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Australia announces 5 billion dollar tank deal with German company

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Sydney (dpa) - The Australian government has awarded German-owned Rheinmetall Defence Australia a contract worth 5 billion dollars (3.9 billion US dollars) to build a new fleet of "super tanks."

The government-backed bid to build 211 Boxer CRV field-armoured vehicles at a new facility at Ipswich, south-west of Brisbane, is the largest single acquisition ever made for the Australian Army, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Wednesday.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rheinmetall AG, a German automotive and military technology company with its headquarters in Dusseldorf. 

Turnbull said Rheinmetall had designed a superior tank.

"This is about lethality and survivability. This is about capability and protection and the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle bridges that all together," he told reporters in Brisbane.

The CRV, an eight-wheel-drive, has been lauded as the best vehicle to protect against mines and homemade bombs. It handles the most difficult terrain, as well as high speeds on roads and turns in tight spaces.

It is equipped with a grenade launcher with the potential to add a missile system, and it can be remotely controlled without a crew.

"The BOXER CRV is a Swiss army knife to allow the soldiers to deal with the ambiguity of future peacekeeping and future war-fighting scenarios," Ben Hudson, Rheinmetall‘s Head of Vehicle Systems, said.

"We‘ve put them in the heat. We‘ve put them in the cold. We put them in the wet. We put them in the dry. We shot at them, we tried to blow them up," Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said in Brisbane.

The new tanks are part of the Australian government‘s 200 billion dollars of investment in defence capability over the next decade.

"We have had a big defence budget for a long time, but we have not spent enough of it in Australia," Turnbull said.


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