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$5 billion Army contract awarded to Queensland

In a major win for Queensland, the state has won the contract to build $5 billion worth of defence vehicles as part of the most substantial Australian Army purchase in history, reports abc.net.au.

 

Appointed to the build the 211 light armoured vehicles in a new facility in Ipswich is German contractor, Rheinmetall. The project is estimated to create 330 jobs in Queensland, 170 in Victoria, and 140 in NSW.

 

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said Australian businesses are set to be the big winners in Queensland and Victoria, but the effects will be felt Australia-wide. In the past vehicles would have been imported from overseas, but with this deal, 54% of the acquisition will be value to the Australian economy.

 

"And of course, most importantly, we're providing the capability the Defence Force needs to be a modern army meeting the challenges that we may face at some stage in the future."

 

"The Army will get a very lethal and protected vehicle to look after our soldiers," said Mr Pyne.

 

Speaking at the Enoggera Army Barracks this morning, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said this was the single-largest purchase made for the Australian Army.

 

"As one of the troopers said to me just a moment ago, this is about lethality and survivability. This is about capability and protection," he said.

 

"This is about Australia's security. But it's not simply or solely about capability in a military sense.

 

"It is about ensuring that we have, for the first time, a fully integrated national sovereign defence industry."

 

The type of vehicle that will be developed is the ‘Boxer CRV,’ which surpassed a three-year tender and rigorous testing phase. Defence Minister Marise Payne said vehicles were challenged in climates of heat, cold, wet, and dry. They had been shot at, along with attempts to blow them up.

 

"The outcome of that assessment is that this has the capability to provide the mobility, the lethality and the protection that will support the men and women of the ADF in doing the job that we ask them to do every day."

 

The total cost of buying and maintaining the vehicles over their expected 30-year life is estimated at $15.7 billion.

 

The procurement will also see improvements to military facilities at Puckapunyal, Bandiana, Adelaide, Townsville, and Enoggera.

 

Queensland's State Development Minister, Cameron Dick, said "It is a new beginning for manufacturing in Queensland."

 

Mr Dick indicated the big win for Queensland will deliver over 600 jobs for the state over the next ten years, a direct benefit of $1 billion to the economy, and the potential for Queensland to become a manufacturing base to win more contracts in the future. 

 

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