The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) brings nations together by providing multinational cooperative acquisition and in-service support solutions that allow nations to develop and sustain capabilities and to combine their efforts, consolidate and share resources and take advantage of economies of scale.
The unique Support Partnership (SP) structure in NSPA provides a proven legal framework that allows two or more nations to follow common logistics support goals in the national capability spectrum. Nations provide direct governance and guidance whereas NSPA manages the support requested by the nations.
The Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania and the United Kingdom are members of the BOXER Support Partnership and benefit from cooperative in-service support for their BOXER fleets. A dedicated team of 20 NSPA experts in the BOXER System Management Group delivers this support. They are the centre of expertise for Life Cycle Management and Integrated Logistics Support for BOXER armoured vehicles.
The Ribbon of Time
In 2013, The Netherlands and Germany established an initial BOXER support structure at NSPA. Both Nations acquired their systems through OCCAR ((Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d‘Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation)) and decided to establish a cooperative in-service support structure at NSPA to support their BOXER fleets. In 2018, Lithuania joined the Support Partnership ensuring a smooth transition from production to in-service support and immediately able to benefit from NSPA’s support. In addition to the technical logistics support, NSPA also delivered the Spike missiles and ammunition for the mounted weapon systems on the Lithuanian BOXER vehicles.
In January 2020, the UK joined the BOXER Support Partnership. The UK will benefit from the existing experience and an established support network that NSPA has put in place. This will ensure that by the time the first vehicles enter into service it will have a capable support structure in place which can be adapted to meet the UK’s growing needs. At the same time, current partner nations benefit by sharing resources and non-recurring costs while exploiting commonalities and economies of scale.
At this moment in time, the BOXER Support Partnership has four member nations with NSPA set-up to support this modern fleet ramping up to 1200 BOXER armoured vehicles over the next several years.
Current BOXER Fleet Support Portfolio
The NSPA Air & Land Combat System programme office provides acquisition and life cycle support solutions for 12 Multinational Support Partnerships. These include missiles (AMRAAM, Sidewinder, HARM/AARGM, TOW/ITAS, SPIKE, and Stinger) artillery systems (MLRS and PzH 2000), Night Vision and Opto-electronics equipment, Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems and armoured fighting vehicles including the LEOPARD, DINGO, Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) as well as the BOXER.
The current BOXER fleet support portfolio includes technical and project support through experienced project managers, engineers and technicians. This provides transparency and a structured project control framework to stakeholders in order to achieve project results in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Brokerage support and Stock management including more than 1100 line items selected by nations are held on-site in Luxembourg ensuring prompt availability of spares. Remaining spares are available through existing outline agreements or competitive procurement. A highly skilled procurement team with deep experience dealing with the key vendors supporting the BOXER fleet ensures a responsive and accountable network of suppliers.
BOXER – A Flagship Support Partnership
BOXER has quickly become the flagship Support Partnership for land weapons systems in NSPA. Its success lies in the cooperation amongst all of the key stakeholders including OCCAR, ARTEC and the nations.
The BOXER Support Partnership balances the nations’ interests to achieve their goals.
NSPA expects new BOXER user nations to benefit from the established BOXER Support Partnership structure.
The robust support structure, currently in expansion to support a common fleet of 1200 vehicles, the ongoing cooperation and new initiatives with industry and OCCAR and the available in-house expertise all point to the continued success of the BOXER Support Partnership.
Robert Elvish is Programme Manager, Air and Land Combat System Programme Office at the NSPA.