Australian Steel For A Military Vehicle Industry

BlueScope Steel and Rheinmetall Defence Australia today signed a teaming agreement that will see Australia’s biggest steel producer deliver thousands of tonnes of feedstock for the local production of high performance armour steel for a new national military vehicle industry.

The teaming agreement was signed before BlueScope employees at the company’s Port Kembla steelworks near Wollongong today as part of a company briefing about Rheinmetall’s bid for Land 400 Phase 2 and the BOXER 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle.

BlueScope is already working alongside Rheinmetall and Illawarra-based specialty steel manufacturing company Bisalloy Steel to deliver two new grades of armoured steel for processing and supply to local and export military vehicle programs including Land 400 Phase 2.

Testing already carried out by Bisalloy, BlueScope and Rheinmetall is part of a two-year certification and qualification process being undertaken to meet the stringent performance standards for armoured steel required by Rheinmetall, considered to be the toughest in the world. To date, only two steel companies globally have qualified to supply this steel, each of those being in the northern hemisphere.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said the company was proud to deliver military vehicles that protected Australian soldiers utilising high performance steel designed, developed and manufactured by two great Australian companies.

“Australian steel underpins our plans to establish a new national military vehicle industry delivering to the Australian Defence force and export customers,” Mr Stewart said.

“BlueScope is the nation’s premiere steel producer and BISALLOY® Armour steel is a leading product for defence applications in Australia and export markets.”

Today’s teaming agreement underscores the commitment shown by Rheinmetall, Bisalloy and BlueScope to protecting Australian soldiers and ensuring they return home from combat.”

BlueScope is a flat steel producer for the domestic Australian, New Zealand and US markets, and is a leading international supplier of steel products and solutions, principally focused on the global building and construction industry. The company has more than 100 facilities and over 14,000 employees.

Manufactured in the Illawarra by Bisalloy Steel, BISALLOY® Armour steel is purpose-designed specialty steel grade for defence applications in Australia and abroad and is specified for hulls in Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV), Collins Class submarines and the Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicles in Australia, along with many APCs and LAVs worldwide.

Currently the largest supplier of military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force, Rheinmetall is delivering more than 2500 logistics trucks to the Australian Army under the LAND 121 Phase 3B program.

Rheinmetall will transfer technology, research and development opportunities to Australia and work with Australian SMEs to deliver this capability to the ADF. The company has already announced a dozen companies within its Land 400 team from NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. These companies have been selected to deliver a range of products and services to support the manufacture of the BOXER CRV in Australia.

Rheinmetall’s has proposed a sovereign military vehicle capability for Australia, based in Queensland, at its proposed Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE). The MILVEHCOE will be the global manufacturing base for the company’s new LYNX Infantry Fighting Vehicle and range of LANCE turrets under its Land 400 offer to the Commonwealth of Australia.

Rheinmetall is transferring critical know-how to local SMEs to support the sustainment of the BOXER CRV throughout the life of the Land 400 program. Local SME partners will also be included in the Rheinmetall Global Supply Chain, enabling each to export their industry leading technologies globally.

A network of trusted companies across Australia is a fundamental part of Rheinmetall’s offer to the Commonwealth. Each company will deliver a range of products and services to support the manufacture of the BOXER CRV. These companies include Melbourne-based Cablex, Burnie-based Direct Edge, Brisbane-based G&O Kert, Melbourne-based Hilton Manufacturing, Perth-based Hoffman Engineering, Melbourne-based Nezkot Precision Tooling and Engineering, Adelaide-based Plasteel and Adelaide-based Redarc.

About Rheinmetall

Rheinmetall sets the global standard for excellence in a wide array of disciplines and offers an extensive array of military hardware that delivers mobility, lethality, survivability of troops, reconnaissance capability and networking of national and international systems. Rheinmetall Defence Australia and New Zealand is a subsidiary of Rheinmetall AG, with offices in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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For more information, please contact:

Richard Sproull

Rheinmetall Defence Australia

M: 0418585517