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DVD 2022: UK Boxer programme hit by supply chain pressures

The UK MoD does not expect a delay in the Boxer programme, despite supply chain pressures. (Rheinmetall)

Supply chain pressures are not expected to delay the British Army's Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme, according to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The British Army's Boxer programme director, Colonel Iain Fake, said on the second day of the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2022 event held at the Millbrook Proving Ground from 21 to 22 September that some electronic components were taking 55 weeks to source because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.

An MoD spokesperson told Janes on 26 September, “Production is successfully under way for Boxer and 623 of the new armoured vehicles will be delivered to the British Army. Global supply chain pressures are not unique to defence, and no delays are expected for the first deliveries in 2023 or Boxer's initial operational capability (IOC) in 2025.”

Col Fake said at DVD 2022 that “twin strategic shocks” had hit the Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) global supply chain for Boxer. In the case of some electronic components, this had extended delivery times from 10 days to 55 weeks. Moreover, the costs of a number of components had risen from USD10 each to USD1,000. This was resulting in “slower production in the early years” of the programme, he said.

Work on the first prototype UK vehicles is under way, and they are scheduled to be delivered in February 2023, with production running until 2032.

Col Fake said he had “never before seen a programme that was better strategically aligned” to the British Army's Future Soldier programme, the MoD's Land Industrial Strategy, and emerging doctrine. He said the main selling point of Boxer was its “strategic reach”.

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