WFEL, the UK subsidiary of Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), will support a significant portion of the manufacture of the more than 500 Boxer MIV Armoured Vehicles for the British Army.
The production is under a recently signed £2.3 billion contract between the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the ARTEC consortium formed by KMW and Rheinmetall. The contract includes the delivery of 5 prototypes in four specific Build Configurations and 523 series vehicles, initial In-Service Support Packages and Special to Role Kits.
The vehicles are being procured under the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) program and will form part of the Army’s Strike brigades, new units set up to deploy rapidly over long distances across varied terrains.
The Boxer MIV programme aims to source more than 60% by value of the vehicle content from UK suppliers and these 8×8 wheeled vehicles will be supplied in several different configurations, including an armoured personnel carrier (APC), field ambulance, command vehicle and specialist carrier.
Delivery of the vehicles is expected to start from 2023 and this order marks the return of the UK to a European Defence Programme, having taken part in the Boxer project while in its infancy. Boxer is now on its way to becoming one of NATO’s standard vehicles.
“Investing in the Boxer programme is a prime example of Defence doing more than ever to level-up the UK economy through employment. By developing our relationship with WFEL, we are also supporting high-skilled jobs across the UK supply chain. This partnership ensures we engage with our people from the very beginning, connecting talented apprentices with the valuable roles Defence has to offer”, said UK Defence Minister James Heappey.
Ian Anderton, Managing Director of WFEL, said, “Our substantial involvement in the Boxer programme allows us to further develop our UK supply chain, in turn creating and protecting valuable UK engineering jobs and developing new skills for our staff and those of our supply chain partners. Working in close partnership with our KMW colleagues, we are both delighted and proud to be part of this transformational project for the British Army, with whom we have worked for many years.”
The four build configurations of British Army Boxer MIV are infantry carrier (MIV Protected Mobility, MIV-PM), ambulance (MIV Ambulance, MIV-A), command post vehicle (MIV Command and Control, MIV-CC), and specialist carrier.
The specialist carrier version will be reportedly configurable to be used as a mortar carrier, engineer, reconnaissance or a joint fires vehicle. The UK vehicles have the ability to change within the variants by changing the interior, introducing different kits and assemblies depending on the mission.
The vehicles will be equipped with a remote-controlled weapon system (RCWS, RWS) with a 12.7mm L1A2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) or a 7.62mm L7A2 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), depending on the mission. They will also have missile blast as well as Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) protection.
The Boxer can be deployed around the world to deliver soldiers around the battlefield, travelling long distances quickly, cross country, under enemy fire and in the most austere of environments. It is modular by design – the same vehicle platform can be rapidly reconfigured to fill different roles on the battlefield, from carrying troops across deserts to treating severely injured service personnel on the journey to the hospital.
The production of the UK fleet will be shared between Germany and the UK. As a first step, the prototypes will be manufactured in Germany by KMW and Rheinmetall. The first phase of series production will also be conducted on the German production lines of both companies.