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German Boxer vehicles to get Thales surveillance system

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann signed a contract with Thales for the supply of PAAG surveillance systems for the German JFSTsw programme. (Kongsberg)

Thales has signed a contract with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann for the delivery of four Panoramic Above Armour Gimbals (PAAGs) to the German armed forces, the company announced on 30 March.

The PAAG will be fitted on German Boxer vehicles as part of the Joint Fire Support Team (JFST) contract.

Four prototypes will be manufactured in 2023, with a follow-on production contract anticipated in 2025, the announcement stated.

A Thales spokesperson informed Janes that the integration of the PAAG would create a new German army Boxer variant termed the ‘Joint Fire Support Team schwer' (JFSTsw).

However, they were unable to detail the total value of the contract.

The PAAG, remotely controlled from inside the Boxer, is an electronic surveillance system, which provides the user with long-range ‘Detection, Recognition, Identification', the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) said in a separate announcement.

The system is capable of identifying targets up to four kilometres away and can be raised above the vehicle roof to monitor targets, reducing operational risk.

Thales stated that automatic video tracking and assisted target detection will be included in the JFST PAAG system.

The contract was part of a competitive procurement competition managed by OCCAR. Initially, Elbit, Hensoldt, Thales, and Safran placed bids; however, only Thales and Hensoldt were downselected for the final stage of the competition, the spokesperson said.

The PAAG variant for the German programme is specifically for a Joint Fire Strike capability. While currently not under contract as a variant of the UK Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme, it is hoped the JFST variant may inform future options, the spokesperson added.

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