With Mercedes-Benz having just taken the Australia Post fleet by storm, ending a thirty year reign for the humble Transit, it would seem they're out to conquer all and sundry with news today the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has signed a contract with Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (MBAuP) for the supply of 1,200 G-Class units.
The vehicles are being purchased to replace the ADF's aging tactical fleet and the G-Class managed to win the tender against some long fought rivals (such as Land Rover), a feat more than five years in the making.
The first deliveries of the G-Class off-road vehicles to the ADF will commence in 2009, which coincidentally marks thirty years of the vehicle's production, and will run through to at least 2014.
The military-specification G-Class vehicles will be built in two platforms at a dedicated factory in Graz, Austria for both 4X4 (for the lightweight component of the tender) and 6X6 configuration (for the light component).
All of the units supplied to the ADF will be fitted with different cargo platforms or modules. The modules will be supplied and delivered by Newcastle firm Varley with a total of nine vehicle variants supplied across the two (4X4 and 6X6) platforms.
Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific President & CEO Wolfgang D. Schrempp with Australian Federal Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon MP and Brigadier David O'Brien from the Australian Defence Force.
In addition to the vehicle supply contract there is also a 15-year strategic agreement which covers servicing, parts and support with an option for an extension beyond this time frame. The total value of the contract is $350 million (AUD).
The CarAdvice team wish the geländewagen well in its new role.