23 May 18. ARTEC sets out its stall for UK Boxer Programme. Following the announcement on 31 Mar 18 that that British Army has taken a step towards exploring a deal for a fleet of new armoured vehicles, potentially supporting at least 1,000 British jobs, by announcing it is re-joining the Boxer programme, the ARTEC team of Rheinmetall and KMW held an Industry Day at Chepstow to brief industry on opportunities for Boxer in the UK; David Pile of Rheinmetall Defence UK gave the brief. (SEE: BATTLESPACE ALERT Vol.20 ISSUE 12, 31 March 2018, British Army re-joins Boxer programme in step towards new armoured vehicles)
BOXER is an operationally proven Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV), in-service with the German and Dutch forces, on order for the Lithuanian forces, and in final negotiations for the Australian forces. A unique design of a common Drive Module, interchangeable Mission Modules, provides flexibility and an easy path for upgrade and growth. Exceptional levels of protection and on-road and cross-country mobility – provide a safe and agile platform to support battlefield operations.
- Top speed of 64 mph
- Operational range of 1000+ km
- Weight up to 38.5 tonnes.
- Currently manufactured in Holland and in Germany.
Mechanised Infantry Vehicle Programme
The MIV programme is the UK MoD acquisition programme for approximately 508 AFVs
The MoD is currently engaging exclusively with the BOXER team to consider a collaborative procurement of BOXER for the UK.
The MoD is considering four main variants – APC, C4I, Ambulance and Repair
The appointment of General Sir Nick Carter as the new Chief of the Defence Staff was a huge boost to the Boxer selection as he had expressed preference for a sole source selection of Boxer rather than an expensive drawn out competition. The selection by Australia of Boxer was also a big boost to the vehicle’s prospects for the UK. With access to the full datapack and IP from OCCAR, no VAT and crucial UK DNA in the original design, the other competitors, Nexter, GDUK and Patria, had to run hard to beat this selection.
The UK MoD is now taking forward negotiations with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and Artec. Looking forward to the Assessment Phase, concluding in 2019, this will consider the comparable benefits of manufacturing locations and different supply chains for Boxer, as well as value-for-money. 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.
OCCAR is a European intergovernmental organisation which facilitates and manages collaborative armament programmes through their lifecycle between the UK and European allies. The organisation manages the Boxer programme and, as an OCCAR member state, the UK has the necessary Intellectual Property Rights to the Boxer and greater control over ensuring Britain benefits from supply chain work.
Artec has already made commitments to British industry by signing partnership agreements with BAE Systems, Pearson Engineering and Thales UK, but it was confirmed yesterday that until a Systems Requirement Document is finalised, that these partners are not confirmed for the Programme.
MIV Programme – Supply Chain Strategy
ARTEC, Rheinmetall and KMW will maximise UK content in the MIV programme. It is recognised that the UK has one of the most sophisticated and developed industrial bases in the world capable of satisfying much of the Boxer Supply Chain requirements. There is also a well developed infrastructure supporting manufacturing and the UK has experienced and skilled personnel.
Key proposed UK Partners are Raytheon for GVA, Power Modes and Training, Thales for comms, Bowman integration and Command Post version, William Cook for castings, Marshalls for the ambulance version, BAE Systems, DB Santasalo for the angular gearbox, Parker Hannifin for rear ramp hydraulics, Rolls-Royce MTU for engines and WFEL for welding.
As part of the proposed deal, the UK is also expected to see substantial inward investment from Rheinmetall, one of Artec’s parent companies, who signalled their intention to launch a production and integration centre for armoured vehicles in the UK as part of the programme. This would represent a significant commitment which would lead to long-lasting armoured vehicle capability in the UK. Rheinmetall said that the facility to build Boxer in the UK will be decided by the end of 2018.
The other of Artec’s parent companies, Krauss Maffei Wegmann (KMW), already has a substantial UK manufacturing facility in Stockport, from where it designs, manufactures and supports complex military equipment as far afield as the US and Australia, as well as parts of Europe.
Many British companies attended the event to 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 Artec’s 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.
With the likes of Rolls Royce already powering Boxers with engines and Parker-Hannifin, William Cook Engineering and other British companies also supplying sub-systems for the vehicle, this deal could secure a broader industrial UK partnership.
Structure of Procurement
- Procurement activity is led by Rheinmetall & KMW working in a joint team
- Following a competitive process, items are procured by either Rheinmetall or KMW
- Items that are required by both parties, are procured by one party with a call-off arrangement to the other – this avoids duplicate procurement activity
Approach to Sourcing activities for UK participating companies wishing to supply into MIV
Register interest as a potential supplier at firstname.lastname@example.org
Provide as a minimum:
- Company Name
- No. of Employees
- Summary of capabilities and products
- Contact details
- This information will be shared with Rheinmetall and KMW
ARTEC will then Identify potential suppliers to match the opportunities under the Programme schedule hereunder.
- Initial RFIs sent out for further information – expected July to Aug 2018
- RFQs issued and responses assessed – expected Sept to Nov 2018
- Supplier Quality Assurance activity initiated
- Major considerations in assessing Supply Chain:
- Technical Capability incl. Quality
- UK content
- Financial capacity
- Minimise ITAR and EAR
- Contract award Q4 2019 / Q1 2020
ARTEC is considering all areas of the BOXER platform and services as opportunities including:
- Armoured steel cutting, preparation and welding
- Vehicle suspension systems and components
- Vehicle braking systems and components
- Hydraulic systems and components
- Electrical components, cabling and connections
- Display screens and control systems
- Power management and distribution
- Electronic Architecture components and systems
- Training systems and software
- Vehicle protection systems and seating
- Vehicle lighting systems
- Manufacture of steel and armoured steel components
- Fire suppression systems and safety systems
Rheinmetall gave the audience an in-depth brief into the scope of the vehicle to be supplied and the project timeline:
- The Systems Requirement Document is likely to be finalised by the end of September 2018
- The initial number of vehicles to be procured is 508, with room for options.
- Rheinmetall in Germany will be the Prime Contractor and there will not be a Prime Systems Integrator.
- Contract negotiations will start in earnest once the Systems Requirement Document is finalised. If a contract cannot be agreed then the MoD has stated that it will initiate a new MIV competition, opening up MIV to Nexter, GDELS, Lockheed Martin and Patria.
- ARTEC is aiming for a 60% UK content. Companies wishing to bid were directed to either KMW or Rheinmetall, with Rheinmetall in Germany taking the lead on electronics and architecture.
- The aim is for the electronic systems to be GVA Compliant.
- The vehicle will have ‘UK Special’ ECM, Bowman/Morpheus and Protection Level (not given for security reasons). It is expected that UK companies will bid for the spall liners.
The approximate procurement schedule is:
- 2018-2019 – Negotiations and Main Gate Business Case
- 2020-2022 – Demonstration phase
- 2023-2025 – IOC vehicles delivered and IOC declared
- 2025-2030 – Vehicle deliveries continue
- Vehicles will be based on existing designs, with limited essential UK modifications e.g. BOWMAN and UK ECM
Final base vehicle Specification
The Final Base Vehicle Specification has yet to be finalised. Rheinmetall outlined the variants required by the MoD:
- APC variant – based on the Dutch design
- Command Post variant– based on the Dutch design
- Ambulance – based on the German/Dutch design
- Repair – based on the Dutch design
- Extra models may be procured for specialist applications. These can also be truck-mounted.
A Recovery variant is being considered but not in the initial batch along with a turreted version, again under consideration. The UK vehicle will be equipped with an Overhead weapon Station (OWS) although no specific type was stated.
The MoD conducted a comprehensive market analysis of Mechanised Infantry Vehicles in-service, entering service and in development. The analysis was guided by the British Army’s requirements and how best to deliver them. The Boxer delivered on protected mobility, capacity, flexibility, utility and agility. (See BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.19 ISSUE 39, 25 September 2017, Boxer UK Partners Outlined, ARTEC eyes 4 British companies)
A number of observers at the event questioned whether the sole selection of Boxer, being purchased through OCCAR was more of a political than industry initiative to ensure that the UK remained close to the European defence industry during the current Brexit negotiations. Others questioned whether there was indeed a budget for MIV with Ajax, MRV(P) and Challenger 2 LEP taking the bulk of the budget.
On wider issues another source told BATTLESPACE that the whole fleet of British Army vehicles was being put under a review to dispose of the older vehicles and free up support budgets for new vehicles.
Certainly, there is no appetite at Abbey Wood for another FRES-type competition, so it is likely that following complex contract negotiations that ARTEC will get to the next level and a contract award by 2019 and then at last after 30 years, the British Army will have its 8×8!