DSEI 2021: RBSL and Rheinmetall unveil Boxer mortar module

by Samuel Cranny-Evans

The Boxer mortar module was presented by RBSL and Rheinmetall at DSEI 2021 in anticipation of potential British Army requirements. (Janes/Samuel Cranny-Evans)

Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and Rheinmetall have unveiled a mortar-carrying mission module for the Boxer 8×8 wheeled armoured fighting vehicle at the 2021 DSEI exhibition held from 14 to 17 September in London.

The module has been designed in anticipation of the potential requirements of the British Army, which is understood to have initially settled for 28 mortar-carrying Boxers out of the 523 vehicles on order. However, those vehicles are expected to operate their mortars in a dismounted role as opposed to the mounted solution presented by RBSL and Rheinmetall.

The physical structure of the module has been developed and manufactured at the RBSL facility in Telford, UK, and production started three months ago, a company spokesperson told Janes on 15 September. The module allows for a vehicle crew of three: a gunner, commander, and driver. The gunner is located at the rear of the vehicle, while the commander and driver at the front. The mortar is fired through two large doors in the mission-module roof.

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Ukraine conflict: Russia launches new offensive in southern Donbas

by Thomas Bullock

Russia began a new offensive in southern Donbas on 19 May. (Janes)

Russia has begun a new offensive likely aimed at closing an encirclement around the city of Severodonetsk in western Luhansk. The city is currently Ukraine's most easterly position in the Donbas and is effectively surrounded on three sides by Russian forces. Its only supply lines to the rest of Ukraine are two roads: the T1302 in the south and the T0513 in the north. The unfolding Russian offensive is likely aimed at securing these roads – Russian forces captured a portion of the T1302 on 24 May – isolating the Ukrainian forces in the Severodonetsk area.

Russia's offensive began on 19 May when a force spearheaded by Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) advanced some 15 km west from the recently captured town of Popasna around 80 km northeast of Donetsk, according to pro-Kremlin media.

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Czech Republic to receive Leopard 2 tanks from Germany

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany will supply Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic. (Bundeswehr/Detmar Modes)

Germany will supply Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic, the two countries' ministries of defence (MoDs) announced on 18 May. The German MoD, in a press release, described the donation as backfill in support of the Czech Republic supplying heavy equipment to Ukraine.

However, the Czech MoD told Janes on 23 May, “The German decision to provide 15 tanks is a sign of appreciation to all the efforts of the Czech Republic to provide as much military equipment as possible to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. However, it is not tied to any specific Czech deliveries.”

The German MoD said that Germany would pay for the tanks from industry stock, and the Bundeswehr would train Czech crews. Germany will also provide ammunition and spare parts for the tanks.

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Slovenia signs Boxer contract

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Slovenian Boxers will be based on the Lithuanian version (pictured), which is equipped with a Rafael Samson Mk II RWS. (Lithuanian MoD)

Slovenia, represented by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), signed a contract with Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) consortium Artec to purchase 45 Boxer armoured vehicles in four variants worth a total of EUR281.5 million (USD296.3 million), the consortium and its two constituent companies announced in a joint press release on 17 May.

The Slovenian Ministry of Defence (MoD) originally announced the decision to procure Boxer through OCCAR in February 2018 for its Central Battalion Battle Groups.

OCCAR said on its website on 12 May that the Slovenian Boxers will be based on the Lithuanian Boxer design, including the Rafael Samson Mk II remote weapon station (RWS). Rheinmetall told Janes on 18 May that there would only be minimal adaptations to the Boxers to Slovenian requirements thanks to the vehicles' modularity. OCCAR expects the first Boxer deliveries from KMW through Artec in 2023 and the consortium said they would be completed in 2026.

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Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and Rheinmetall have unveiled a mortar-carrying mission module f...

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