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FAVS 2023: Bundeswehr medium brigades take shape

The Boxer HWC and AIFV could be based on Australia's Boxer CRV. (Rheinmetall Defence)

Lieutenant Colonel Karlheinz Boehnke, Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) Boxer representative in the German Army Concept and Capabilities Development Centre, gave an update on the Bundeswehr's plans to form medium brigades on the second day of SAE Media Group's Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability (FAVS) 2023 conference held in London from 13 to 15 November.

He said the Bundeswehr would have four medium brigades, including the Franco-German Brigade and one formed with the Netherlands. The German formations will be the 21st and 41st medium brigades and along with the Franco-German Brigade will be formed by five heavy weapon carrier (HWC) and two armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) battalions, with support units including headquarters and services companies, signals companies, artillery battalions, engineer battalions, and combat service support battalions. In addition, the two German medium brigades will each have a reconnaissance company.

The brigades will be at 72-hour readiness and be equipped with Boxer AIFVs, HWCs, and Remote Controlled Howitzer (RCH) 155s, in addition to a next-generation armoured transport vehicle, possibly the 6Ć—6 Common Armoured Vehicle System (CAVS), according to Lt Col Boehnke.

He said the Bundeswehr had a requirement for 120 HWCs, with the first 43 to be fielded in 2027ā€“28, followed by a second batch numbering 36 in 2028ā€“31. The vehicle will have a non-line-of-sight anti-tank capability provided by the MehrrollenfƤhiges leichtes Lenkflugkƶrper-System (Multirole-capable Light Missile System: MELLS), the Bundeswehr's designation for Spike LR, and a direct engagement capability provided by a Mk 30 30 mm cannon to engage either tanks or armoured personnel carriers, Lt Col Boehnke said.

It will also be able to provide direct fire support for dismounted infantry, possibly from the Boxer AIFV.

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