The first of 211 Rheinmetall Defence Boxer 8x8 armoured vehicles being acquired for the Australian Army at a cost of AUD5.2 billion (USD3.53 billion) was formally handed over to Defence Minister Linda Reynolds on 24 September.
In a brief ceremony at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane, Reynolds praised the Boxer's firepower, mobility, communications, and protection while formally accepting a multipurpose variant painted in the Australian Army's three-colour disruptive camouflage.
The turretless vehicle was the first of 25 Boxers - 13 multipurpose and 12 reconnaissance variants - that are being manufactured in Germany through to 2021 to meet an early Australian capability requirement for familiarisation and training purposes.
Prior to delivery the Boxer was modified locally with Australian-specific communications and battlefield management systems, and fitted with a Kongsberg Protector remote weapon station (RWS) previously used on Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs) deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Production of the other 186 platforms - a mix of reconnaissance, command and control, joint fires, surveillance, ambulance, and battlefield repair and recovery variants - will begin in late 2020 at a military vehicle centre of excellence under construction by Rheinmetall at Ipswich, southwest of Brisbane. This will be the company's largest facility outside Germany.
The reconnaissance variant of the Boxer will be equipped with Rheinmetall's digital Lance turret system and armed with a 30 mm automatic cannon.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes