Creates a European Market Leader for Military Vehicles
Rheinmetall and BAE Systems announced on 21 January that the two companies have signed an agreement to create a joint UK-based military vehicle design, manufacturing and support business. To be known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) after regulatory approval (which is anticipated in the first half of 2019), the new enterprise will be headquartered at BAE Systems’ existing Telford facility and will sustain over 400 jobs in the UK, as well as preserve key technology and engineering skills. The proposed joint venture does not include BAE Systems’ munitions and weapons systems businesses or its holding in the CTAI Joint Venture with Nexter.
Rheinmetall will purchase a 55% percent stake in the existing BAE Systems UK-based combat vehicles business, with BAE Systems retaining 45%. In addition to managing and growing the existing combat vehicle support business, the intent is for the new joint venture to play a major role in the delivery of the British Army’s new Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) and other strategic combat vehicles programmes.
While initially focused on these major UK programmes, RBSL will also form an integral part of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division and will participate in and contribute to various global military vehicle pursuits and contracts. The combination of Rheinmetall’s military vehicles technology and products with the additional capabilities and products brought to the joint venture by BAE Systems, such as TROJAN, TERRIER, WARRIOR, military bridging and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system, will create a European market leader in the military vehicle sector. RBSL will have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs, both in Telford and the wider supply chain.
“We are excited about the potential the new joint venture holds for Rheinmetall, BAE Systems and ultimately our customers. The combined capabilities of our two great companies will offer our customers a comprehensive portfolio of military vehicles and associated technologies, both now and into the future. We are proud to invest in the UK and expect to substantially grow the current business and the Telford manufacturing facility over the coming years,” commented the global head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, Ben Hudson.
“We are committed to evolving our combat vehicles business so that we better serve our customers’ future interests. Joining forces with Rheinmetall in the UK provides renewed purpose for our vehicles business and allows us to deliver products, services and technology that help land forces excel in their vital roles. We look forward to working together to ensure the joint venture is a trusted supplier to the British Army and our international customers,” added BAE Systems Land UK Managing Director, Jennifer Osbaldstein.