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Boxer - Program

Official field trials of the infantry section transport version of the Boxer were successfully completed in January 2008, confirming the vehicles suitability for tactical operations. Scope for improvement identified during qualification has since flowed into the series vehicle, 272 of the Gepanzerte Transport-Kraftfahrzeug (GTK - armored transport vehicles) were to go to the German Bundeswehr and 200 to the Dutch armed forces by 2017. The Boxer also turned in an excellent performance at the Trials of Truth under Britains FRES program. In September 2010 the Boxer underwent testing in the United Arab Emirates, and took part in forthcoming Summer Trials there in 2011. Rheinmetall showcased the vehicle at IDEX 2011 in Abu Dhabi, enabling visitors to gain their own impression of this innovative platform.

A concept study of the highly mobile wheeled Boxer vehicle equipped with a prototype of the medium caliber turret system LANCE had already been presented to a wide audience at the Eurosatory 2010. Development of this concept study has now been successfully advanced and built up to full functionality. In close cooperation between RMMV Kassel, RLS Augsburg and RLS Kiel, a series LANCE turret system and a series Boxer module as well as a modified series mission module have been combined to one system and tested at the Rheinmetall Defense test center in Unterluss. Realisation of the study has thus been verified.

But it is not just the Boxers technological and tactical features that impress: it is also an outstanding example of international defence cooperation. The Boxer program proved for the first time that a multinational European land system could be successfully completed by a number of cooperating contractors taking into account the requirements of the armed forces of several nations.

In 2006 Artec booked an initial order for 272 Boxer vehicles for the Bundeswehr, the last of which would be transferred to the German military in March 2016. The contract encompassed command and control, medevac and driver training vehicles as well as APCs capable of transporting a complete infantry section/squad.

In 2010 the new, reinforced and night combat-capable high-tech transport vehicle for the infantry - the Boxer - was tested in Australia and put through its paces on its serviceability. On 03 September 2015 Rheinmetall lodged a bid in response to the Commonwealth of Australias LAND 400 Phase 2 - Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability request for tender. Under the tender, the Commonwealth offered the latest version of the BOXER 8X8, the in-service LANCE turret and Northrop Grumman Corporations command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) architecture.

The first new armored transport vehicles (GTK) type "Boxer" arrived at Infantry Battalion 292 in Donaueschingen in March 2011. From the middle of the year a full-fledged train with these vehicles in Afghanistan is to be used.

At Eurosatory 2014, Rheinmetall presented the Boxer IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) variant, this equipped with the Rheinmetall LANCE 30mm two-man turret. Combining the Boxer inherent high level of protection and the unique mobility with the latest turret technology, the IFV variant presented state-of-the-art capabilities to face current requirements. Having joined forces to form the ARTEC consortium, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) manufactures the Boxer in cooperation with fellow German defence contractor Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) under a bi-national program, in which Rheinmetall holds a 64% stake.

Against the background of Ukraine conflict, in November 2014 Die Welt reported that the Bundeswehr was to get new armored personnel. According to information from industry sources, a major contract was in the offing. Under discussion are 131 Boxer armored transport vehicles for 620 million euros. In May, the groups of the CDU / CSU and SPD in the Defense Committee of the Bundestag, had found that the army was "non-structural mobility" with the planned number of 190 Boxers.

On 18 December 2015 the German Bundeswehr contracted with Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann to supply 131 Boxer armored fighting vehicles. The order is worth 476 million. On behalf of Germanys Federal Agency of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, the international procurement agency Occar placed an order with Artec GmbH a joint venture of Rheinmetall and KMW to supply an additional 131 Boxers configured for an armored personnel carrier role. Delivery is slated to take place during the period 2017 to 2020.

The UK re-joined the Boxer program 31 March 2018 and explored options to equip the Army with the 8x8 troop carriers to modernise its vehicle fleet and meet the Armys Mechanised Infantry Vehicle requirement. The UK played a major role in the original design, development and testing of the Boxer, and would reassume the rights it had as a project partner if a deal was to go through - allowing the option for the vehicle to be built and exported from the UK. The deal could see the Boxer fully assembled in the UK with at least 60% of the manufacturing with British industry, sustaining and developing UK industrial capabilities, facilities and skills.

Artec, the consortium who manufacture the Boxer vehicle, have already made commitments to British industry by signing partnership agreements with BAE Systems, Pearson Engineering and Thales UK, in anticipation of a deal being struck. It was expected that British companies would compete for the manufacture and supply of many of the vehicle sub-systems, as well as for a full production and assembly line in the UK. Estimates suggest Artecs planned investment in the UK could secure or create at least 1,000 jobs, based across the country including locations such as Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Stockport, Telford and Wales.

Any deal will be subject to commercial negotiation and assessment in 2019 and the aim is to have the first vehicles in service with the Army in 2023. The Army intends to make an initial purchase of over 500 Boxer vehicles, and the Defence Minister announced 19 September 2018 that British suppliers have been given the green light to bring forward concrete plans for the project, which is set to support at least 1,000 UK jobs. Artec, the consortium who lead on the production of the troop carriers, have been given the go-ahead to invite industry to bring forward actual contractible proposals for work on the vehicles. A big step towards making a purchase, the news means that Artec will now ramp up work to complete their supplier selection process before returning to the MOD with a formal proposal next year.

The Defence Minister made the announcement whilst speaking at DVD2018 at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, which showcases equipment and technology for the British Army and is one of the biggest land equipment events in the world.

Speaking at the event, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: "A new 8x8 armoured vehicle is a key part of our British Armys future, and today marks a big step towards equipping our soldiers with this brand-new troop carrier. British companies are stepping up to the plate yet again for a project which could support up to 1,000 jobs across the country, and it is great to give industry the green light to now pull together a full plan of action. I am looking forward to pressing ahead with negotiations in our pursuit of a vehicle which works best for the Army, the taxpayer and British industry."





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