Port Kembla steel will feature in the defence force’s latest armoured vehicle.
Queensland-based company Rheinmetall has won a $5.2 billion contract to build 211 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles.
Those vehicles will feature armoured steel made by Unanderra’s Bisalloy, from steel bought from the Port Kembla steelworks.
The deal will see more than 2000 tonnes of BlueScope steel being used in building the vehicles.
Bisalloy’s Business Manager Armour Justin Suwart was pleased to hear Rheinmetall had secured the contract.
“We’ve worked closely with the Rheinmetall team over the course of the tender process and have formed a close working relationship with their technical and production teams that will ensure a smooth, collaborative approach as the project moves forward,” Mr Suwart said.
Bisalloy steel products have been used in other military vehicles, including armoured personnel carriers and Collins Class submarines, said company CEO Greg Albert.
“Knowing our product will again be protecting Australian soldiers is a tremendous source of pride for our company and builds on our long history of supplying our specialist steel to critical defence applications,” Mr Albert said.
BlueScope’s Manager Manufacturing Markets Troy Gent said the project will see 2000 tonnes of steel plate made at Port Kembla and then sent on to Bisalloy.
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“The partnership between BlueScope, Bisalloy Steel and Rheinmetall Defence is quite unique and will see us as only the third accredited supplier of this type of steel in the world, and the only supplier outside of Europe, with the capability to manufacture this highly technical product,” Mr Gent said.
“Over the next 12 months, BlueScope will work closely with both Bisalloy Steel and Rheinmetall Defence to develop the required grade of steel needed before formal supply of steel commences for the first Boxer vehicle in 2021.”
NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward congratulated the two Illawarra companies.
“Our soldiers need the best possible combination of protection as well as speed and firepower and I’m proud Illawarra companies are contributing to this national effort,” Mr Ward said.