UK Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has “given the green light to bring forward concrete plans for the project” to procure the Boxer armoured vehicle for the British Army, he said during a speech on the first day of the DVD 2018 defence exhibition held at the United Kingdom’s Millbrook Proving Ground on 19–20 September.
“It is great to give industry the green light to now pull together a full plan of action,” Andrew said. “I am looking forward to pressing ahead with negotiations in our pursuit of a vehicle which works best for the army, the taxpayer, and British industry.”
Following this announcement, Artec, the industrial consortium of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) that is building the Boxer, will now complete its supplier selection and provide a proposal that outlines its commitment to support the vehicles in service.
Some UK companies already provide parts for the Boxer vehicles in service with Germany, the Netherlands, and in trials with Lithuania. In addition, BAE Land Systems UK was responsible for some of the early development of the vehicle.
If the order is placed as envisaged and outlined in the May 2018 contract notice, the UK would become the largest single user of the platform, with more than 500 Boxers in service.
The UK joined the Boxer programme in 1993, known at the time as the multirole armoured vehicle (MRAV), with the country originally expected to provide the chassis and mission module. However, in 2003 the UK withdrew from the MRAV programme, stating that it did not meet its needs.
It re-joined the Boxer programme in March and if the order is placed will resume its original rights and status. Variants that were initially planned to be procured included mechanised infantry vehicle baseline protected mobility (MIV-PM), command-and-control (MIV-CC), ambulance (MIV-A), repair (MIV-REP), and recovery (MIV-REC) versions.
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