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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British Army armoured reconnaissance battlegroup manoeuvres across Germany

by Tim Ripley

Vehicles of the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed from the UK to Germany for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer', which took place in the first half of October. (Crown copyright)

Approximately 180 vehicles and 650 soldiers from the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed over 1,100 km by road to Germany in the last week of September from their home garrison in Catterick, North Yorkshire, for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer'.

The regiment reported on social media that it then carried out a 70 km tactical road march from the British Army training facility in Sennelager to Hamelin, where the main exercise play unfolded across approximately 5,000 sq km of private land. Danish reconnaissance troops from the Guard Hussar Regiment joined the UK troops and German Luftwaffe Eurofighters and Tornado bombers from Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader (Tactical Air Wing) 31 and 33, respectively, for approximately 55 hours of simulated close air support during the exercise.

‘Somme Lancer' culminated back in Sennelager on 15 October with the start of a week-long combined arms live-fire exercise.

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China displays family of unmanned Lynx high-mobility vehicles

by Samuel Cranny-Evans

The China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) and the China South Industries Group have unveiled a family of unmanned ground vehicles based on the CS/VP16B Lynx 6×6 all-terrain vehicle in a 15 October video released on the official Norinco Weibo account.

The video shows multiple armed and unarmed variants of the Lynx being operated remotely by personnel wearing People's Liberation Army (PLA) uniforms. The demonstrations included the remote operation of the weapon systems mounted on the vehicles.

The personnel were shown to be working together to operate a single vehicle, suggesting that one may be a dedicated driver, with the second controlling the armament. Both were provided with backpack-mounted transmitters and large, handheld controllers including a display showing the vehicle's onboard systems.

Variants shown in the video included one vehicle armed with a 40 mm cased telescoped weapon system as well as two launchers for guided missiles, which was shown conducting a direct-fire engagement.

A second vehicle appeared to be armed with a 120 mm mortar, which was automatically elevated into a firing position, although no loading or firing mechanism was immediately apparent, indicating that personnel would still be involved in its operation.

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Lithuania increases defence spending

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Lithuanian Army's most important projects include equipping units declared to NATO and the army's rapid reaction force with IFVs. Seen here is a Lithuanian Boxer armoured vehicle. (Lithuanian MND/ARTEC)

The Lithuanian government presented a draft state budget for 2022, increasing national defence spending to EUR1.176 billion (USD1.367 billion), the Ministry of National Defence (MND) announced on its website on 12 October.

Finance Minister Gintarė Skaistė told a press conference the day before that this would raise defence spending from 2.03% in 2021 to 2.05% in 2022, Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) reported on its website on 11 October. She added that Lithuanian political parties support the gradual increase of defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

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

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