A new British military vehicle design, manufacturing and support joint venture will be unveiled at this year’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) event in London, between September 10th and 13th.
The new company is known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and was formed on July 1st 2019 between Rheinmetall Defence UK and BAE Systems’ UK combat vehicle business. RBSL will sustain around 450 jobs across the UK and is well positioned for future growth.
The joint venture, headquartered in Telford in the West Midlands, intends to play a major role in manufacturing the Boxer 8x8 for the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme and other strategic combat vehicle programmes, while also providing support to the British Army’s in-service armoured vehicle fleets.
Regulatory approval for the joint venture was granted on June 13th 2019. The Ministry of Defence welcomed the launch of the joint venture, saying:
“This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in the UK’s defence industry as a world-leader in designing, supplying and supporting military vehicles. This exciting venture clearly demonstrates how defence sits at the heart of the prosperity agenda. Its benefits will be felt in the West Midlands and across the UK defence supply chain, creating jobs, boosting exports and guaranteeing our technical skills base into the future.”
RBSL will draw on Rheinmetall’s broader military vehicle technologies combined with the additional capabilities and systems from the BAE Systems’ UK combat vehicles business, such as Trojan, Terrier, Warrior, military bridging and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system. RBSL will have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs at its sites in Telford, Bristol, Bovington and Washington (UK), as well as in the wider supply chain.
Peter Hardisty, formerly of Rheinmetall UK, has been appointed as Managing Director of the new company. He said:
“RBSL is a new business drawing on the significant strengths and expertise of both BAE Systems Land UK and Rheinmetall. Our employees in Telford, Bristol, Bovington and Washington (UK) have a valuable skill set and extensive experience in combat vehicle engineering. With new orders, we shall be able to sustain these capabilities and expand over the coming years, seeking new opportunities in the UK and overseas.”
The new management team that will lead RBSL into the future also includes Carrie White as Finance Director and Phil Simon as Operations Director, both of whom join from BAE Systems.
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