The Army is set to receive the Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle following the signing of a £2.8bn contact, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced.
Deliveries of more than 500 Boxers are due to start in 2023. The 8×8, low maintenance/high mobility, modular vehicles will form the core of the Army’s Strike Brigades. Variants are likely to include the standard MIV, a command vehicle, a recovery platform, and an ambulance. A specialist equipment carrier has also been proposed.
The base variant requires three crew and carries up to eight soldiers. It weighs 38 tons and is capable of 64mph (103kph). The Boxer is typically armed with a heavy machine gun or 40mm grenade machine gun in a remote weapons station, although it can be fitted with turreted, stabilised autocannon up to 35mm in calibre. Its composite armour resists small arms fire up to 14.5mm calibre – although add-on packages greatly enhance protection.
The Boxer was developed principally by Rheinmetall MAN and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann under the ARTEC GmbH industrial group, but British companies were originally involved and contributed to its design. Britain re-joined the programme in 2018 and the order follows an exercise in October 2019 at Copehill Down. In which the Boxer operated alongside infantry, drones, Apache helicopters and with current vehicles such as Ajax, Challenger 2, and Trojan.
The [Boxer] is a leader in its field and I look forward to it arriving
The multi-role Boxer is already in service with German, Dutch and Lithuanian units, with Australia and Algeria also purchasing the type. The British could order up to 1,500. Wallace stated “Our men and women of the Armed Forces deserve to have the best equipment to do their job. The [Boxer] is a leader in its field and I look forward to it arriving.”
According to the MOD, the contract was signed in the pre-election period and announced on November 6 due to expected market implications. “It would be possible for a new Government to take a different position”, they state. ∎