The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) joint venture Artec signed a GBP2.8 billion (USD3.6 billion) contract on 4 November on behalf of the United Kingdom for more than 500 Boxer 8×8 Mechanised Infantry Vehicles (MIVs), the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and OCCAR announced on their websites on 5 November.
OCCAR said the contract includes the delivery of five prototypes in four variants - infantry carrier, specialist carrier, command post, and ambulance - 523 series production vehicles, initial in-service support packages, and special to role kits. The vehicles will be equipped with a remote controlled weapon station with a 12.7 mm L1A2 heavy machine gun or 7.62 mm L7A2 general purpose machine gun, depending on the mission, and be protected against missile blast and rocket-propelled grenades, OCCAR added.
The UK vehicles' interiors will be able to be changed within the build configurations with different kits and assemblies, depending on the mission, according to OCCAR.
Production of the vehicles will be shared between Germany and the UK. OCCAR said that Artec, KMW, and Rheinmetall would build the prototypes in Germany as a first step.
The first phase of series production will also be on KMW and Rheinmetall lines in Germany. Workers from the UK will be trained on how to assemble the vehicles, and after the necessary knowledge transfer, production will be switched to new facilities in the UK, OCCAR said.
The first trials are scheduled in June 2022, followed by delivery of the first series vehicle by November 2022. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said British Army units would receive the Boxer starting in 2023.
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