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Slovenian constitutional court clears way for Boxer contract

Slovenian Boxers will be similar to the Lithuanian versions (seen in trials in Germany), which are equipped with a Rafael Samson Mk II RWS. (Artec)

Slovenia's constitutional court ruled on 26 April that the national assembly did not act in an unconstitutional manner when it rejected the holding of a referendum on an agreement with the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) regarding the country's purchase of Boxer armoured vehicles, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in a press release the same day. Defence Minister Matej Tonin said this would enable the procurement contract to be signed.

The MoD originally announced the decision to procure Boxer through OCCAR in February 2018 for its Central Battalion Battle Group, which the ministry considers an essential capability for the further development and improvement of the Slovenian Armed Forces. OCCAR has offered Slovenia 45 Boxer infantry fighting vehicle variants armed with remote weapon stations (RWSs).

The project was temporarily paused the first time while it was the subject of a study in 2020 to provide an integrated approach to the implementation of Slovenia's capability objective of creating the battlegroup.

Slovenia resumed the Boxer procurement in May 2021, submitting its application to OCCAR in June 2021 to join the programme, which was accepted, followed by parliamentary approval.

The Slovenian MoD reported that the Boxer programme member states – Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom – were ready to sign the implementing agreements: a security agreement with Germany; a memorandum of understanding with Boxer programme member states; a programming decision between Boxer and OCCAR member states; and the procurement contract between OCCAR and Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann joint venture Artec.

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