12 Dec 02. On 12th of December 2002, ARTEC presented the German Armoured Personal Carrier (APC) 8×8 wheeled vehicle prototype in the GTK/MRAV/PWV Programme (known as “BOXER”) to OCCAR (Organisation Conjoint de Coopération en matière d´Armament) and to senior government representatives from the nations participating in this programme: Germany, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. ARTEC is the Industrial Prime Contractor, based in Munich and represents German companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme, Alvis from the United Kingdom and Stork from the Netherlands.
The European armaments agency, OCCAR, was represented by OCCAR´s Director, Dr Klaus von Sperber and the participating nations in the BOXER Programme were represented by Lord Bach, (Britain’s Minister for Defence Procurement), Mr. Van Dord being the National Armament Director of the Netherlands and representing Mr. Van der Knaap (State Secretary for Defence of the Netherlands) and Dr Peter Eickenboom (Secretary for Defence Affairs in Germany).
Dr. P. Eickenboom emphasised the importance of this milestone in the programme and the positive achievement it marked in the continuing consolidation and co-operation within the European land systems defence industry.
Commenting on the national need for the vehicle to fill capability gaps within the German Army, he welcomed this move towards greater interoperability between the armed forces and the opportunities it provided for nations to work more closely on such requirements. He stated that the programme is a good example of the type of collaborative procurement OCCAR is expected to manage on behalf of the nations and he looked forward to OCCAR demonstrating its ability to work closely with industry to ensure delivery on time, cost and performance.
On completing the speech, Dr. Peter Eickenboom announced “BOXER” as the official name for the GTK/MRAV/PWV vehicle. He said that BOXER represents a truly European product and he emphasised the major progress, which had been accomplished in crew protection and the anticipated reductions in life cycle costs for this family of vehicles. He pointed out that the teams responsible for the work undertaken to date could be proud of their achievements and progress.
Mr. Van Dord noted that the development of BOXER, in co-operation with Germany and Great Britain, is in line with the aspirations of the Netherlands to replace the current generation of armoured vehicles in-service and the Dutch ideas on the further intensification of European defence co-operation.
He took the opportunity to emphasise the commitment of the Netherlands to the BOXER programme.
Mr. Van Dord furthermore expressed the NL wish that the roll-out of this BOXER will be an inspiration to all to continue along the road of increasing European defence co-operation and more efficient expenditure of European defence funds.
Lord Bach stated that he believed BOXER was a good example of European engineering excellence, offering a vehicle concept with which the armed forces and industry should be proud to be associated.
Referring to OCCAR and its part in managing the procurement for the national partners, he stated that OCCAR was created to improve the efficiencies of the Ministries of Defence in managing international procurement and to strive for more effective delivery of collaborative programmes. The UK sees European collaboration as playing a vital role in fulfilling UK equipment needs.
Lord Bach said that he was delighted to celebrate the success of this European collaboration.
OCCAR´s Dr. von Sperber stated that OCCAR is aiming to show that European collaboration can, and will, work given the right environment.
He said that the OCCAR organisation fully recognises this tall order and underlined that neither OCCAR nor industry could manage this challenge alone and expect to win.
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