Rheinmetall buys majority stake in BAE Systems UK combat vehicles business

Deal secures 400 jobs in Telford in military vehicle design, manufacturing and support, and joint venture will supply British Army’s new mechanised infantry vehicle

A Boxer vehicle at the Telford facility. Image: BAE Systems

The establishment of the new joint venture between BAE Systems and Rheinmetall is subject to regulatory approvals, which are expected to be completed before June. Once these have been granted, the business will be known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL). Rheinmetall will own a 55 per cent stake in the venture, with BAE Systems retaining the remaining 45 per cent. Financial details have not been disclosed.

RBSL will be headquartered at BAE Systems facility in Telford and will manage and grow the existing combat vehicle support business, as well as design and manufacture of military vehicles. Rheinmetall’s range of vehicles include protective vehicle systems, multi-role vehicles, command vehicles and transports, along with reconnaissance systems and field laboratories. BAE Systems, meanwhile, brings products such as the reconfigurable wheeled fighting vehicle Boxer; Trojan, a Challenger 2 tank chassis with an excavator arm in place of the turret; Terrier, an armoured digger; Warrior, a tracked armoured vehicle; military bridging vehicles and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system. According to a BAE Systems statement, it will also “have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs, both in Telford and the wider supply chain” and will participate in and contribute to global military vehicle pursuits and contracts

“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,” commented Jennifer Osbaldestin, Managing Director of BAE Systems Land UK business. “We look forward to working together to ensure the Joint Venture is a trusted supplier to the British Army and our international customers.”

Ben Hudson, Global Head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division added: “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.”