Concept images of Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at the Redbank Motorway Estate where it will construct the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles in the Land 400 program.
Concept images of Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at the Redbank Motorway Estate where it will construct the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles in the Land 400 program. Contributed

PREVIEW: Rooftop laser, cannon firing range at LAND 400 HQ

A WEAPONS firing range, rooftop laser testing facility and an off-road vehicle testing track will be built at Rheinmetall's Redbank headquarters where one Boxer vehicle will be produced every three days.

The Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence facility will be the company's regional headquarters for Australia and New Zealand and is expected to service Rheinmetall's existing and future customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

It will include a production workshop, electronics building, electro-magnetic compatibility facility, vehicle test track complex and a weapons test firing range.

According to a material change of use application lodged with the Ipswich City Council, the facility will be a world-class, fit-for-purpose defence manufacturing and sustainment facility to support the Australian Defence Force.

Weapon Test Firing Range

A FIRING chamber will be built to test and adjust the 30mm cannon and MAG58 7.62mm machine gun that will be equipped to the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles.

According to a hazard and risk report, the site will facilitate live-firing of medium-calibre weapons as well as storage of ammunition.

The test firing range includes a 6metre by 6metre, 100metre long, fully enclosed, firing chamber with ballistic protection and acoustic attenuation.

It will facilitate the firing of combat vehicle-mounted weapons up to 35 mm x 228 calibre and the firing of clamped weapons from solid stands up to 35 mm x 228 calibre.


ON SHOW: Briefing for Qld Delegation for Rheinmetal Boxer bid for Land 400 contract, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 14 August, 2017.
Rheinmetall's Boxer CRV wins the Land 400 contract. Geoff Comfort

Laser testing facility

A LASER equipped atop Rheinmetall's workshop building will fire a laser at a target in Redbank up to 4km away.

Testing of the laser, known as the Stabilised Electro-Optical Sighting System, will initially begin in the site's electronics building.

The first stage of testing involves bench-testing of the laser unit in purpose-designed and built testing laboratories.

A second stage is conducted and atop the production building.

Testing involves calibration of the system under outdoor ambient conditions and sighting the laser beam on a fixed target located between 1.6km and 4km from the building.

The laser is manually 'fired' at the designated target.

Several sites around the workshop have been identified as potential targets for the rooftop laser.

A calibration test serial involves 10 shots, each a maximum of one-second in duration.

According to the Hazard and Risk Report the Class 1M laser does not pose any hazard to the human body, including the unaided eye.

But it acknowledges there is the potential for eye damage if magnifying devices such as binoculars and telescopes are used to view the laser beam end-on within 200m of the source point.

The test track

A VEHICLE compliance test track will be used to confirm that vehicles meet the agreed performance specifications for the Australian Defence Force.

It is expected to include on and off-road components.

All vehicle-mounted weapons systems and dismounted weapons will be removed to ensure no live ammunition is left within the weapon firing mechanisms prior to entering the test track from

the nearby weapons testing facility.


Boxer production plant in Ede, Netherlands
Boxer production plant in Ede, Netherlands Contributed

How production will work

The predominant use of the site is for the assembly of combat reconnaissance vehicles and logistics vehicles from component parts.

These component parts will be transported to the site as complete modules or assembly packs.

An assembly process is then undertaken in the production facility using a production-line approach.

Cranes will be used to move the component parts between assembly stations.

Once peak production is reached it is expected the facility will produce one Boxer every three days and one logistics vehicle every day.

Compliance testing will only be undertaken during the 7am to 6pm period.

Site flooding

WITH a corporate centre overlooking the Brisbane River, flooding has been identified as a potential issue at the site.

The existing site levels range between 18.5m Australian Height Datum (AHD) and 16m AHD.

After bulk earthworks, the site's topography will be between 17.25m and 17.10m AHD.

According to the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study, the annual exceedance probability - a one in 100 year flood - reaches 16.8m, indicating that the entire allotment area will be above the flood level.

But the 2011 and 1974 floods inundated part of the site with a peak flood level of 16.9m and 18.8m AHD level.

According to a flooding report lodged with the Ipswich City Council, "a minimum floor level of 17.2m AHD for all building floors will provide appropriate flood risk mitigation".