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Australia orders Boxers to export to Germany

Australia ordered over 100 sWaTrg Inf heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles from Rheinmetall on 10 April. (Rheinmetall)

The Australian government signed a production agreement with Rheinmetall Defence Australia on 10 April for over 100 Boxer Schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie (sWaTrg Inf) heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles to export to Germany. The company said in a press release announcing the contract later the same day that it would be Australia's largest foreign military export to Germany.

The vehicles are being procured under a government-to-government letter of intent signed by Canberra and Berlin in March.

Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, will produce the vehicles, with deliveries to the German government planned for 2026–30, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) said in a press release on 10 April.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson told Janes that the first 20 vehicles would be produced in Rheinmetall's Kassel and Unterluess plants in Germany, with deliveries scheduled for 2025.

The sWaTrg Inf will replace the Bundeswehr's Wiesel 1 tracked tactical direct fire support weapon carrier and equip the German Army's new medium forces.

It will be based on the Australian Army's Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), which is equipped with a reconnaissance mission module, including the two-person digital Lance turret, armed with Rheinmetall's MK30-2 airburst munition (ABM) automatic cannon that is also the main armament of the German Army's Puma infantry fighting vehicle. The sWaTrg Inf will also be armed with the Mehrrollenfähiges leichtes Lenkflugkörper-System (Multirole-capable Light Missile System: MELLS), the Bundeswehr's designation for the Spike LR.

The Bundeswehr ordered 123 sWaTrg Inf vehicles from Rheinmetall on 21 March. On 20 March the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, approved the EUR1.95 billion (USD2.1 billion) procurement, plus a EUR746.9 million service and maintenance contract.

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