base its manufacturing in Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend.

It prompted a string of accusations that the decision had been politically motivated and aimed at winning over Queensland’s marginal electorates.

“Victoria is Australia’s home of manufacturing, with a larger industry and workforce than any other state,” Victorian Industry Minister Ben Carroll said.

“But it’s ignored by Malcolm Turnbull, with submarines being sent to South Australia, ships to Western Australia and now vehicles to Queensland.”

According to the federal government, the new fleet of combat reconnaissance vehicles will be used on a range of military missions, including “regional stability and peacekeeping through to high-threat operations”.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union’s Queensland and Northern Territory branch said the decision to select Rheinmetall would create “good, secure jobs that support the local economy”.

“The decision is great but the hard work is not over,” the union said.

“The AMWU will be lobbying hard to ensure the supply chain benefits of this project stay in Queensland to benefit workers across the state, not just in the south-east corner.”

Nick Toscano

Workplace Reporter for The Age

Morning & Afternoon Newsletter

Delivered Mon–Fri.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here