German manufacturer Rheinmetall won a Aus$5.2 (US$4.1 billion) contract Wednesday to supply Australia with new armoured combat vehicles as Canberra boosts its defence capabilities.
The deal will see Rheinmetall supply 211 of its Boxer CRV vehicles built with Australian steel by Australian workers, defeating a rival bid from BAE Systems.
“The vehicles will provide improved safety to Australian soldiers on deployment and on exercises around the world,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“They will boost mobility and firepower on the battlefield in the decades ahead.”
The wheeled machines, which have a 30-year life, will replace the Army’s current ageing Light Armoured Vehicle fleet and undertake a range of missions, from peacekeeping to “high-threat operations”.
The CRVs, which can withstand direct bomb attacks and heavy machine gun fire, and are part of a Aus$200 billion government investment in strengthening its defence force over the next decade.
In 2016, French naval contractor DCNS was selected to design and build 12 new state-of-the-art submarines, beating off competition from Germany and Japan.
Australia’s current ANZAC and Adelaide class frigates will also be replaced, with Britain’s BAE Systems, Italy’s Fincantieri, and Spain’s Navantia in the running for that deal.