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11 June 21. RIP Land Rover Military 1948 – 2021. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that JRA is closing its Land Rover Military Division as it does not fit in with the ‘style’ of current up market vehicles. Land Rover Military was established soon after the Series 1 went into production (The Editor learnt to drive on a British Army Series 1) and went on to supply over 127 armed forces across the world. In that time many variants were produced such as the 6×6 Sandringham 135 and 125 models and the 139 FC, the largest Land Rover ever made, a troop carrier for a Asian army, 6×6 and 4×4 JRA Perentie. the Laird Centaur half-track, the Hotspur Hussar Series of armoured vehicles, the PSNI Tangi, 110, 109, 99, Series 1, 2 3, Defender, Wolf, Lightweight, Armoured Discovery and Range Rover, specialist Arctic vehicles, gunships, radio vehicles, missile launchers, covert vehicles, Police specials, Royal vehicles and Prince Phillip’s hearse and of course the Popemobile. CKD plants were built in Pakistan, Libya and Nigeria amongst others and production licenced to Santana in Spain.
10 June 21. Boxer, no work for UK SMEs? BATTLESPACE has been contacted by a number of UK SMEs who bid for the Boxer UK content Programme on the invitation of RBSL and Rheinmetall and KME at various Industry Days. It looks very much as the 60% UK content has been undertaken by the hull assembly by RBSL and WFEL, Thales UK for OWS, RFEL for optics, Horstman for the suspension system, David Brown for gearboxes and Mil-Tec for displays amongst others. The SMEs were not helped by a clause inserted by the MoD that said that SMEs would have to take the risk of the bid. Are we now looking at another window dressing exercise as happened with Ajax, the result being a continued destruction of the armoured vehicle UK Industrial Base which will soon make it unworkable to build armoured vehicles in the UK. Rheinmetall and RBSL were asked to comment.
08 June 21. Exercise Rattlesnake: UK Troops Get Rare Access To Special Forces RZR Vehicles. British troops used the RZR vehicle to resupply and help them get their crucial water supply while on Exercise Rattlesnake in the US.
British personnel have gained rare access to an American Special Forces off-road vehicle while training on one of the biggest exercises in the world this year.
The Welsh Cavalry 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards are in the United States for Exercise Rattlesnake in Fort Polk, Louisiana, known as ‘The Box’ – one of the most feared training areas in the US Army.
The exercise is designed to test personnel to their limits and Forces News joined the Welsh Cavalry as the only media outlet granted access to cover the exercise.
During the exercise, the British Army troops have used the RZR vehicle to radically change the way personnel resupply and help them get their crucial water supply.
Major James Curry, OC, A Squadron, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, told Forces News the vehicles “are a game-changer”.
“Water consumption out here is through the roof,” he said.
“We’re consuming up to 10 litres a day per man and we just can’t carry that, because the more you carry, the more water you need to consume.”
Watch part one of our Exercise Rattlesnake series here.
The vehicles provide assistance to the personnel, who have to cross difficult terrain during the exercise.
However, they are not just used to resupply the troops.
WO2 Ross Hopkins, Squadron Sergeant Major, A Squadron, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, told Forces News they can also be used to extract casualties.
“Predominantly where we’d use the back seats is for either kit carriages… or if we do take any casualties we can then extract this kit out, put injured personnel, in real-time or exercise play, strap them in and then extract them off the battlefield,” he said.
Captain Joseph Ward, 3 RHA, attached to A Squadron, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, told Forces News the exercise, which sees the participation of thousands of troops, tests how well UK personnel can operate alongside their US counterparts.
“What we’re testing is the interoperability of slotting in somebody at company size within an American battlegroup… and saying how well can you execute having not met these people before, moving with very little equipment,” he said.
“What you’re doing is plugging in the man and saying, ‘how well can we perform?”
09 Jun 21. Boxer Vehicles: Procurement.
Show full question
Question for Ministry of Defence
UIN 10208, tabled on 4 June 2021
Mr Tobias Ellwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will provide details of the (a) variants and (b) respective numbers of Boxer that have been ordered and financed for the Army.
9 June 2021
Details of the variants of Boxer currently on order by quantity can be found in the table below. The Department is looking to enhance and uplift the size of the total UK Boxer order as we work to implement the Integrated Review. This may include new variants and partnering opportunities with industry and our Allies.
Variants and Roles
Build Configurations (BC)
By Role By BC
Armoured Personnel Carriers 85
Infantry Carrying Vehicle (ICV)
Specialist Carrier Vehicle (SCV)60
Engineer Section Vehicle (ESV) 200
Recce/Fire Support Vehicle (Recce/FSV) 62
Mortar Carrying Variant (MCV) 28
ES Repair (Rep)50
Command, Control, Communication, Computers & Information (C4I)
Command Post 123
Command & Control Vehicle (C2V)
C2-Utility (C2U) Vehicle 177
Observation Post Vehicle (OPV) 19
Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) 24
Electronic Warfare & SIGINT (ESWI) 11
09 June 21. Oshkosh Corporation unveils Volterra platform of electric fire and emergency vehicles. Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK), a leading innovator of mission-critical vehicles and essential equipment, announced today that its Fire & Emergency segment unveiled the Volterra™ platform of electric vehicles with the introduction of two new trucks under the Pierce Manufacturing and Oshkosh Airport Products brands.
Oshkosh Corporation is a global innovator that has been developing electric products and equipment since the mid-1990s when the Company’s JLG Industries business launched its first electric boom lift. The Volterra platform unveiling continues Oshkosh Corporation’s long and successful history of electrification across a broad spectrum of products.
“With more than two decades of electrification experience, we will continue to introduce electric vehicles and products that are environmentally responsible and purpose-built to enhance safety, productivity and performance,” said John Pfeifer, Oshkosh Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to serving the municipal and airport fire and emergency markets with the Volterra platform of electric vehicles.”
The first Pierce® Volterra zero-emissions pumper has been placed on duty with the City of Madison Fire Department in Wisconsin, making this the first electric fire truck in service in North America. The Volterra pumper is serving front line duty at Station 8, the City of Madison’s busiest fire station, supporting a population of over 250,000. Simultaneously over the next several months, the Striker® Volterra performance hybrid Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle will be showcased at airports across the United States, providing firefighters the opportunity to experience first-hand our revolutionary Volterra technology.
“Category leading innovations, developed with direct input from our customers, is a hallmark of our Company. It’s all about serving the needs of first responders,” said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation Executive Vice President and President, Fire & Emergency. “Our electric vehicles designed around Oshkosh Corporation’s proprietary and patented technologies will provide the environmental benefits fire departments request, without compromising on the leading-edge operational performance, functionality, safety attributes, customization, or the traditional configurations and styling customers expect from our fire apparatus.”
The Pierce Volterra zero-emissions pumper and Striker Volterra performance hybrid ARFF vehicle feature patented Oshkosh Corporation Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and hybrid vehicle technologies. Both platforms facilitate the addition of an internal combustion engine to provide continuous and uninterrupted power to the pumping system or drive system. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
09 Jun 21. Textron’s Cottonmouth emerges for USMC recce vehicle requirement. Textron announced its Cottonmouth 6×6 armoured vehicle as an entrant for the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) requirement in May, revealing that the vehicle had entered validation testing at the National Automotive Test Center in February 2021 and would continue onto amphibious tests in Q2 of 2021.
“The ARV prototype vehicle is envisioned as a next-generation platform with a combination of capabilities that will enable light armoured reconnaissance (LAR) battalions to function as a battlefield manager,” the US Army wrote on behalf of the USMC effort, in August 2020, when the prototyping competition was announced. Other requirements included an open electronic architecture; the ability to process and communicate information in multiple forms; and sufficient space, weight, and power (SWaP) to enable future upgrades.
The requirement pre-dates the USMC’s Force Design 2030 announcement, which led to the M1A1 main battle tank fleet’s removal from service, a reduction in artillery and other conventional kinetic means, and the introduction of autonomous missile carriers and other assets. All of this was announced in a bid to better equip the USMC to support the US Navy during its Indo-Pacific operations. “Force Design decisions will determine the path forward for the light armoured reconnaissance community and therefore ultimately determine what the ARV will look like,” Marine Corps Systems Command and Marine Corps Combat Development Command told Janes last year. The programme may lead to the procurement of as many as 500 ARVs, and so far Textron and General Dynamics Land Systems are the only known bidders.
The Cottonmouth entered development around 14 months ago, Textron told Janes. (Source: Jane’s)
09 June 21. What was the main cause for killing WCSP? A number of readers have asked the Editor for the reason for killing the Warrior WCSP Programme in entirely after such a large outlay. Sources suggest that Army HQ was caught on the hop by the announcement as they had expected a drop in numbers not total cancellation. Lockeed martin gave BATTLESPACE the following statmement: ‘Against the backdrop of a government facing tough economic challenges we recognised that difficult decisions had to be taken during the Integrated Review but were nonetheless disappointed that the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) did not proceed to a manufacturing contract. ‘
09 June 21. Minister backs noisy Ajax tank that can’t fire on the move. A defence minister has admitted that there are “serious issues” with noise and vibration inside the army’s new light tank but insisted that the “game- changing” vehicle would not be axed.
Jeremy Quin, minister for defence procurement, said that “a lot can go wrong” in a £5.5bn contract as he avoided committing to a date for the “first-class” vehicles to enter service.
The Ajax was chosen by the army in 2010. A contract with General Dynamics signed four years later required the first vehicles to be delivered in 2017 but the project has been beset by delays.
The vehicles have cost £3.2bn so far despite only 14 of them — all with no turret and of odd sizes — being delivered. A leaked government report circulated last week said that the crew carrying out trials could spend only 90 minutes in the tank because of the loud noise and could not go faster than 20mph.
In the Commons, Quin said he was “very concerned” by reports of noise issues and “all personnel who may have been exposed to excessive noise have been tested and training was paused. It now continues with mitigations in place as we pursue resolution.”
Soldiers were testing headsets that may be able to reduce the noise to an acceptable level. Design flaws mean that excessive vibration has prevented cannon being fired while the tank is on the move. Quin said the government had commissioned independent trials from world-class specialists that should end next month.
The government was “absolutely committed” to Ajax, which was going to be a “real game-changer on the battlefield”, he said. “It’s been a long time coming but we are on the cusp of getting it right.”
John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, said: “£3.5bn paid out, four years late and just 14 vehicles delivered, light tanks that can’t fire while moving and vehicle crews made so sick that the testing has been paused. Ministers are failing British forces and failing British taxpayers.”
Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence select committee, said he had argued for an increase of 3 per cent in the defence budget, adding: “But it does make the job harder of convincing the Treasury, parliament and indeed the taxpayer when we see so many errors, delays, cost overruns and redesigns.”
At 43 tonnes the vehicle was too heavy to fit in RAF aircraft without being dismantled, Elwood added.
The Labour MP Matt Western added: “The idea that we have a vehicle that can go almost as fast as a bicycle but can’t actually fire its weapon on the move, but also posing such a risk to our troops, is very worrying.”
(Source: The Times)
08 June 21. AJAX’s ‘Serious Issues’: What The Government’s Said About The Programme. The House of Commons has heard questions and answers from the Government about what progress had been made on the Ajax programme.
The Minister for Defence Procurement has defended the Ajax programme in the House of Commons, insisting the “family of vehicles will transform the British Army’s reconnaissance capability”.
Jeremy Quinn admitted: “I don’t deny that we’ve got serious issues that we need to resolve,” and also went into greater detail about the reports of noise and vibrations on the vehicles.
Ajax came under scrutiny after a leaked Government report revealed excessive vibration and noise during tests of the vehicle caused hearing loss for some personnel, as well as other injuries.
With the Ajax project also delayed, the programme’s cost was also called into question.
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey asked Jeremy Quin during House of Commons Urgent Questions on Defence “what progress has been made” on the Ajax programme.
“£3.5bn paid out, four years late and just 14 vehicles delivered, light tanks that can’t fire while moving and vehicle crews made so sick that the testing has been paused,” he said.
“If this was defence procurement the minister is content is broadly on track, how badly has it got to go wrong before he’ll admit the contract is flawed?
“Ministers are failing British Forces and failing British taxpayers,” he added.
Mr Quin responded by admitting he would “not hide” that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has “two primary concerns: noise and vibration”.
“On noise, we have mitigations currently in place to enable a certain element of training, albeit reduced training,” he said.
“We were very concerned by reports of noise issues in the vehicle.
“All personnel who may have been exposed to excessive noise have been tested and training was paused.
“It now continues with mitigations in place as we pursue resolution.
“We’re looking at two headsets which hopefully within the next few weeks, they will be approved for use which will further extend what we can do in terms of training.
“But, that does not get us to the root cause and we need to get to the root cause of the noise issues within this vehicle, be that mechanical or, indeed, electronic.”
Mr Quin said the MOD was “concerned” about the excessive vibration, despite General Dynamics, the prime contractor on the Ajax programme, not having “had the same experience of vibration”.
He added he “absolutely trust[s] the reports that have come to me by our service personnel”.
“We have also commissioned independent vibration trials from world class specialists at Millbrook Proving Ground which should conclude next month,” he said.
Mr Quin also addressed the four-year delay in delivering the Ajax programme.
“Maingate One approval was granted in March 2010,” he said.
“Negotiations with the prime contractor to recast the contract were held between December 2018 and May 2019.
“The forecast initial operating capability, the IOC, was delayed by a year to 30 June 2021, later this month, at 50% confidence – with 90% confidence of September 21.
“Despite the ongoing impact of COVID, we have stuck by this IOC date – though it remains, of course, subject to review.
“By the end of next week, we will have received the requisite number of vehicles to meet IOC, the necessary simulators have been delivered and training courses commenced.
“These delivered vehicles are all at capability drop one standard, designed for the experimentation, training and the familiarisation of crews first in line for the vehicles.
“Capability Drop Three, applying the lessons of the demonstration phase, is designed for operations.
“We remain in the demonstration phase, and as with all such phases, issues have emerged with the vehicle that we need to resolve.
“I can assure the House that we will not accept a vehicle that falls short of our requirements and are working with General Dynamics, the prime contractor, to achieve IOC.
Mr Quin also addressed Mr Healey’s question regarding the price of the programme, outlining the agreement with General Dynamics is a “firm price contract”.
“So, £5.5bn is the maximum that is payable, including VAT,” he said.
“Currently we’re at… just under £3.2bn spent.”
“There is a heavy incentivisation on our suppliers to ensure they get this over the line.”
The defence minister also addressed claims Ajax is unable to fire on the move, or able to travel above 30km per hour.
“I can reassure [Mr Healey] that the vehicle is capable of going well ahead of 30km per hour but, with newly trained crews, a certification has been placed restricting speed,” Mr Quin told the Commons.
“I would expect that to be lifted during the course of next month.”
He also said there was a restriction in terms “of going up over a reverse step”.
“This is a vehicle capable of going over a 75cm object, reversing over it.
“A restriction has been placed, I would expect that to be lifted shortly too.
“This is a vehicle that is capable of firing on the move. It is not something that we have certified it to do as yet.”
He added that Ajax was working “through what is a demonstration phase, but we will continue to advance that demonstration phase”.
Mr Quin closed his defence of the programme by stating Ajax is a “first-class vehicle”.
“It is the first of its kind,” he said. “It’s got an important job to do.
“We will and we must get this right, and get it delivered,” he added.
08 June 21. AJAX: Testing Personnel ‘Receiving Ongoing Medical Attention.’ Defence minister Jeremy Quin admitted to the House of Commons that there have been “serious issues” during the Ajax trials phase.
A defence minister has confirmed some crew members involved in the trials of the Ajax vehicles are continuing to receive medical attention.
Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin was answering a written parliamentary question, before facing the House of Commons, where he admitted there are “serious issues” with the programme.
He asked in a written question by Labour MP Kevan Jones whether personnel involved in the trials have been injured as a result of “vibration” and “noise”.
Mr Quin stated: “During the ongoing demonstration and manufacture phase of AJAX, certain personnel raised concerns over noise and vibration levels. All personnel who were at risk of exposure have had their hearing tested, and a small number of personnel are receiving ongoing medical attention. Additional mitigations have been put in place whilst investigations continue.”
Answering an urgent question on the Ajax programme, Mr Quin then told the Commons: “We were very concerned by reports of noise issues in the vehicle, all personnel who may have been exposed to excessive noise have been tested and training was paused. It now continues with mitigations in place as we pursue resolution.”
He also said the Government has “commissioned independent vibration trials from world-class specialists” which should conclude “next month”.
He told MPs that “we will not accept a vehicle that falls short of our requirements”.
Mr Quin added that the two primary concerns around the Ajax programme remain the noise and vibration issues, adding that the possibility of headsets is being looked into and could be approved within the coming weeks.
The defence minister also stated the need to establish the root cause the problems, and said he accepts there are “serious issues”.
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey accused the Government of “failing British forces and failing British taxpayers” with the Ajax programme.
Having asked his urgent question on the progress of the Ajax tanks programme, Mr Healey told the Commons: “£3.5bn paid out, four years late and just 14 vehicles delivered, light tanks that can’t fire while moving and vehicle crews made so sick that the testing has been paused.”
Mr Quin told the Commons that measures in place for the noise issue means a speed limit on the vehicles, with temporary restrictions limiting what Ajax is certified to do including firing on the move.
He added that the vehicle is also able to reverse over objects of 75cm tall.
SNP defence spokesman Dave Doogan, told the Commons: “There is in the UK no shortage of MOD procurement debacles to draw on… but this multibillion pounds Ajax failure sets a new low.”
The British Army confirmed last week it is carrying out a joint investigation with the manufacturer of the Ajax vehicles after trials were “paused as a precautionary measure” between November 2020 and March 2021.
A defence source then said: “It was no secret the programme, that was originally contracted in 2010 and 2014, has had problems which is why the MOD has intensified scrutiny and work to rectify the issues.
“The Army, General Dynamics and the MOD is now engaged in an intensive round of assessments and rectification work to resolve any outstanding issues.”
A defence expert told Forces News the Ajax programme is “doomed to fail”, if the MOD ignores the findings of a leaked document he has seen.
Francis Tusa said he had “never seen a report as damning” after seeing the Government document.
Written by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Mr Tusa said it states that vibration has caused hearing loss for some personnel testing the vehicle, while others suffered swollen joints and nausea after taking part in trials.
According to Mr Tusa, the report showed the project is facing “major issues” which limit the time crew can spend in the vehicle.
The new vehicles, formerly known as the Scout SV (Specialist Vehicle), are being developed as part of a £4.5bn deal with General Dynamics.
However, the Ministry of Defence’s “expected cost to completion at approval” for the programme in 2019 was just under £5.5bn.
Jeremy Quin told the House of Commons this afternoon that £5.5bn is the maximum that will be paid on the project, revealing just under £3.2bn has been spent so far.
The MOD said it is still committed to the Ajax programme, with plans for Initial Operating Capability still scheduled for this summer.
There are 589 vehicles on order but, to date, manufacturer General Dynamics has only delivered 14 of the Ares variant, with delays having taken place with the programme.
Six variants of the vehicle had been due to enter service in 2020. (Source: https://www.forces.net/)
04 Jun 21. Luxembourg approves draft law on command, liaison, and reconnaissance vehicle procurement. The government of Luxembourg approved a draft law on the procurement of 80 new command, liaison, and reconnaissance vehicles (CLRVs), plus 15–20 years of logistic support, for up to EUR367m (USD445m) on 2 June, the Foreign Ministry announced on its website later the same day. The vehicles will replace the Luxembourg Army’s mixed fleet of 42 up-armoured Humvees and 48 protected reconnaissance vehicles (PRVs) from 2024–25 onwards. The CLRV requirement was borne out of a study conducted by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) that examined Luxembourg’s options for modernising its ground vehicle fleet. Acquired in 1996, the Humvees were deemed too old and worn out to merit any further modernisation, with the draft law noting that the vehicles lacked adequate protection against current improvised explosive device (IED) threats. The unprotected gunner station was also noted as an undesirable feature. Acquired in 2010, the PRVs, based on Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s Dingo II platform, are in better shape, but the study noted significant obsolescence of the vehicle’s onboard electronics and jamming and radio equipment. Furthermore, the study highlighted that the electronics onboard the Kongsberg M151 remote operated weapon station (ROWS) were obsolete and no longer supported. The NSPA study found that modernisation of the 48 PRVs would cost EUR240m to extend their service life until 2032. Finally, the study noted that the costly modernisation of the PRVs would not solve the issue of a lack of interoperability between the Humvees and PRVs due to their different radio systems. (Source: Jane’s)
07 June 21. Protolab introduces two new 6×6 Protected Multi-Purpose Vehicle (PMPV) variants. Protolab Oy has introduced two newly upgraded variants of the 6×6 Protected Multi-Purpose Vehicle (PMPV) Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), the PMPV 2 and PMPV 3.
The new variants have been developed based on user feedback and are ready to meet the requirements of Finland’s upcoming domestic 6×6 APC procurement programme. This programme is expected to begin when competitor participating vehicles complete R&D and market surveys have been concluded.
Protolab is also pursuing international APC programmes with the variants, under both direct commercial sale and technical cooperation/technology transfer agreements; and is currently awaiting results and feedback from a number of ongoing programmes.
The variants maintain the original vehicle’s highest possible integrated mine protection and ballistic protection levels, with testing verifying the chassis’ ability to withstand at least five mine detonations, exceeding the highest requirements of STANAG 4569.
“The results of the mine blast testing, carried out by an independent, internationally recognised test body, are outstanding,” Juhani Kivimaki, Chief Technical Officer, Protolab, said. “Typically a vehicle must survive the single required kinetic blast to achieve the highest STANAG rating, whereas we put a single PMPV chassis through five blasts – one of which was double the required explosive mass; and still ended up with a vehicle that could be repaired for service.
“We understand that this is an extremely significant achievement, and will be a major drawcard for military forces seeking the very highest protection levels for their troops in the field.”
The new versions incorporate higher engine power ratings to provide better performance in both on-road and off-road conditions.
The PMPV 2 is powered by a 325 hp diesel engine, while the PMPV 3 can be fitted with either a 360 hp or 450 hp diesel engine. The vehicle cooling system has been updated to meet the requirements of both new engine versions, redirecting cooling air to assist in making the cabin more comfortable for crew in hot operating conditions. Both versions use Allison transmission, Katsa 2-speed transfer box, basic axles including steering rear axle and commercial off-the-self (COTS) components to maximise cost-efficiency, agility and durability, simplify maintenance and minimise life-cycle costs.
The PMPV can carry two crew and ten fully-equipped troops, or a cargo payload of up to 10,000kg. Improvements to the crew compartment include a re-designed layout to enhance passenger comfort and space for equipment, increased room for C4I equipment, and improved options for reconfiguring the vehicle for different operational profiles, such as command and control, troop carrier or medevac.
In the standard APC crew transport configuration three different seating versions are available: a suspended seat with a 5-point seat belt which is used also as the driver and commander seats in all vehicles, a fixed seat with 2-point lap belt which has proven extremely efficient and sturdy in use, and a new compact seating system with a 2-point lap belt. Crew entrance and egress has also been improved, and the locking system of hatches throughout the vehicles has been redesigned for easier use.
“The PMPV’s narrow (2.55m) width, steering rear axle, unique protective structure and advanced mobility both on- and off-road have been designed to provide superior capability in the urban environment for the range of tasks faced by special operations, security and crisis management forces in the field,” Juha Moisio, Business Development Director, Protolab Oy commented. “We have introduced these two new variants in direct response to market feedback, and anticipate significant interest from the international APC market from customers looking to replace their existing 6×6 vehicle fleets with a cost-effective, protected and highly mobile solution.”
07 June 21. Boxers for Britain – series production starts exactly according to plan at Rheinmetall’s Kassel plant. Britain’s Boxer programme is on a roll: exactly according to plan, welding work began today for the fabrication of prototypes and subsequent series production of the Mechanized Infantry Vehicle (MIV). Under the aegis of Artec GmbH, a joint venture of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), this vital British wheeled armoured vehicle project is thus entering a decisive phase. Development of the four British configurations of the tried-and-tested 8×8 fighting vehicle began at the end of 2019. First milestones were already achieved in autumn 2020. As to the modular design of the Boxer vehicle the MIV Programme made use of already qualified solutions and design where ever possible. Therefore production of the first parts can be started already now.
Contracted by Artec, Rheinmetall will develop and fabricate first prototypes at its plant in Kassel, Germany. The prototypes will have content supplied by the United Kingdom, such as the remotely controlled weapon stations, generic vehicle architecture components, the local situational awareness system or the vehicle emergency lighting system. In addition, the first series vehicles will also be produced in Kassel.
Though series production will begin in Germany, the bulk of manufacturing activity will move to the United Kingdom in 2023, principally at the British plants of Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and the KMW subsidiary WFEL. The vast majority of Boxer vehicles destined for the British Army will be built in the UK. Rheinmetall’s Kassel plant is actively pursuing the transfer of know-how – specifically its special welding expertise – to British colleagues at RBSL.
In total, the British Army is procuring over 500 Boxer vehicles, including Infantry Carrying Vehicle, Command & Control, Field Ambulance and Specialist Carrier variants. Delivery of the highly protected 8×8 armoured vehicles is slated to begin at the end of 2022.
Britain decided in 2019 to return to the family of Boxer user nations. In November of that year, the British Ministry of Defence placed an order to this effect with Artec GmbH via the European armament agency OCCAR. The order is worth around €2.6bn (£2.3bn). Artec GmbH is a consortium of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). It will carry out the project on behalf of the British armed forces, with 50 percent of total order volume accruing to each partner.
The Boxer – versatile and battle-tested
The Boxer is a heavily protected 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle. Its modular architecture enables a variety of variants unmatched by any other vehicle system. This multifaceted diversity underlies the Boxer’s rapid growth. Already today, new variants and upgrades are being planned. To date, some 1.200 vehicles in more than 20 different configurations are under contract by four NATO nations: Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and the UK. Moreover, Australia – a close partner of NATO – has ordered a total of 211 Boxer vehicles in several different versions.
Kassel – Rheinmetall’s centre of excellence for wheeled tactical vehicles
The German city of Kassel is home to Rheinmetall’s centre of excellence for wheeled tactical vehicles, whose expertise extends from development and prototyping to full-scale series production and logistical support throughout the product entire lifecycle.
High-performance wheeled armoured vehicles like the Fuchs/Fox transport vehicle and the jointly produced Boxer will continue in future to form the backbone of modern armed forces, thus contributing to the credibility of national and allied military readiness. Rheinmetall’s Kassel plant upholds a long and proud tradition of developing and producing first-class fighting vehicles. As they have for decades, state-of-the-art wheeled tactical systems continue to roll off the assembly lines at the Kassel-Mittelfeld industrial park – destined for the German Bundeswehr as well as the armed forces of friendly nations and partners like the Netherlands, Lithuania, Australia and the United Kingdom.
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