Pride of place on Rheinmetall Defence’s Stand S7-110 is the Boxer (8x8) Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV), which is one of the contenders for the UK Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement.
For DSEI, Rheinmetall has painted Boxer MRAV in the red, white, and blue colours of the uk, as this was one of the countries originally involved in the programmed, so Boxer is ‘British by Birth’.
The British Army is due to form two Strike Brigades, with each of these having two battalions equipped with a yet to be selected MIV, plus one battalion of Ajax reconnaissance vehicles, artillery, engineer and logistic support elements.
MIV will be an 8x8 vehicle with a high level of strategic and cross-country mobility and good protection. The armoured personnel carrier (APC) version is expected to be armed with a remote weapon station (RWS) with a .50 M2 HB machine gun (MG).
As many as 500 MIVs are expected to be required, with the competition now being run by the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation at Abbey Wood.
The original contract was for 272 Boxer MRAVs for the German Army and 200 for the Royal Netherlands Army, but more recently Germany has ordered an additional 131 Boxer MRAVs in the APC role, with the latest version being the Boxer A2. Lithuania has ordered 88 Boxers, with most of these being in the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration with a RWS armed with a 30mm cannon and 7.62mm co-axial MG.
There is a hot production line for the Boxer, which will remain fully operational for some years, so deliveries could be made to the UK at an early stage.
Boxer is a joint project between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles with the company called ARTEC, with OCCAR having overall project responsibility. If Boxer was selected, then the UK would rejoin the programme and capitalise on its already considerable investment. ARTEC officials pointed out that the Boxer has already been put through the extensive Reliability Growth Trials (RGT) requirement by the UK.
Potential team members include BAE Systems, Thales, Raytheon and Pearson, with the last company now owning the former Vickers Defence Systems Newcastle-upon- Tyne facility, which built large numbers of armoured vehicles for the UK.
In addition to being used as an APC, Boxer is deployed as an ambulance, a cargo carrier, a command post, a driver training vehicle and an engineer vehicle, but because the rear mission module can be removed rapidly, it can be used for a much wider range of battlefield missions.