Manufacturing has begun on the British Army’s Boxer armoured fighting vehicles at Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) manufacturing facility in Telford.
The British Army is set to receive more than 600 Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicles, as production has started in the UK and Germany. The Boxer is a modular vehicle that can be configured for different roles, such as infantry carrier, command vehicle, specialist carrier and ambulance. The Boxer will provide enhanced mobility, protection and firepower for the Army’s mechanised infantry units.
The Boxer programme is a joint venture between the UK and Germany, with main contractors WFEL and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) responsible for manufacturing and assembling the vehicles. The first 117 vehicles are being built on German production lines, while UK facilities in Telford and Stockport are ramping up for the remaining 506 vehicles and have begun fabrication of key components. The first vehicles are expected to be delivered to the Army in 2023.
The Boxer is designed to operate in a range of environments, from urban areas to open terrain. It has a high level of survivability, thanks to its composite armour, mine protection, and active defence systems. It also has a high payload capacity, allowing it to carry more equipment and personnel than other vehicles in its class. The Boxer can travel at speeds of up to 100 km/h on roads and 70 km/h off-road, and has a range of up to 1,000 km.
The Boxer will replace the ageing Warrior and FV432 vehicles that have been in service since the 1980s. The Boxer will offer greater flexibility and adaptability for the Army’s future operations, as it can be rapidly reconfigured for different missions and scenarios. The Boxer will also support the Army’s modernisation efforts, as it will be integrated with other platforms and systems, such as the Ajax reconnaissance vehicle and the Challenger 3 main battle tank.
The Boxer programme is part of the UK’s commitment to NATO and European defence cooperation. The UK rejoined the Boxer programme in 2018, after leaving it in 2003 due to budget constraints. The UK is now one of four partner nations in the programme, along with Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania. The UK has also expressed interest in joining a potential fifth variant of the Boxer, a bridging module that would enable the vehicle to cross water obstacles.
The Boxer is expected to be a game-changer for the British Army, as it will provide a versatile and capable platform for its mechanised infantry brigades. The Boxer will enhance the Army’s readiness, responsiveness and resilience, as well as its ability to operate alongside its allies and partners. The Boxer will also contribute to the UK’s defence industry, as it will create jobs, skills and opportunities across the country.
Boxer armoured fighting vehicle
Boxer armoured fighting vehicles are among the most advanced and versatile military vehicles in the world. They are designed by an international consortium of Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Australia and the UK, and produced by ARTEC GmbH, a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall.
The Boxer is composed of a drive platform module and interchangeable mission modules, which allow it to perform different roles such as infantry carrier, command vehicle, ambulance, engineer, mortar carrier and anti-tank. The mission modules can be swapped in less than an hour, giving the Boxer a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to various operational scenarios.
The Boxer has a high level of protection against ballistic and blast threats, as well as a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system. It is also equipped with cutting-edge threat detection technology, such as 360-degree high-definition long-range cameras that can scan for enemy targets even when moving at high speed. The Boxer has a powerful MTU diesel engine that enables it to reach a maximum speed of 103 km/h and a range of 1,100 km. It can carry up to 11 soldiers and has a modular interior that can be configured according to the mission needs.
The Boxer is currently in service with Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania, and will soon join the armies of Australia and the UK. The UK plans to receive 500 Boxers in four variants: infantry carrier, specialist carrier, command vehicle and ambulance. The first vehicles are expected to be delivered in 2023. The Boxer will form part of the UK’s new Strike brigades, which are designed to deploy rapidly over long distances across varied terrains.
The Boxer armoured fighting vehicle is a modern and capable platform that will enhance the mobility, survivability and lethality of the British Army and its allies. It is a testament to the successful collaboration between European nations and industry partners in developing and delivering a state-of-the-art military vehicle.