LAND 400 has four discrete phases:
LAND 400 Phase 2 - Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability
Defence has signed contracts with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to deliver and support 211 Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) for the Australian Army.
This is a significant Army capability that will enhance the safety, security and protection of Australian troops for the next 30 years. The Boxer 8x8 CRV will replace the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle, which has seen extensive operational service since its introduction in 1996.
The CRVs will operate in a range of environments, from regional stability missions through to high-threat operations against adversaries. The high levels of protection, firepower and mobility provided by the vehicles will enable sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.
Rheinmetall will base its Australian and New Zealand headquarters as well as its manufacturing hub in South East Queensland and is now establishing contracts with its major Australian sub-contractors.
Some early vehicles will be initially assembled in Germany as a part of technology transfer activities which will familiarise Australian workers and suppliers on manufacturing techniques of these highly complex vehicles. A Resident Project Office has been established in Hamburg, Germany, to support the initial delivery of the capability. These vehicles will be shipped to Australia for final assembly. After this initial phase, vehicles will be fully assembled in Australia.
The Australian workforce involved in the construction of the vehicles will be used to support sustainment, progressive development and upgrades to the Boxer. They will also be used to support potential export opportunities.
The Australian Industry Capability level for this project is over 65 per cent, with an expected $10.2 billion, 30 year investment in Australian industry over the life of the project. LAND 400 Phase 2 is expected to generate approximately 1,450 jobs across Australia during the construction of the vehicles.
The Boxer 8x8 CRV will be equipped with:
On 24 September 2019, Rheinmetall Defence Australia delivered the first Boxer 8x8 CRV to the Commonwealth. Final vehicle deliveries are expected in 2026.
LAND 400 Phase 3 - Mounted Close Combat Capability
The Mounted Close Combat Capability (LAND 400 Phase 3) project is scoped to acquire and support up to 450 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) and a Manoeuvre Support Vehicle capability comprising up to 17 vehicles.
The IFVs will replace the current M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers that have been in service since the mid 1960's. When delivered, the IFV will allow Army to successfully sustain mounted close combat operations against emerging and future threats as part of a joint force.
The LAND 400 Phase 3 Request for Tender was released to industry on 24 August 2018 and closed on 1 March 2019.
Defence seeks an IFV with high levels of protection, mobility and lethality, capable of lifting six dismounts in a standard infantry battalion section. Defence's preference is for a tracked vehicle with a manned turret.
Following tender close, Defence commenced a three stage tender evaluation process:
Stage One of the tender evaluation process has been completed. On 16 September 2019, the Government announced that Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia had been assessed as offering vehicles that are best able to meet Defence's requirements and to deliver a value for money solution, and have been invited to proceed to the next stage of the evaluation.
Stage Two, the Risk Mitigation Activity is now underway and will be conducted over a two year period. The activity is designed to allow Defence to work with the shortlisted tenderers to clarify, refine and negotiate their offers and to undertake detailed testing and evaluation of the tendered vehicles.
As part of the Risk Mitigation Activity, Defence facilitated an Australian Industry Capability Roadshow in conjunction with Rheinmetall Defence Australia and Hanwha Defense Australia over the period March – May 2020. The Roadshow enabled companies across Australia to showcase their capabilities and provide both shortlisted tenderers with the opportunity to identify local businesses able to contribute to their domestic and international supply chains. A total of 400 Australian companies across all States and Territories delivered pitches on their business capabilities in both face to face and digital formats.
In addition to the Roadshow, Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia continue to conduct their own industry engagement activities. Both shortlisted tenderers have provided further information on their respective capabilities and how they engage with Australian industry and the Hanwha Defense Australia document can be found here and Rheinmetall Defence Australia document found here.
The Risk Mitigation Activity will conclude with the two shortlisted tenderers submitting their final offers.
Stage Three is the final evaluation of the tenders and the selection of the preferred tenderer. Advice on the preferred tenderer will be presented to Government for consideration in 2022.