British Army to Buy 500 Boxers
Major Step Forward for British Army’s Armoured Vehicle Programme
The British Army will buy over 500 Boxer vehicles, according to the Defence Minister Stuart Andrews.
Speaking at this year’s Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD2018) event, the Defence Minister confirmed that suppliers had been given the green light to bring forward plans for the British Army’s new fleet of eight-wheeled armoured vehicles.
Held at Milbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, DVD2018 is one of the world’s leading land equipment events, showcasing new products and technology for the British Army.
The decision is expected to support at least 1,000 UK jobs.
Made by ARTEC GmbH, the Boxer is a German-Dutch multi-role armoured fighting vehicle designed to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules.
The Boxer is already operated by the German, Dutch and Lithuanian armies.
Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) Requirement
Intimations of the move were made almost two years ago when it was first reported in October 2016 that the Ministry of Defence had made a preliminary market engagement towards government-to-government acquisition of the Boxer. As a publicity stunt, Rheinmetal displayed a Boxer in a Union Jack paint scheme at DSEI 2017 to promote the vehicle for the MIV requirement.
more serious moves came in November 2017 when a company of German army mechanised infantry equipped with 11 Boxers exercised for the first time with British Army units on Salisbury Plain. British Army sources denied that the training exercise was linked to any decision on a procurement process for its MIV project.
On 4 February 2018 it was reported that Artec had signed agreements with UK suppliers including BAE Systems, Thales UK and Pearson Engineering, this contributing to the fact that 60% by value of the contract will be done in Britain, along with final assembly of the MIVs at facilities already owned by the consortium. On 3 April, the announcement of Boxer’s selection for the MIV included no details relating to quantity, cost, timeline or any contractual status. Via a voluntary ex ante transparency notice on 19 July 2018, the Ministry of Defence disclosed its intent to order between 400 and 600 Boxers in 4 variants plus driver training vehicles, reference vehicles and support. The contract will contain options to increase the quantity of vehicles by up to an additional 900.
Source: MOD and other sources.
Image: Boxer armoured fighting vehicle at Milbrook Proving Ground during DVD2018 (Crown Copyright, 2018).