British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced the signing of a procurement contract for more than 500 Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles (MIV). The contract volume amounts to the equivalent of around €3.2 billion.
The high-terrain and highly protected vehicles are capable of fighting on the digital battlefield and are mainly used for troop transport. Starting in 2023, they will run towards the British Army’s strike brigades and bring the soldiers quickly and over long distances to their respective locations.
The modular Boxer can be quickly reconfigured to meet the requirements by using the same drive module to perform various roles on the battlefield, from transporting troops across the desert to treating severely injured service personnel on their way to the hospital. By 2018, the UK had re-entered the previously bilateral German-Dutch armaments programme and, together with OCCAR, had investigated how the Boxer could be used to modernize the British vehicle fleet and whether it could meet the military requirements for the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme.
Now the Boxer is to complement the Strike Brigade’s equipment alongside the Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle. With its low logistic footprint, long range, high mobility and advanced digitisation, it is expected to significantly enhance the Strike Brigade’s capabilities for operations in global scenarios.
In the Ministry’s announcement, no contracting party has been named. Rheinmetall Defence and BAE Systems had previously set up the joint venture Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) to ensure the British industry’s involvement in the production of the Boxers. RBSL could be the prime contractor who could, among other things, place and coordinate orders with its parent companies and British companies.
The Ministry of Defence deliberately signed the contract before the elections began in order to take advantage of the favourable results of the negotiations from the British point of view. The offer would have expired on December 31, 2019.