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European Boxer programmes take final shape

14 December 2018
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The Slovenian and Lithuanian Boxers will be similar, with the same Rafael Samson Mk II remote weapon station (photo of the Lithuanian version on trials). Source: Artec

European Boxer programmes are taking final form, with offers to the UK and Slovenia expected in 2019.

Klaas Krause, head of sales Eastern Europe for Rheinmetall, which formed the Artec joint venture with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) to produce the Boxer, said on 12 December that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is negotiating the procurement of the vehicles via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR).

According to Krause, the UK is considering four variants: the armoured personnel carrier (APC), C4I command post, ambulance, and repair versions. He gave a timeline of 2018-19 for negotiations and the main gate, 2020-22 for the demonstration phase, and 2023-25 for the delivery of the first vehicles and the declaration of their initial operational capability, with deliveries continuing to 2030.

Krause said the vehicles would use the existing designs, with "limited essential UK modifications" like the Bowman communications system and UK electronic countermeasures. He expressed the intention of negotiations to deliver at least 60% of programme value to the UK, including manufacturing, assembly, systems integration, and testing and verification. Through the programme, the UK "will regain the ability to weld steel and produce armoured vehicles independently", he said.

Krause identified UK demand of at least 500 vehicles worth EUR2 billion (USD2.3 billion), with the likelihood of follow-up orders that would increase the total to 800. He expected the contract to be signed during the second half of 2019.

Krause was also confident that a revised offer would be made to Slovenia soon. He expected the use of existing solutions for the Boxer to drive down prices and the similarity between the Slovenian and the Lithuanian versions to reduce recurring costs, such as by having the same Rafael Samson Mk II remote weapon station.

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