As part of Project Land 400 Phase 2, the Australian Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) programme has attained Initial Operating Capability (IOC), an Australian Department of Defense statement said, and full Operational Capability is planned to be achieved in 2027.
The vehicles for which IOC has now been declared are the Block I variant of the Boxer CRV, which do not yet have an anti-tank capability based on integrated Spike LR anti-tank guided missiles. Only the Block II vehicles, the prototypes of which are currently being built at Rheinmetall’s plant in Australia, will feature this capability.
According to statements by Lieutenant General Simon Stuart, Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Army, the Block I Boxers supplied were tested as part of Exercise “Sea Raider” and are now in service within the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade.
In 2018, the Australian government signed a supply contract with Rheinmetall Australia for 211 Boxer wheeled armoured reconnaissance vehicles in seven versions for the armament project Land 400 Phase 2 for EUR 2.7 billion. The agreement calls for the Boxers to be delivered in two tranches: tranche I (Block I), with 25 vehicles produced in Germany, by the end of 2020, and tranche II (Block II), with 186 vehicles produced in Australia, in the period from 2022 to 2027.
According to a report by the Auditor-General of the Australian Department of Defense, which appeared in late 2021, Land 400 Phase 2 is experiencing slight delays. Both Block I vehicle deliveries and Block II vehicle production were delayed due to production and manufacturing delays in Europe and the impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
According to the Auditor-General’s report, the following variants of the vehicle will be introduced into the Australian Defence Force:
Block I – Multi Purpose Vehicle.
Block I – Reconnaissance
Block II – Joint Fires and Surveillance
Block II – Command and Control
Block II – Reconnaissance
Block II – Repair
Block II – Recovery