The UK and Germany have unveiled plans to jointly develop the Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155mm Wheeled Artillery System (RCH 155), which will be mounted on Boxer armoured vehicles.

This announcement was made during a meeting between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.

The new-built artillery systems will be constructed in both the UK and Germany, promising to bolster job creation and strengthen the defence manufacturing sectors of both nations, according to the Ministry of Defence.

The collaboration comes at a crucial time as Europe faces renewed security challenges. The system is designed to provide the armed forces of both countries with a significant enhancement in ground warfare capabilities.

Prime Minister Sunak spoke of the importance of the partnership, stating, “The UK and Germany are European powerhouses. Together, we are stronger – whether that is defending against Russian aggression or driving economic growth and technological advance. Today we are opening a new chapter in our relationship, one that will make us safer and more prosperous. At this dangerous moment for the world, the UK and Germany are standing side by side to preserve security and prosperity at home and across our continent.”

The Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme aims to modernise British 155mm capabilities, replacing the AS-90.

A Look at the RCH 155

The RCH 155, also known as the Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155 mm, represents a significant advancement in artillery technology. Developed and manufactured by the German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), the RCH 155 was designed based on the successes of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 and the Donar artillery system. Utilising the Boxer chassis.

Specifications and Features

  • Type: Self-propelled artillery
  • Designer: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann
  • Unit Cost: Approximately €12 million for initial orders
  • Mass: Under 39 tonnes
  • Dimensions: Length of 10.4 metres, width of 2.99 metres, and height of 3.60 metres
  • Crew: Two (commander and driver)
  • Armament: Main armament consists of a 155 mm calibre L/52 gun from Rheinmetall, capable of a firing range up to 54 km with enhanced projectiles. Secondary armaments include an optional remote-controlled weapon station.

The RCH 155 is not only powerful but also highly automated, designed to function with minimal human intervention. Its automation allows for operations like firing on the move—a first for most howitzers—significantly increasing its operational effectiveness by minimising the time stationary, thus reducing vulnerability to enemy fire.

Operational Capabilities

  • Engine Power: Equipped with an MTU 8V199 TE21 diesel engine, delivering up to 816 horsepower.
  • Mobility: Can reach speeds up to 103 km/h on roads, with an operational range of 700 km.
  • Ammunition Capacity: Carries 30 fused rounds and 144 modular propellants, with a maximum rate of fire of 9 rounds per minute.
  • Protection: Crew protection against heavy machine gun fire, artillery fragments, mines, and equipped with NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection.

Interestingly, the builders say it is designed for future adaptations to be operated remotely, reducing the need for crew exposure in hazardous conditions.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Martin
Martin (@guest_813406)
18 days ago

In some ways makes sense as we are getting boxer any way, good for spares, same engine as Ajax etc. Not sure what we doo with 14 Archers now? hope we by a tracked option of some thing though. Wheeled although good is never better than tracks in some places.
No news on numbers though?

Daniel
Daniel (@guest_813409)
18 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I’d imagine the Swedes are feeling a bit led on at this point after there was so much emphasis on the Archer / MAN HX combination, which of course would also have slotted into our existing fleet. I know looks are irrelevant but this thing always has looked ridiculous. I would also like to see a tracked purchase but I won’t be holding out hope, Hanwha’s bid always seemed pretty generous, a pity.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813421)
18 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

I do agree it looks crap, but its the right choice, a small order of fully tracked guns would be good, Archer although very good is not ideal is big and expensive, as an ex gunner i would of picked it and may be PZ2000 same barrel, etc

Daniel
Daniel (@guest_813436)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Yes I was wondering that, if – and I know it’s highly unlikely – a tracked platform is eventually procured as well, is PzH 2000 even still available? From what I’ve seen recently German industry has been heavily pushing RCH 155 instead, I think one mockup even showed the RCH turret on a tracked M270 derived hull. I seem to remember at least some of the newbuild PzH that we pledged to Ukraine were retroactively replaced with RCH on Boxer.

Daniel
Daniel (@guest_813437)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

*were pledged, not we pledged (by the Germans)

Martin
Martin (@guest_813445)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

I have no clue if PZ2000 is still made is modern, but far from new. Boxer is a good choice. Lets wait and see the numbers to be ordered that might be a surprise. And what do with do with just 14 Archers? two battries worth max

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_813474)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

My understanding is more than 14 Achers are to be ordered and surely there is room for both of these systems. The shoot and scoot capabilities must be a big factor for this Boxer variant, which would allow the Archer to linger in theatre at a longer range. It’s about time the RA had a serious investment.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813537)
17 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

I do not know of any more orders for Archer, if you do please let me know from were you found out

Craig
Craig (@guest_813629)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Archer was always labelled as an interim measure to bring capability into play sooner than the long term replacement system, which we now know is Boxer. Unlikely but not impossible that there’ll be more Archers ordered.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813637)
17 days ago
Reply to  Craig

very true it was clearly stated as stop gap, to fill the space left by gifting Ukraine 30 AS90’s, i feel no more will be ordered now The RCH 155 is the chosen one,

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_813650)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

The 30 aS90 was always a bit misleading as it was 18 operational ones and 12 spares non operational vehicles.
So really 18 working guns were replaced with 14 archers.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813706)
17 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

18 Archers would have been a fair swap but 12 of them are better than 18, 30 year old guns

Pongoglo
Pongoglo (@guest_813611)
17 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

I read a piece where the programme director an RA Colonel ( don’t recall his name ) stated that 24 was the aim Would be good to see them retained as a Deep Fires Regt at Div level with the RCH155 operating further forward with the Boxer based Bdes. More likely however they will be gifted to Ukraine when RCH155 enters UK service which would be my bet.

Brian Dee
Brian Dee (@guest_813580)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Yeah the surprise (or not more likely) is the pathetic number they will get

Martin
Martin (@guest_813583)
17 days ago
Reply to  Brian Dee

some good kit but may just not enough of it but i do feel with Artillery, Air defence, long range strike the Army will make the right choices, Boxer RCH is a good move as is incressing the MLRS fleet and up dating it. Along with the development of new UK specific MLRS ammo.

Bleak Mouse
Bleak Mouse (@guest_813675)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Maybe the Mod/Army could/should procure an MLRS module for the Boxer??

Martin
Martin (@guest_813709)
17 days ago
Reply to  Bleak Mouse

that would be like Himars one rocket pod due to its width,

RB
RB (@guest_813582)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I’ve seen no info on how many RCH 155’s the British Army will get, and when they will enter service. But I presume that it may be well after 2030 before deliveries are complete. As such, operating a single weak regiment – aka 19 Regiment Royal Artillery (Scottish Gunners) – of modern Archers for perhaps a decade still makes sense as a stop-gap that gives the 1st Deep Reconnaissance Strike Brigade a decent bit of integral clout. Then either mothball or, more likely, sell them on.  

Martin
Martin (@guest_813584)
17 days ago
Reply to  RB

Gift them to Ukraine or let 29 Commando have them, after all they were made in land of much snow, and it will give them much needed heavy fire power and range and its wheeled not a big logistics nightmare. Less crew than a light gun as well, and better protection.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813945)
16 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Hmmm, 3 Cdo going to light raiding remember. An Archer does not really fit that.
I’m all for 3 Cdo actually being back at Bde level for arctic, Norway role but even then given the ability of the LG to be underslung and ferried about by CHF heli I don’t know if Archer suits that, Looks huge!

Martin
Martin (@guest_813948)
16 days ago

yes its a bit on huge scale, i was merely wondering where Archer will end up once RCH 155 is fully in service

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813951)
16 days ago
Reply to  Martin

As you’ve said elsewhere, the truck is born in snow so it’s not the ground mobility locally as such it’s the wider movement, especially if heaven forbid we actually maintain a heavy landing capability from the sea, which we should do.
I’d give the lot to 4RA so 7 Bde has increased firepower.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813953)
16 days ago

i agree, as long as its not just parked up and left or given away its a great gun just not the one we finally picked mainly because its very, very expensive, i still feel Ukraine might get them as some point

Dern
Dern (@guest_813967)
16 days ago

Might be a bit of an under-strength RA regiment then, it’d basically be a troop short wouldn’t it?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813973)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes, though I’d read, unsure if still current, that in the 2010 cuts/review either the 3 batteries went to 4 guns each rather than 6 or that Sphinx? Battery lost its guns entirely. So a 12 gun regiment.
Seems to make sense as 42 won’t need a supporting Battery given it’s new role.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813978)
16 days ago

I don’t know, honestly I was trying to do something earlier today and trying to work out how a Artillery Regiment is organised these days is a pain in the arse.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dern
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814300)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

They all seem to vary. At one point 3HA and 4RA seemed to have more TAC Group Batteries than gun Batteries when the AS90s where cut and replaced by LG.
The MLRS Regs seem to have 2 Fire Batteries, the AS90 Regs 3.
All should have a RHQ, HQ Battery, TAC Group Battery and LAD Det. I think 12 and 16 have 4 Fire Batteries, don’t recall if the 2 UAV Regs have 3 or 4 Batteries.
No idea how many Troops to a Battery or where the attached personnel fit in, HQ Batt?

James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_815270)
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin

My guess is that they will go to Ukraine, even if the war is over they will need a modern army and Archer has already been sent by Sweden. BAe are setting up manufacturing facilities in Ukraine for light gun, they could probably support Archer too in due course.

Last edited 11 days ago by James Fennell
Martin
Martin (@guest_815338)
11 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

i agree with that, 14 Archers would be after a while just extra logistics and not enough to equip a Regt any way. They are simply a stop gap that was availible where as every thing else would have to have been built etc.

RB
RB (@guest_814058)
16 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Sadly 3 Commando Brigade RM is now just an administrative rather than combat formation. As such there is no operational requirement for the Brigade to have integral or attached artillery – and certainly not medium or heavy. I don’t expect that 29 Commando RA will last much longer, particularly as its L118 105 mm light howitzers are over 40 years old and many served in the Falkland’s War! On the rare occasions that 40 or 45 Commando deploys as a complete light infantry battalion, ad-hoc artillery support from the Army is likely to be considered sufficient. As for gifting to… Read more »

Martin
Martin (@guest_814060)
16 days ago
Reply to  RB

Sad to hear 29 Regt might be no more , gutted, and yes Ukraine will have ended by time RCH155 is fully in service. Even sadder the state of 40/45 as worked with them a few times, big shame its come to what it is

RB
RB (@guest_814065)
16 days ago
Reply to  Martin

The Future Commando Force strategy envisioned 40 and 45 Commando’s providing a rotating company-size battle group for LRG(S) and LRG(N) respectively. Unfortunately this has been nixed by the failure to recommission HMS Bulwark, take your pick as to whether this is due to a lack of sailors, a lack of money, or both.

Dern
Dern (@guest_814179)
16 days ago
Reply to  RB

29 RA should be moved to support 4 Light X, not disbanded, they have no dedicated artillery support.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813509)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

PzH2000 came into service only 6 years after AS-90. Is it modern enough?

Martin
Martin (@guest_813530)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Good point it may not be modern enough with out a large and expensive up grade,

Math
Math (@guest_813734)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Problem seem to be the reliability.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813844)
17 days ago
Reply to  Math

That comes with age. The underlying design of the PzH 2000 SPG is early 90s.

James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_815361)
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

RCH155 uses the PzH2000 52 cbr gun, so the best bit is already included in our programme.

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_813571)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

lets not forget there is a tracked boxer drive module, perhaps not fully ready, but really can’t be too far away. lets hope its hybrid drive as well just to jump an iteration of drive module

Math
Math (@guest_813733)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

In Ukraine, it seems to be clear. Caesar works, it is cheap and do the due. PZH2000 is frequently in repair, is complexe and fails to deliver shells. So this vehicle has been created. Remains to be seen if the concept of automation is valide. We see too many automation on German vehicles that fail in combat.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_813777)
17 days ago
Reply to  Math

My understanding of the PZH2000 in Ukraine is that yes, it is mechanically complex but it has proved to be very rugged in taking Battle Damage.

Math
Math (@guest_813860)
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I am a bit confused. Not enough data available for me. This machine seem to have some advantages like shooting on the move. But I find it difficult to be convinced by a large turret build on a truck chassis, to be easy to maintain and be mobile. Though, I am not an expert and the one who did make the decision have far more data available than I do and are experts and I am a foreigner. This is all that matters.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813422)
18 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

Old saying “if it looks right, it usually is right”, and I agree it just looks wrong, it reminds me of an old RN monitor (Big turret, small hull).

But depending on the scenario it makes complete sense, we already have Boxer and it adds the one thing we really do need extra Mass in the Artillery.
I’d like to see other versions such as the Boxer Overwatch with 8 Brimstone missiles and one with a lightweight SAM system.

It’s a start but we do need to replace the AS90 as well !

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_813453)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

‘The Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme aims to modernise British 155mm capabilities, replacing the AS-90.’ – so this is the AS90 replacement.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813513)
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

That will upset the K-9 Thunder fans!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_813716)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I’m wondering why the US and Aus are sticking more with tracked SPGs then? 🤔 Is it different platforms for different deployment scenarios?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813841)
17 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Tracked SPGs for an armoured division to keep up with the advance of the armoured brigades with their: tracked recce vehicles, tracked tanks, tracked Infantry in IFVs.

Truck-mounted or towed guns for everyone else.

But we are going out on a limb to just about everyone else with few exceptions.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_813849)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks Graham. I’ve been reading a bit of Nicholas Drummond’s commentary on UK Land Power too. Good stuff there as there is here too. Getting this new kit and extra capabilities must be a real boost for the RA and Army and morale!

Dern
Dern (@guest_813968)
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Remember though that Nick works for Rheinmetall he has a vested intrest in making Boxer look as good as possible (it’s why his twitter is always saying “We MUST buy all these great Rheinmetall vehicles for the army.”

I also mildly disagree with Graham here, with Artillery you don’t need to follow up armour closely so tracks v wheels isn’t so much of an issue (if anything wheels tend to be faster in Operational and Strategic senses). But if I was moving in and out of a hide, or had to worry about counter battery fire I’d definietly prefer tracks.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dern
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813988)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

He of fairytale ORBATs.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813990)
16 days ago

Similar to another Nick. 🙂
Also remember when you didn’t have to wait 6 days to post a image onto UKDJ, and you could actually embed an imagine in your post?
Pepperidge farm remembers.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813992)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

test

Last edited 16 days ago by Dern
Dern
Dern (@guest_813993)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

http s://i. imgur. com/pBPrZrQ.png
Remove the spaces from this.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814001)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yum! 120mm’s, UAV Troops, QDG with Ch2 and Archer. AND you’ve got the missing CS CSS in there in its own CSS Reg,
Sold.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814003)
16 days ago

And of course ATGW. Our FR needs a Striker/Swingfire replacement badly.
Was about to mention where’s the HAC? Until I remembered for some strange reason they now seem to be in 77. Why???

DB
DB (@guest_814087)
16 days ago

Because they are trained by THEM; think Artist Rifles and, indeed, Special Air Service as rather misleading names.

The 25pdrs are just for show.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814112)
16 days ago
Reply to  DB

Morning David.
Yes, was aware. At least, heard at least one DS is always 22.
On HERA, 21 and 23 had been moved out into the recc Bde, which was disbanded. But they are now back with the group.

Dern
Dern (@guest_814181)
16 days ago

What I never understood was why HAC went to 77 instead of ASOB. You’d have thought with their SF link their STA patrols would fit much better into that brigade than information ops in offices.
Still haven’t heard a convincing reason for it.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814209)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Wow, you too? I was expecting a valid explanation! If 21/23 still have the HERA role I’d have thought one of them was more suited. I believe the I/O role does involve a “hearts and minds” deployable side along with the office stuff. Though having said that I of course do not know the extent that they support the regulars, there must have been a reason they went back into DSF. On the HAC with ASOB, yes seems a perfect fit. With the rise to prominence of artillery again with the Ukraine war( though for me it was always vital… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_815062)
13 days ago

Contrary to what some here will claim I neither know everything nor think I know everything.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814202)
16 days ago
Reply to  DB

The 25pdrs are just for show.”

Thought the gun Troop had LG now. They do have some important ceremonial functions, thus the guns.
Their patrols/STA Sqn is the interesting side, especially for a reservist non SF unit to have the role. Akin to 4/73 I believe.

Dern
Dern (@guest_814208)
16 days ago

They have a LG Battery but I believe it’s earmarked to back-fill 7 Para in a war, rather than serve with the rest of the HAC Regiment.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814214)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes, I knew the 7 RHA link, but thought it just Troop sized, cheers,

Dern
Dern (@guest_814216)
16 days ago

Could be Troop sized, I’m working off memory.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814221)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

You and me both! I’m not at home in front of the data I’ve collated most the time when I post. Doesn’t matter it’s only a minor detail.

DB
DB (@guest_814219)
15 days ago

My bad, I was thinking ceremonial.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814235)
15 days ago
Reply to  DB

Mate, behave! 😀 The KTRHA, now they defo have those older guns.
HAC are like the other saluting Batteries in some other AR Regs around the UK and those at Gib. Have wondered before if those LG are the same as those in front line roles? Could they be used?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814204)
16 days ago
Reply to  DB

Artist Rifles”
One of their old boys invited us to lunch at their Lodge at Bisley. A very professional bunch.

Dern
Dern (@guest_814184)
16 days ago

The annoying thing is this isn’t a major uplift. 3 troops of 120mm mortars, 38 extra Challengers retained/uplifted, retain Archer as RCH155 comes in and some Switchblades. If the funding is there make an Ajax variant that can fire Brimstone from under armour, but as an interim solution Ares teams with Jav firing dismounted.

(Also that orbat almost looks professional if I do say so myself, if I slap a British Army logo and “Official” on the bottom I could convince miltwitter its a thing.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814213)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Indeed mate. Is the Bde split into gun and cavalry groups in reality or is that another of your setups?

Dern
Dern (@guest_814246)
15 days ago

Don’t know, but I imagine if it isn’t de jure set up like that it must at least defacto be?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814250)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hmmm yes I see what you mean, operationally it must be.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814002)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Happy that we mildly disagree, Dern! There is no one right answer in this business.

Dern
Dern (@guest_814189)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

👍

DB
DB (@guest_814086)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Both Zuzka and Dana the Slovak wheeled guns have achieved export sales and as I posted before, senior Slovak officers with combat experience in Afghanistan asked me in 1999 why we went with tracked SPGs.

(Think about that date and Afghanistan 😉 )

Dern
Dern (@guest_814185)
16 days ago
Reply to  DB

I think if you’re going to try and leg it from hides to firing positions and are doing it in European Forests instead of Afghani hills tracks are probably a benefit tbh.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814062)
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Thanks. I will look up Drummond but will be mindful based on Dern’s comments that he is not impartial. My take on the new army vehicle platforms: CR3 – should be good but a slow build and 148 is far too few. Some think it needs more power to barrel through claggy & deep mud (or maybe just better drivers!). Ajax – good spec but really needed a telescopic mast to elevate sensors. Hopefully NVH problems have really been sorted out. At least 7 years late into service. Conducting recce by stealth may be a challenge as signature is larger… Read more »

pete
pete (@guest_814689)
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

9A engine has bigger turbo’s and radiators for CR3 , still crappy carbon mudflaps that split on corners !

Last edited 14 days ago by pete
pete
pete (@guest_814690)
14 days ago
Reply to  pete

carbon rubber

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815187)
12 days ago
Reply to  pete

Thanks. First time I have heard of those details – where did they come from? I wonder by how much how power, P/W ratio and torque is improved.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813477)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

One of the replacements for Stormer/HVM is apparently a Boxer/HVM vehicle.
Rapid Ranger is the interim buy.
Boxer Overwatch also a must to finally replace Striker/Swingfire.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_813643)
17 days ago

Would be nicer if Boxer SHORAD made use of the bigger platform to have a larger, longer-ranged missile, Pantsir-style.
I wouldn’t want to be sitting in a Stormer watching a russian jet or helicopter lob modern anti-tank missiles from outside your maximum range and not be able to do a thing about it.
Maybe stick Martlet on the front of the HVM booster?

Asker of questions
Asker of questions (@guest_813654)
17 days ago

When was it announced that we are buying Rapid Ranger and what vehicle will it be mounted on?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813674)
17 days ago

Hasn’t been officially.
Twitter sleuthing showed a photo of the CGS shown around the factory and an internal army chart, also on Twitter, showed timeline for retirement/introduction of various equipment. Rapid Ranger was on that chart.
Apparently RR can be procured quickly, the Boxer solution is further along. There are also plans to “triple” SHORAD so assume RR plays a big part in that.

I don’t know any other details, sorry. If you follow UKAFC on Twitterit was all on there a few months ago.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_814462)
15 days ago

I dont get Boxer replacing Striker. What will they replace the Swingfire missile part with.. Brimstone would be the sensible answer. As Brimstone is far longer ranged and you can be given target data from other sources (You don’t need to track or wire guide) then mounting Brimstone on a DROPS type truck bed would be quicker and easier (Read cheaper) than a Boxer module. I saw a piece on Brimstone fitted onto an Ajax in a dedicated bolt on top box which makes sense for its role. If a reccy troop needs to hit something at range that is… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_814473)
15 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

To be fair, that is a good point. I guess it depends which element of the army? If it is a FR Reg in the DRSB who are meant to be further forward than putting Brimstone on an armoured platform makes more sense.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815126)
12 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

A Recce Troop should be doing recce, by stealth preferably, not taking on tanks at ultra-long range with ATGMs.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_815164)
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes , but if they need to hit something to enable them to get out of dodge some overmatch in range is nice to have…and Brimstone gives you overmatch in spades!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815448)
11 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes, it does. It would represent a ‘first’ if all our armoured recce had ATGW. Brimstone (missile alone) is a big, heavy, expensive beast (1.8m long 180 cm diameter, 50kg) – and would be larger and heavier in a launcher. I doubt a standard Ajax could carry more than two. Would its fitment compromise turret and cannon operation or placement of sensors etc? Next someone will say that all Ajax should also have an anti-drone system… (wait, they already have). I favour instead an Ajax variant (STRIKER replacement) with more ATGWs that would take on multiple tank targets and that… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813512)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

This is announced by MoD as the ‘enduring MFP’ solution so it looks like it will be the AS-90 replacement!

No-one expected Warrior to be replaced by a wheeled vehicle, but it will be!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813541)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi M8. Daft question but did the Army actually carry out any trials with this SPG before deciding to buy it ? I know they had a look at the K9 but what about this one. I really do appreciate the desire for pace and the synergy of this buy. But I’d actually like to know if it turns over when going round a tight bend, can actually fire and hit the target when moving ? Is it Squaddy proof ? I don’t buy a car without a proper test and certainly not at this price and with MODs recent… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_813561)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Isn’t there a video of a prototype around doing a shoot and scoot. If so it looked surprisingly fast and manoeuvrable so I will put the somewhat ungainly look aside. To be honest Archer and others don’t exactly look very visually competent at cross country antics if different in their own way to this, so that offers some perspective too.

DB
DB (@guest_813744)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Can’t speak for trials, but, Lithuania field this system and there has been a lot of joint exercises in Latvia between our Brits and the other other nations, so they will have seen it in action.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_814714)
14 days ago
Reply to  DB

They have the Pzh2000 I can’t find any info on anyone having them in service yet. Even on the manufacturers website it in only list one order and that’s 18 units for the Ukraine and they haven’t been delivered yet.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_813424)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

It looks a bit top heavy and ungainly doesn’t it? More wheeled. Yes, you eonder if there’s still room for tracked. What is Ukraine showing with tracked versus wheeled?

Last edited 17 days ago by Quentin D63
Daniel
Daniel (@guest_813429)
17 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

From my perspective Ukraine is showing that the best solution is a combination of both tracked and wheeled platforms to service different situations. Having said that, I would argue that if the army can only afford one then wheels is better.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813516)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

The British Army has always had both wheeled and tracked platforms.
Wheels is not better in poor ground and met conditions.

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_813573)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

there’s nothing stopping us getting boxer tracked when it becomes available at which point this choice starts unlocking loads of value

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813660)
17 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

The only things stopping us from your plan are: Politics, Money and Logic.

Good luck asking HMT for funds for Tracked Boxer (IFV) for the Infantry in the two armoured brigades. They will ask why they spent several £bn buying wheeled Boxer for those units. Even if they agreed, what would you do with all those redundant wheeled Boxers? Sell them off at half price or give them to Ukraine?

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_813661)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Agreed, but the whole point of boxer is you buy the module separately from the far cheaper drive module. That’s what releases the value, if they aren’t thinking like this, then they have wasted a load of money and about 5t in weight.

of course you’re right, that’s what’s so disappointing.

we should/could pre-position drive units in Germany for instance and if the treat level rises send whatever modules we need to. On paper it’s a great system, but as you say bean counters will get in the way.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813811)
17 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Guess we will have to wait and see. Interesting times!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813926)
16 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I take your point but I have not yet heard that we are buying mission modules and drive (chassis) modules seperately, nor that we are buying more chassis modules than mission modules or vice versa.
I think it will only occasionally be the case that we re-role a chassis module with a different mission module.

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker (@guest_813788)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If you have exactly the same number of modules as chassis , you defeat the whole point of Boxer and May as well have bought non-modular. If you have more chassis than modules you have redundancy. If a chassis breaks down swap the module you need into a working chassis ( couple of hours ). If you have more modules than chassis you have greater flexibility. Load whichever modules you need onto how ever manny chassis you have. You can’t ever have enough chassis though. 20x wheeled and 20x tracked chassis and 10x ambulance, 10x mortar, 10x 155mm, 10x command… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813934)
16 days ago

See my answer to Pacman 27, just posted. If an Inf Bn wanted more than 8 mortars, say 12 – then sure it could get 4 mortar modules from somewhere and stick them onto 4 chassis modules (if it had them lying around spare somewhere). But then where would they get the extra trained mortarmen from? Would an infantry company suddenly want 2 more ambulances rather than just the one it normally has? Who knows? Maybe? If casualties are heavy. Would that Coy have two spare chassis modules? Unlikely – perhaps they are in Battalion B Echelon with the Tech… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_813972)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

^I said the exasct some thing on another thread. But with the added wrinkle of “You now have to persuade me, the budget holder, that I should invest in mission modules that will sit in a warehouse unusable for ages, and then swap them out to make a different mission module unusable. Why is this better than me simply buying a smaller number of complete units that I can use 24/7?”

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814233)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

A very sound point. Also, if a BG needs more Boxer mortar wagons (for example) for a particular mission, we can Task Org and attach them from another BG that can spare them for a while. That way they come with trained and experienced crews and are already fitted out, bombed up and ready to go.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813946)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Give them all to 7 and 4 Bdes and make both mechanized!! 😜

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814056)
16 days ago

Yes to that!

Armoured Inf with IFVs in armoured brigades in an ‘armoured’ division, 3 Div.

Boxer MIVs with the Mech Inf in Mech brigades in 1 Div.

Math
Math (@guest_813735)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

Ukraine shows that availability, easy maintenance is what is really needed. Complexity should be avoided, when it does not bring anything. soldiers are not all engineers. Spare parts are important. Ukraine shows that Germany is unable to supply spare parts in due time, because so far military chassis were ment to be produced in small numbers. Even USA is struggling with this issue. So commonality wherever possible with civilian spare part must be cherished. That’s of course not the choice here and I regret it.

harryb
harryb (@guest_813480)
17 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Wheeled Vehicles have been struggling in Ukraine. Firstly their mobility is heavily restricted by MUD, secondly they cant carry as much armour as tracked. Which means in a conflict that at times is characterised by mud and a high concentration of fires. It hasn’t gone well. Although wheeled vehicle certainly have their place.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813601)
17 days ago
Reply to  harryb

Yes but, Ukranian mud is also some of the worst terrain in the world for mobility and it’s not like tracked vehicles haven’t been having problems with it either.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_814079)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Bit of a silly question, but has there been any experimentation with wider wheels and tracks done on the Challenger, Warrior and even Ajax type vehicles?

Dern
Dern (@guest_814215)
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I’m pretty sure they have grousers and duckbills (grousers are like cleats for tanks to improve grip but DESTROY roads, Duckbills are extensions that make the tracks wider) but would have to find a RAC chap to confirm if we use them. But even if we do, both are temporary attachments. I don’t think we’ve really experimented with wider tracks though, that’s a non trivial alteration (you’d have to replace all the running wheels sprockets idlers return rollers) and there’s actually an ideal length/width ratio for a tank: Make it too long it’ll break appart if you try and turn… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_814218)
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Fantastic information Dern, thanks for this. We definitely cover everything here on UKDJ! 😁. Thanks also to Graham for earlier reply too.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813506)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

Swedes only offered 14 – we bit their hand off. It was only ever an interim buy to cover (in part) the loss of 32 AS90s to UKR – not necessarily the final MFP programme answer.

If we buy lots of Boxer RCH155’s could you see the Treasury also finding more money for a tracked SPG – I can’t.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813544)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s a bit annoying for Sweden as the partners for pushing Archer for MFP were BAe, Babcock and RBSL ! I actually really liked the Archer and we have lots of MAN trucks to mount them on.
But Boxer and CR3 seem to be doing well so RBSL wins again.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813647)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

It would be interesting to see a comparative assessment of Archer and Boxer RCH-155, and any other wheeled SPGs (eg. Caesar, Rheinmetall’s offering based on the HX truck etc).

Not sure we would buy just the Archer turret from Sweden and mount it on our own army’s MAN trucks – those are being used for another purpose and are not ‘spare’.

As you say, RBSL are doing rather well at present, as are GDUK with Ajax.

Rugger-13
Rugger-13 (@guest_813609)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

But do we need tracked long range artillery?
If the mode of operation is to shoot and scoot then using a faster wheeled Boxer chassis on roads and tracks is surely better than a slower x-country chassis. It’s not as if they are trying to keep up with tanks if they are 10km+ behind the front line.
Being on wheels using roads allows most mobility, travel range and allows the resupplies to get to the artillery.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813806)
17 days ago
Reply to  Rugger-13

We have always needed tracked artillery, whether they shoot extremely long range or ‘just normal range’. They don’t operate in a tactical grouping with tanks (ie in close proximity, as you say), but tanks move fast over difficult terrain and so artillery support needs to keep up with the pace of the advance. We have done shoot and scoot for a very long time which is easier and more credible with SP Guns. You don’t need a track or road to scoot along if you have a high mobility vehicle. Often armies avoid roads as they cannalise own troops and… Read more »

Rugger-13
Rugger-13 (@guest_813826)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks, your points are correct. In a perfect world we would have everything but competing needs mean we have to be pragmatic.
The Ukraine shows that in a conflict where you don’t have air superiority or supremacy then artillery are still relevant and needed. The cost of a single modern fighter-bomber can outfit several army artillery guns. I am a aviation buff but even I see it makes no sense to rely only on airplanes and drones.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813998)
16 days ago
Reply to  Rugger-13

Thanks mate. I was always sure that Ukraine’s much vaunted Summer/Autumn 2023 offensive would deliver less than expected due in large part to them not having significant airpower let alone limited air superority on the axes of (intended) advance.
The F-16s when they arrive will help in that respect.
Massive artillery delivery has to be some substitute for lack of airpower in the advance but UKR does not have a massive capability there in terms of enough modern platforms or plentiful munitions supply.

The British Army too has been very short of modern artillery, particularly in the last 30 years.

Steve
Steve (@guest_813705)
17 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

No indication that both orders couldn’t happen or in fact neither. Too early to tell at this point.

This is an agreement to develop something not build it, there has been many many development contacts across the armed forces with very few actual orders.

Last edited 17 days ago by Steve
Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813807)
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

It seems very highly developed as it stands – designed in 2014, firing trials in 2019, at least a small batch built in 2022.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_813417)
18 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Hi Martin, This is indeed good news, and I would agree with the need for a tracked system capable of keeping up with armoured formations in tactical situations. However, I don’t see any realistic chance of a second SP artillery system been procured for the British Army. I would only see that changing if there was a very significant increase in the numerical strength of the army and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. As you point there is apparently no decision on numbers. I wouldn’t expect that at such and early stage, but I would expect that the… Read more »

Martin
Martin (@guest_813423)
17 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I expect you are right, no tracked guns and may be about 120 or so guns at max, my guess is about 70/80 not many more than that. Simply because we do not have the RA Regts to send it to.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_813549)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Hi Martin, I’ve been saying for sometime that I think the armed force too small right across the board. The forces have been sized to match the politically set budget regardless of the threat. The threat is now getting to the point where they (the politicians) can no longer ignore it, but they are still playing games. I see Sunak’s commitment to 2.5% of GDP by 2030 as merely a noose for Labour to hang themselves on. Besides which it is merely a political number nothing to do with the risk / threat profile we have today and certainly nothing… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813433)
17 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

2 Regiments I’d think, 1 RHA and 19RA. A 3rd if we are lucky so 7 LMBCT can update its Light Guns too.

How expensive is this thing compared to the K9 and to Archer? I would guess a lot pricier.
I’m afraid I don’t like the look of it!

Dern
Dern (@guest_813449)
17 days ago

Agreed, it looks ungainly and I’m not convinced of how it’ll preform off road. But I’d hope that the testing unit’s would have been happy with it so…

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813487)
17 days ago

I do have to wonder if there isn’t a large dollop of Politics involved, we are all shouting about National or Pan European military cooperation. And let’s face it we are no longer in the AFV of much else land warfare business. We have 3 cooperative agreements on the go GD (Ajax) and RBSL (Boxer and CR3) so why not just expand one of the buys ? At least we know this one works and doesn’t make folks ill. I just never saw the S Korean option as a viable alternative, unknown partnership, new facilities would mean years to ramp… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813491)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I don’t know the comparative cost between K9 and this and exactly what the industrial offer from the Koreans was to make a comparison. I just don’t like the look of it!!!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813547)
17 days ago

I’asked Graham if he knows if it’s been tested, not much use if it isn’t Squaddy proof. 🤔
Letter to Rishi M8 the readers of UKDK think it’s rot ugly. We prefer Swedish 🤣

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813574)
17 days ago

Mate, you sound as if you know that old engineering mantra “if it looks right, it probably is right’. The converse is clearly true!
The Sinclair C5 mini EV from 1985 is another good example of something that just looked wrong, especially on a crowded commuter road.

Last edited 17 days ago by Graham Moore
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813587)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Showing my age to remember that thing!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_814808)
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I actually quoted that way back in this post. I was 9 years of age when my late uncle (RR and RR&A engineer) took me to an air show at Swinderby. Seeing as how he started life building RR Merlin engines he blagged us to take a close look in a Mosquito. I was impressed sitting in the cockpit and walking round it. That afternoon it did its display and I understood the Mantra. IMHO the most beautiful aircraft ever built and an engineering triumph of KISS methodology. And now I’ve done some digging I not only don’t like the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815368)
11 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I too would be interested in the CG, and the turret weight, and whether it can really fire to left and right without jacks and wihout platform instability. It is always risky being the launch customer – we should be buying a lot of army kit MOTS right now – proven hardware, good to go – and without further development and affordable, and quickly sourced. there is nothing not to like about MOTS procurement of a proven system, except perhaps that it might not generate British jobs in deprived areas – and that upsets the politicos. It is said that… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813627)
17 days ago

If you think we don’t like it what are the Soldiers going to say.

”It looks like a Randy Dalek having fun”. 🤣

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_813558)
17 days ago

Hi Daniele, A game I play when I’m driving is guess the centre of gravity of the truck holding me up – its an engineers thing. Anyway looking at picture I’d guess the c.g. would be pretty high especially at full load. So my guess is great on the (dry) plains of central and eastern Europe but perhaps might require some caution when wanting to traverse a hillside in the bumpy bits. As you suggest its the the look. That’s a lot of gun and weight on that vehicle so whilst it is probably inside the envelope I wouldn’t be… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813570)
17 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi mate.
Yes, it was actually reduced to an infantry Bde from armoured in 2010 and since “uplifted” to light Mech with introduction of Foxhound. Zero else about it is uplifted to fit a Mech Bde. But all forces, even light ones, have their place.
My issue with 7 LMB is its artillery. I’d like to see a wheeled 155mm in it not the towed 105 LG!

Dern
Dern (@guest_813606)
17 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

In fairness, 7X hasn’t been armoured since about 2010, when it was redeisgnated an Infantry Brigade. Under Army 2020 it was 1 Regular Jackal Regiment and 3 Light Infantry Battalions with no Artillery, CS or CSS.

David Lee
David Lee (@guest_813938)
16 days ago

3 Rha are reconfiguring to mlrs and I personally think money would have been better spent upgrading what we already have the archers have only just arrived this week at larkhill . The artillery is currently woefully undergunned with 155mm

Steve R
Steve R (@guest_813447)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I’d imagine that the 14 Archers will ultimately end up in Ukraine.

I’d hope for at least 150 RCH155 vehicles, ideally. I assume they’d be cheaper than a tracked vehicle and logistically makes things easier, as you said, because they’d share the same engines, spares, etc, so I’d hope that this means an increase in the number of guns/vehicles over the old AS90.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813451)
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

May be be better to send them once we get the 155mm Boxer up and running rather than keep 14 Archer. I hear the Army was hoping for 120 plus new guns, not sure if they will get that but hope so, Boxer is the sensible choice

Steve R
Steve R (@guest_813455)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I agree. Pointless keeping only 14 of them in stock when going with a completely different system.

TBH I’d be all in favour of us giving them to Ukraine right now; we’re not going to war with Russia tomorrow or even next year, and Ukraine could make far better use of them.

Given how the Ukraine war has turned into basically an artillery war, I think the Army has a good argument in favour of at least 120 units. Hard to say artillery is a thing of the past, now.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813456)
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

i agree with you, i think we keep them a bit, until first Boxer 155mm turn up then quitely send them to Ukraine, not sure but i do think they already have some? Artillery is reborn and to win you need lots of it i hope the numbers will be high but i hate to say you can never be sure, scrap all the light guns less 29 Commando and 7HA , replace all with Boxer, nice dream i guess.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813465)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

That basically means 4 Regiment RA, as the other LG regiment, 3RHA, has already replaced its LGs with MLRS.

29RA,7RHA, and the reserve units continue with the LG.

If 1RHA,19RA and 4RA have 3×8 gun Batteries that is 72 with a small reserve, some with RATDU, and RSA/14RA for training.

I’d be ecstatic with 100 units, will probably be less.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813469)
17 days ago

Any thing over a 100 is great news, i have faith it might be but just have wait and see. For once some good news

RB
RB (@guest_813719)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

An order for 100 RCH 155’s seems way too optimistic given that there are less than 70 AS90’s left in British Army service – enough for just two artillery regiments. Any order above this number would normally be a big surprise, but just possibly times are a changing – for good and bad.

From Googling, the likely In-Service Date for the RCH 155 is 2029, although the MOD is apparently seeking to expedite this.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813721)
17 days ago
Reply to  RB

We all hope the number is high as that is what is needed 3/4 Regts worth would be the ideal amount , i’ll risk it and stake a claim that the number might be surprise in the right way.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815376)
11 days ago
Reply to  RB

You also need a number for the Training Organisation, the Repair Pool and the Attrition Reserve in addition to those held by the Field units, hence my wild guess of up to 100. Optimists here think 120 to 150. We shall see.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813517)
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

150! Whoa! It will never be anything like that number. Lucky if we get 100.
[We purchased 179 AS-90s, fielded from 1992]

Last edited 17 days ago by Graham Moore
Steve R
Steve R (@guest_813543)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You’re probably right.

That said, the defence budget is going to increase over the next 5 years up to 2.5%. Assuming GDP remains the same that’s slightly over a £10 billion increase. That means they plan to increase something; could be artillery, seeing as that’s the main focus of the Ukraine war right now.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813645)
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Apparently one ex-Defence Minister was sceptical that such an increase will enable the purchase of a lot more platforms. Some will cover inflation and losses due to unfavourable £ to $ exchange rates, some will go to improve recruiting, ammo stocks and housing. A lot will go to cover the increasing number of consultants and PFI contractors. There is doubt that manpower numbers will materially be uplifted.

DB
DB (@guest_814088)
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

That increase has been ripped apart as was scrapps at Defence Cmtte when a presented increase was actually money for Ukraine.

The Cons are blowing smoke up the electorates hoops.

Steve R
Steve R (@guest_814136)
16 days ago
Reply to  DB

I can’t see an additional £10 billion per year (by 2030) being spent solely on Ukraine, though.

That’s how much difference we’re talking about between current levels and 2.5% of GDP.

The additional money this year is for Ukraine, but from next year onwards it’s supposed to increase incrementally up to 2.5% – so probably an increase of £2 billion a year every year.

RB
RB (@guest_815408)
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Remember that Labour (seemingly almost inevitably in government by this Autumn) won’t commit to spending more than 2% of GDP on defence until it completes a defence review, and this determines that it’s “really needed”. Of course by the time this review is completed in mid-2025 (at the earliest), Ukraine may have effectively surrendered, uneasy peace resumed in Gaza, the shipping attacks in the Red Sea subsided, and ‘Global Britain’ and the ‘Indo-Pacific tilt’ history. At this point the government may claim that actually the MOD is already well funded, and instead quietly cut the defence budget over the next… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_813920)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I believe they were planing a competition for the order of the future system this year and that order was based around 96…so we will not likely get to 100 as you say.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814063)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

96 or 100 – its about the same. I was just pouring cold water on the idea that we will get 150.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815371)
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

We bought 179 AS-90s. Active fleet numbers were drastically reduced by Cameron in 2010 review – 40% were mothballed, as I recall. Many more mothballed since 2010 cuts. Many of those out of service will have been cannibalised and/or scrapped

I doubt we will buy more than 100 Boxer RCH-155s. I also doubt we will buy any tracked SPGs. But I have always been a ‘glass half empty’ man!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813502)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, I was REME and we were very used to supporting a mix of equipments that did the same thing or nearly so. Some years up to AS90 being fielded from 1992, the RA had M107, M109, M110 8″ howitzer, Abbot as tracked SPGs [plus FH70]. [Lt Gun was just for Lt forces]. Between 1983 and 1998 we had a mixed tank fleet – Chieftain and CR1. Our PM fleet from the time of Op Telic and Herrick has been a veritable smorgasbord of equipment. We don’t junk the 14 Archers that we have only just got because in the… Read more »

Martin
Martin (@guest_813534)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I see the reason behind picking boxer 155mm makes a lot of sense, The army does have a bad habit of too many diffrent types of the same thing at the same time. Boxer and Ajax share the same engine and we are getting other Boxer types so may be good call. Boxer replacing warrior is massive mistake tanks need tracked IFV for their own protection and to keep up with them. Ideally an Ajax IVF would be a good move but not sure re working it will be funded even though we have 200plus spare 40mm cannons etc and… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813566)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

If HMT agree to fund an IFV (highly unlikely for the next 20+ years), then reworking Ajax would be a bad idea (lengthy project and expensive) – why not just buy ASCOD 2 Ulan/Pizarro off the shelf from the Austrians or Spanish – fit our turret/40mm cannon if necessary – and the job is done.
Other OTS options are available but all would cost far more than the upgraded Warrior (WCSP) that was cancelled – that was very good value.

Last edited 17 days ago by Graham Moore
Martin
Martin (@guest_813569)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Why would re working a vehicle we already have with a turret we like be too much hazzel? its merely re do the inside and add a few feet to it, cheaper and wiser than buying some thing else and then trying fit the Ajax turret on it. examples are stormer/scimitor 2 just a streched CVR T hull, MLRS a streched Bradley hull.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813607)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Because ASCOD is the same base vehicle as Ajax but set up as a IFV. So why reverse Ajax back into an IFV if you can just pick up ASCOD?

Martin
Martin (@guest_813618)
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

same gun etc as Ajax or just put Ajax turrets on it the turret must be very much the same width

Dern
Dern (@guest_813625)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

No, both Ulan and Pizarro (the two IFV variants of ASCOD) have a 30mm Mauser, not the 40mm CTA gun that Ajax carries. Although ASCOD and Ajax are similar widths (I think there’s something like 20cm between them) ASCOD has a much smaller turret than Ajax, so if you want to put the Ajax turret on ASCOD you’ll loose interior space for the turret basket.
Personally that’s why I suspect the best bet would either be ASCOD with a new 40mm turret or Boxer with a new 40mm turret.

Last edited 17 days ago by Dern
Ian M
Ian M (@guest_813856)
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern, to fit a CT40 equipped turret to an ASCOD wouldn’t necessarily involve a full fat AJAX turret with all of it’s ISTAR fit which requires the 1.7m turret ring. If it’s just the firepower needed I think the turret could be unmanned as the CT40 has minimal turret intrusion, tiny recoil distance and lends itself readily to an automated ammunition handling system. Try fitting the CT40 to a Cockerill turret?

Dern
Dern (@guest_813955)
16 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Maybe I did a bad job of explaining myself Ian: I think there are two tempting solutions A) “Just fit the Ajax Turret onto ASCOD” and B) “Just shove a CT40 into the ASCOD turret.” I think we’re probably in agreement that neither of those really works?

So yeah I think we’re on the same page that the only two realistic solutions are either to find a turret that fits an unmanned CTA system or develop a new turret from scratch. I’d hope the former would be possible, but I don’t know.

Ian M
Ian M (@guest_813997)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Same page, same paragraph.👍
The Cockerill turret is endlessly adaptable, I think they’ve even squeezed a 105mm in! A bit of ingenuity and sensible engineering nouse could see it done.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_814802)
14 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

M10 Booker is an ASCOD derived vehicle.

Ian M
Ian M (@guest_814809)
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Sure is, shortened hull I believe with an Abrams derived turret for commonality. Not an organisational bod but maybe Daniele M could say whether such a platform could fit with UK doctrine, manning etc. Personally speaking I’d like to see a few squadrons of Fire Support platforms.
Cheers

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813655)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

The obvious point to make is why rework all our Ajax back to an IFV version for our infantry to use – what recce vehicles would the army then have?!! You would have to buy some! GDUK has spent 14 years from Contract Award developing and adapting the ASCOD2 IFV and converting it into a recce vehicle – that vehicle will be so far away from being an IFV – I don’t have the details of course as to exactly what changes have been made but they will be very significant. To undo all the changes made to the original… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_813669)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

In fairness to Martin I don’t think he literally means the already produced vehicles, but rather the design.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813813)
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Ah, OK. That would make more sense. However I think the chances of our Infantry getting a tracked IFV in the next 20 years is virtually nil, Boxer having been ordered for the Inf in the ABCTs.
The most we might expect is that the later order Boxers (Tranche 2 and onwards) might carry a cannon in a Kongsberg RS6 RWS.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813887)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Very French of us, they don’t have tracked IFV’s working with their MBT’s either.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814064)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

True. I wonder what their experience of that has been?

Bleak Mouse
Bleak Mouse (@guest_813696)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

or the really obvious point would be to buy the tracked version of the Boxer and just add modules to it??

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813816)
17 days ago
Reply to  Bleak Mouse

We have signed up for the wheeled Boxer ‘APC’ for the infantry and seemingly Boxer RCH-155 for the artillery. I can’t see us buying tracked Boxer for any role.

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker (@guest_813893)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If you have the module already and a wheeled chassis to go with it. You just need to buy a tracked chassis and you have that module as tracked or wheeled. You are thinking of Boxer as a whole as a variant. The chassis are standard. The modules are the variant. You don’t need to buy another tracked APC. If you buy a tracked chassis that APC can be either wheeled or tracked. As you need. If we buy loads of wheeled chassis with loads of different modules. If we decide they should be tracked. You can swap the chassis.… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_813959)
16 days ago

I think the swappable modules is a gimmick and has little applicability outside of very niche circumstances and initial assembly tbh. You’re not going to want to buy more modules than chassis because then you’re just going to have them sitting in a warehouse somewhere. Right? I’m not going to buy 100 APC modules and only use them if I’m going to stop using my IFV or Ambulance, or ISTAR or Mortar modules. The same works in reverse, if I have a wheeled APC and buy a tracked chassis and put my APC modules on the tracked chassis, what happens… Read more »

DB
DB (@guest_814089)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Wargaming with the Little Crappy Ship saw red forces hitting stores where the modules were located before the ships were killed.

Similar lesson, hit the RCZ and facilities and the lads and lasses fight with what they have.

Dern
Dern (@guest_814180)
16 days ago
Reply to  DB

I mean you don’t even have to wargame it, it’s just nonsensical from an administrative sense.

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker (@guest_814773)
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

But surely that is what happens now with the current fleet of IFVs, APC, tanks , etc. Most are sat around doing nothing for most of the time. If you are never going to swap modules then Boxer is a complete waste of money. If you have a number of chassis and a number of modules , you can have as many of any variant that you have modules for deployed on operations or exercise. In the case of full scale war – you can have every war fighting module out onto every working chassis and have complete availability of… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Dern
Dern (@guest_815080)
12 days ago

Okay so lets unpack this because there’s a lot that’s, frankly, wrong in your post. For starters: Most vehicles are categorically not “sat around doing nothing most of the time.” They are assigned to an orbat and will have a crew that will be engaged in exercise or training with them on a regular basis, and if that training isn’t happening then there will be maintenance (again speaking as someone who was in an Armoured Support unit, hardly a day went by where the 432’s weren’t either being worked on, out on driver training, or on exercise). That requires a… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Dern
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_815307)
11 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Fascinating post.
So, 1 MR and 2 MR. Are their Sqns still in 432s and are they defo getting Boxer ambulance?

Dern
Dern (@guest_815563)
10 days ago

Last I checked I think 5 Med was going to be rerolled onto Boxer to support Strike while 1 and 4 stayed on 432’s to support 12 and 20. But that was pre Future Soldier (I assume 3 would have gone Strike as well eventually).

Don’t know if that’s still the plan but the above pretty much covers where Boxer would be used in any event.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814135)
16 days ago

I very much understand the modular concept of Boxer and that the wheeled drive/chassis module is common to all wheeled Boxer vehicles irrespective of role. But they are being purchased by UK as complete vehicles: DE&S Press Release – ‘Published 5 November 2019.£2.8bn contract to provide more than 500 state-of-the-art armoured vehicles for the British Army’ DE&S press Release – ‘Published 06 July 2021The programme will deliver 500 vehicles for front-line troops to operate…The Boxer programme will deliver more than 500 vehicles to the Army. They will be made up of four variants: an infantry carrier, a specialist carrier, a command… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_815094)
12 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

See my last response mate. I’m not sure how the REME would react if I told you you had to spend an hour+ swapping your Boxer module out for an IFV one so that you could then work on repairing the broken axle on what is now your vehicle…instead of just… fixing the broken axle.

“Fan belts gone.”
“Welp, guess we’ve got to give up our recovery vehicle, lets get to swapping chassis.”

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815386)
11 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks Dern. I call this modular concept of Boxer a ‘party trick’, which must upset Mr Drummond etc. Where else is this re-roling concept happening – in the other services? In civvy street? In the ‘blue light’ services. No. I think there is a debate to be had about who would switch modules? Assumption is that it is REME because they have a number of cranes on vehicles. But this module swapping is not a repair task. You would need 2 crane-equipped wagons – they and tradesmen would be tied down doing a non-repair/non-recovery activity. Not good, as you say.… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_815562)
10 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think I’ve been a bit harsh, I should say it’s a “gimmick” from a operational point of view: I can see how it would give production and design advantages needing only to design a new module for each role.

But otherwise yeah (also how do you decide who looses a vehicle and how to prioritise?)

Martin
Martin (@guest_813707)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

no i meant build new Ajax as an IFV, not re work, why would you back track and turn it from Recce to IFV?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813840)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Ah, OK. So just buy ASCOD2 Ulan/Pizarro from Austria or Sweden and ‘Britishify’ it by fitting 40mm stabilised cannon etc.
Yep, that’s one option. But the main point is that HMG/MoD decided 2 years ago we won’t have tracked IFVs – our Inf in the armoured brigades will have Boxers which have already been ordered and are being built.

We won’t get tracked IFVs again until Boxer is pensioned off.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_814801)
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Or you just send someone over to see what they have done with the ASCOD IFV. Their M10 Booker is a beefed up version with a 105mm gun turret, but a great start point for an IFV (250 hp more for starters).

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815190)
12 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Start point for a future British IFV built by GDUK in Wales, if it ever happened (!), would not be an assault gun (they are trying not to say ‘light tank’), which probably only takes a 4-man crew. Start point woud be Ulan/Pizarro, which is already an IFV.But I know what you mean. Ulan/Pizarro with uprated engine etc etc. would be worth considering.

Realpolitik kicks in though. I doubt the Treasury will fund an IFV until Boxer is withdrawn from service in 20-40 years time!

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_813922)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Indeed they essentially will fire a standard set of 155mm rounds and the Archer being truck based is not going to be a stretch to manage logically.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_814206)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Archer looks good for the medium-weight part of the army.
Tracked SPG is preferable for the armoured div – 3 Div.

But Archer is just an interim purchase to partly offset the loss of 32 AS-90s to UKR. MoD has announced that Boxer RCH-155 will be devloped with Germany to meet our MFP, the programme to replace AS-90 – so I doubt we will buy a tracked SPG as well.

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_813568)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Both are good decision imo

Archer goes to the marines and you have a consistent platform in the high north
RCH is for the mainland army and is consistent with germany

win / win if we do that (who wants to bet we don’t do that!!!)

Martin
Martin (@guest_813572)
17 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Acher is big, not sure how it fits on LST , but yes its born in the snow ideal for the Marines, lets hope for once a wise mind sees it the same.

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_813576)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

it doesn’t need to – pre-position it once it becomes available. would be a really useful capability over there and supported by local allies, what’s not to like

Martin
Martin (@guest_813579)
17 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Ah, you are wise like budda, well lets hope some one who knows tells some one who has rank that.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813608)
17 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Is Archer capable of being underslung from a Helicopter? I have my doubts since it’s pretty heavy. 105mm can be lifted, and if the RM are raiding, not doing heavy amphibious landings then being able to lift guns into position by air will be important.

Nathan Paxton
Nathan Paxton (@guest_813678)
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Given that a Chinook can sling less than 12 tons and even a CH-53K is limited to less than 16 tons, whilst Archer and Boxer 155mm are getting on for 40 tons, no.

lordtemplar
lordtemplar (@guest_813411)
18 days ago

bit expensive at £12m a unit. imo better to get more units like cheaper truck mounted system like Caesar, Atmos etc… not convinced firing artillery on the move is worth the price or even accurate. we have seen in Ukraine that complex systems like PZH2000 have been hampered by maintenance issues and reliability.
my 2 cents

Sam
Sam (@guest_813413)
18 days ago
Reply to  lordtemplar

Surprised although a welcome one they made the choice this quickly.

I expected them to go with Archer honestly.

lordtemplar
lordtemplar (@guest_813427)
17 days ago
Reply to  Sam

same, especially the MAN truck version. MAN trucks are everywhere, even in British Army, so much easier and cheaper for maintenance, ie sourcing parts, costs etc..

RB
RB (@guest_813722)
17 days ago
Reply to  Sam

The Mobile Fires Platform procurement decision has been made at least a year earlier than expected. Clearly the Army and MOD have concluded from events in Ukraine that this project must be prioritised. Like many people I expected more Archer’s to be the choice, but any decision is better than no decision.

Martin
Martin (@guest_813458)
17 days ago
Reply to  lordtemplar

As a gunner if i was wanting a gun i’d prefer the PZ2000 but the Boxer is a wise choice, same engine as Ajax and we already have other Boxer types on order a good choice for spares.

Spartan47
Spartan47 (@guest_813489)
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813567)
17 days ago
Reply to  lordtemplar

I am impressed that it can fire on the move (as theysay, that really is a first), but I doubt that would be at the 3 or 9 o’clock positions – the thing might tip over!

BlueMoonday
BlueMoonday (@guest_813746)
17 days ago
Reply to  lordtemplar

Imagine firing on the move is for guided munitions?

Jim
Jim (@guest_813414)
18 days ago

I can see this being a world beating capability much like the Pz2000 and it will bring more support for boxer which is a good thing. My concern is much like with Pz2000 and AS90 it’s a Gucci development solution that may be open to many problems when really 155mm artillery is pretty standard and we could have just chosen something off the shelf like Archer. Despite the rhetoric of the UK rejoining the program Boxer remains a German program and now we are paying to put a German gun in a German vehicle and any export orders will go… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_813430)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Aren’t UK and Germany co-developing the ammunition for the RCH 155 as with for the Ch3?

Expat
Expat (@guest_813475)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Yep it not ideal from an idustry perspective its supports some jobs with our quota built in the UK I guess but its not how I’d want the government to invest in our defence industry. We need to have saleable products.

Jim
Jim (@guest_813581)
17 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Yes, if we going to the risk and hassle of developing a platform it should be something we can potentially export. This is worst of both worlds.

Having continuous production lines should be a government priority.

DRS
DRS (@guest_813432)
17 days ago

Are any part of the gun going to be built in the UK? I know the Boxer chassis to a large degree. Hopefully this bring the unit cost of boxer down, and also at some point we adapt the tracked version and add those in the mix too.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_813481)
17 days ago
Reply to  DRS

I believe Rolls Royce now builds MTU engines for Boxer in the UK, though many components are shipped in from Germany.

Ian M
Ian M (@guest_813526)
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

MTU is owned by RR.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813603)
17 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Yep RR Power Systems 😉

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_813913)
16 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I know. In order to increase output, RR has moved a significant amount of manufacture to its facility in East Grinstead. Similar engines for Ajax were all built at Frierichshafen

DRS
DRS (@guest_813991)
16 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Great, looking at some tweets seems manufacture of the gun barrel at least is being brought back to blighty.

Steve R
Steve R (@guest_813442)
17 days ago

Great!

Makes perfect sense as we’re already buying Boxer. Works out well logistically.

Any idea how many we’re getting? At least 150 would be nice, if not higher.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813466)
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Steady on! There are only 3 regular Regiments left that this will equip save new formations forming. I’d say 90, 100 if we are lucky.

Carrickter
Carrickter (@guest_813723)
17 days ago

But these seemingly only need a crew of 2, rather than the 5 for AS90s. So manpower could be spread more thinly across a larger number of guns. Maybe a 4th regular regiment will activate….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813758)
17 days ago
Reply to  Carrickter

You still need the logistic and REME tail for a new unit that is ammunition and vehicle heavy, such as a regiment of SP artillery. And the CS CSS situation is taught, no spare REME Bns or RLC Regs lying around, so there’d need to be a shift in bodies or rerolling other Regiments. Again unlikely given recruitment.
I’d be very surprised..
Maybe there will be more guns per Battery in those existing Regiments.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815320)
11 days ago

Key thing is to provide REME at First Line, ie organic to the Arty Regt. Should be a Regt Wksp REME, rather than a LAD, such that they can do Level 3 repair on the specialised equipment ie on the guns (in addition to the Level 2 jobs), and a RLC Stores Section (under command of the Regt Wksp) would carry associated spares for those L3 repairs.

REME at Second Line ie the Brigade’s supporting REME Bn would not have to be reconfigured.

Sam
Sam (@guest_814081)
16 days ago

Based on the finance they originally stated, looks like roughly 70.

But as Boxer is modular, it’d be great if there were more guns and they could be swapped in and out.

Grinch
Grinch (@guest_813443)
17 days ago

Anyone but Bae alive and well

Patrick
Patrick (@guest_813448)
17 days ago

Will more boxers be bought, or will this eat init existing planned numbers?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813467)
17 days ago
Reply to  Patrick

Yes, more are coming.
No, I doubt it,

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_813460)
17 days ago

Hope the platform won’t turn out to be top-heavy and to get stuck in the mud!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813468)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I don’t like the look of it mate! Looks wrong, what do I know…

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_813500)
17 days ago

Apparently the turret also makes it too tall and heavy at 39t to fit in an A400 at all, unlike other Boxer variants that could in theory be flown with limited range. I don’t know how much mobility was a requirement but not being able to be moved as conveniently as Boxer seems to be a flaw (MAN Archer is 38t so is also too heavy). Otherwise I prefer having commonality with the rest of the army. This is the once case where the bespoke option is actually cheaper but the advantage of being able to swap drive modules to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813515)
17 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Commonality is a good point. I’d not thought of the airlift option but doubtful it would be used often anyway. Any heavy stuff goes by the Points but I guess nice capability to have if it were possible.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813600)
17 days ago

I thought all Boxers have the read load space detachable ans swappable. 🤔

Jon
Jon (@guest_813521)
17 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Boxers can be split into two for shipment.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_813532)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jon

We don’t really want to have to use 2 A400s to lift one vehicle though

Dern
Dern (@guest_813610)
17 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Kind of irrelevant if they’re supporting the Armoured Brigades which will have Ajax and Challenger perhaps? If the plan is to buy some for 7 then I agree.

Bleak Mouse
Bleak Mouse (@guest_813697)
17 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I think it will be modular, so you just pop off the module, stick the chassis and modules in A400’S fly them to where ever they are needed and join them together at the other end

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815321)
11 days ago
Reply to  Bleak Mouse

It really is not sensible to task an A400M to move one army vehicle. To move a brigade of a thousand (tbc!) vehicles by air just could not be done.

Last edited 11 days ago by Graham Moore
Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_813773)
17 days ago

Would tend to agree with you M8, looks like a complete dogs dinner!! Cant say that I am entirely convinced this thing can acrually hit something whilst on the move!! Most systems have to stop, and the recoil will be huge. Given its size/height, will surely ‘wobble’ when firing? Cant be too sure, but seem to recall that UK had allocated some £840mil (might be wrong) for MFP replacement, if correct, given the stated prices, cant see us getting more than 70-75 units. Also, do we actually think that this is a module that can be swopped, or a fixed… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813793)
17 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes mate, that’s the figure I have in mind.
No idea on modules. It looks quite a job for the REME changing that in the field? One for Ian M and Graham.

Ian M
Ian M (@guest_813847)
17 days ago

Looks like a two crane job or workshops. Certainly not L1.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813868)
17 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815327)
11 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

I confirm that we used to use two vehicle-mounted REME battalion cranes to lift an MBT turret, quite a rare event in the field. Many units never had to do it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815330)
11 days ago

It would be interesting to find out about the weights of all these Boxer modules including the RCH-155 one.
As Ian M says its probably a two crane job. Tricky in the field but not impossible. REME did MBT turret lifts in the field very occasionally.
REME Second Line job ie REME Bn. Except that this task is not for repair purposes so there may be a discussion to be had about another agency (RLC?) doing it, rather than ‘wasting’ REME manpower and Field cranes on non-repair work.

Rob
Rob (@guest_813463)
17 days ago

Bit confused.

Are we now saying that our armoured Bdes will have Boxer IFVs and Boxer SPGs operating alongside Challenger 3 or are we going for a light Arm Bde with Boxer and a Heavy Arm Bde with Challenger, K9 SPG and an as yet unprocured IFV?

Where does Archer come in to all this?

Anyone?

Jim
Jim (@guest_813470)
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Archer only an interim capability,

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_813555)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Bit like Sunak.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813482)
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

“Boxer IFVs and Boxer SPGs operating alongside Challenger 3 “ Yes, 12 and 20 Bdes. “or are we going for a light Arm Bde with Boxer and a Heavy Arm Bde with Challenger, K9 SPG and an as yet unprocured IFV?” That was the previous plan from 2015 when Strike was born. 2 Bdes of Strike with Boxer, Ajax, Light Gun and 2 heavier Bdes with Challenger,AS90, Warrior. All cancelled 2019 and now merged into just 2 Brigades. Unless they are about to spring yet another ORBAT change, which I doubt. The “orphan” in this is 7 Bde, that is the… Read more »

Rob
Rob (@guest_813495)
17 days ago

Sounds like a bodge to me.
I believe the original intention was to have Strike Bdes to get there quick and hold vital ground and then Heavy Bdes to counter attack. Mixing tracked & wheeled units will end up with units that aren’t really heavy armour or light. Have I missed something or is it just me?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_813505)
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Of course it’s a bodge! Some considerations… CVRT, Challenger, Warrior all being replaced at the same time rather than incrementally. ( Labour inaction 96 to 2010 did nothing to help here ) Warrior got it in the neck, as Boxer was General Carters baby. This Boxer program was originally MIV program for 2027 onwards only, to replace just 3 Heavy Protected Mobility Battalions in the Armoured Bdes. Was made top priority by Carter as we wanted s wheeled medium force. This being while recapitalization of the heavy force was already underway, CH3, WCSP, Ajax. While finances were pulled from the… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_813914)
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob

HIMARS?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815339)
11 days ago
Reply to  Rob

We are not buying Boxer IFVs. An IFV is an armoured infantry carrier which has a cannon that can rotate 360 degrees and has traditionally been turretted but could nowadays be in a large RWS instead. Traditionally IFVs were tracked, but IFVs can be wheeled, just so long as they have a cannon – that’s the key feature. So far we have ordered Boxer APCs, which just mount a MG/GMG, not a cannon. In our two armoured brigades we will have CR3s and the accompanying Infantry in Boxer APCs (with MGs). The default (peacetime or pre-deployment) Orbat does not have… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_813471)
17 days ago

Well, Boxer strikes again. Was it Albert Einstein who said ‘ make things as simple ( standard) as possible….but no simpler’. Good choice politically and industrially. Hope it works out.

Jon
Jon (@guest_813525)
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I believe that’s one of the few Einstein quotes that was almost actually said by Einstein. A comparative rarity among his Internet memes. Except, Einstein’s version was less pithy. It was subsequently whittled down to its current form (to make it as simple as possible) by others.

Last edited 17 days ago by Jon
ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813596)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jon

You mean KISS as in “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

Markam
Markam (@guest_813478)
17 days ago

The Boxer, while a German creation has significant UK production via a BAE partially owned subsidiary and is generally good for UK industry as the Artec consortium that builds the Boxer has other UK companies participating. Generally makes sense to go with Boxer in many different programmes. There is also a tracked version of the Boxer if there is preference to make it so, not sure if it is easy to switch between tracked and non-tracked, however. It is a wonder if we will also make an IFV based on a tracked & up-armoured Boxer as a true replacement for… Read more »

RobW
RobW (@guest_813520)
17 days ago
Reply to  Markam

Boxers are huge in comparison to Warrior so not ideal, but if its tracked and works then maybe it is the best choice. Although the Germans have gone for Puma, which begs the question why.

Dern
Dern (@guest_813613)
17 days ago
Reply to  RobW

I mean, they’re longer, but also shorter and just slightly narrower than Warrior.

RobW
RobW (@guest_813626)
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Is that right? Wow ok, looks massive

Nathan Paxton
Nathan Paxton (@guest_813683)
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Longer and shorter?

Dern
Dern (@guest_813803)
17 days ago
Reply to  Nathan Paxton

Longer as in from the front bumper to the back.
Shorter as in from the ground to the top of the vehicle.

Mark F
Mark F (@guest_813729)
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Working on Boxer (MRAV), was my last job at Chertsey, before I left in 2001.
We did do a tour of some UK barracks to look at infrastructure and possible construction forthcoming projects. The basic measure we used to explain it to the “Estates” people was: Approx the size of a Foden DROPS. I suspect it is still a reasonable easier to use, but no one in the Army knows what a FODEN DROPS looks like 😀😀

Lusty
Lusty (@guest_813812)
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark F

They were bloody gorgeous things!

Jon
Jon (@guest_813528)
17 days ago
Reply to  Markam

In theory you can take the functional module off the wheeled base and transfer it to a tracked based in less than an hour. Of course first you have to build some tracked bases, and I guess you’ll want to test some prototypes out before doing that, because no military uses the tracked bases yet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815340)
11 days ago
Reply to  Markam

MoD announced in March 2021 that Boxer would replace Warrior IFV – the two tranches totalling 623 Boxers ordered so far have all been for wheeled Boxers.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_813479)
17 days ago

Never really been a fan of Boxer 155mm Artillery platform , I am surprised at the choice would of thought the government would of gone for more Archer platforms to be honest makes more sense in my book. Some how Boxer has a Artillery platform doesn’t look right it’s more like a make do job ? Was this just a policy move from Sunak to keep the Germans happy ?

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_813909)
16 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Starmer has said Labour would have a ‘defence pact’ with Germany. Sunak is trying to take the political high ground. This can be presented as positioning him as a leading European statesman. The Tories must have done some polling which shows people see Starmer has a better international image. Queue lots of photos of Sunak with army uniforms. It creates British jobs; if builds on the Boxer relationship. Its all about neutering Labour’s electoral advantage. I’m not qualified to say whether K9 would have been a better choice.

dc647
dc647 (@guest_813486)
17 days ago

Anything that is remotely controlled can easily be hacked/jammed.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_813493)
17 days ago
Reply to  dc647

It isn’t remote controlled in the way a drone is.
The turret is controlled by the crew sitting in the crew compartment as opposed to having crew inside the turret.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_813632)
17 days ago
Reply to  dc647

That would mean no drone would be effective over enemy territory, as it is this platform would be someway behind one’s own lines so would one of those easily jammable drones be sent to jam it? Far more likely actually that the gps or similar tech could be jammed reducing accuracy but that is true of any similar system. And surely in the u likely event it was jammed you could go back to route one though you might want to scoot as it would suggest an enemy knows where you are if it were that specific to your remote… Read more »

Colin
Colin (@guest_813501)
17 days ago

Thought UK had done a deal with South Korean K9 155mm Self-Propelled Tracked Howitzer. UK to develop a local variant of the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer for the British Army. Team Thunder we have now been given a pay increase watch the UK buy more crap like Ajax instead of Iron Dome and good systems that we need

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813591)
17 days ago
Reply to  Colin

No deal had been done, some testing and a lot of wishful thinking but that’s all.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_813635)
17 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Well you need a system like Ajax the only question is whether it should actually be Ajax. Iron Dome is a different question altogether and one I would prefer to cooperate with Europeans as I don’t like being held hostage by Israel, too often see our feeble politicians being lectured by Netanyahu and co.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_815342)
11 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Not sure why so many people think we have done a deal with S Korea to buy K9 Thunder SPG. We haven’t.
Ajax has been fixed!

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_813503)
17 days ago

So have we actually committed to a system that we haven’t trailed yet? I have seen nowhere that says the RA have had their hands on them!

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_813510)
17 days ago

Big mistake. I don’t dispute the performance at the moment, i dispute the number BA can get with its eyewatering price.
It will be ridiculous small number compared to an Archer acquisition and similar systems.

Also the gun upgradability is questionable if needed a bigger tube length.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_813590)
17 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Pardon ? It’s a 155mm L52 so pretty well the biggest around !

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_813714)
17 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

127 naval guns are already in 64, I expect 155 to increase, not at 127 level but certainly higher than 52.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_814904)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes but they don’t go up and down hills with a big pointy thing stuck in front.

David Lee
David Lee (@guest_813519)
17 days ago

An automatic load system I wonder if there is a manual backup if there’s a failure in the system

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_813523)
17 days ago

I’d prefer a tracked system but we need updated SP artilliary asap. Automatic, uncrewed gun is impressive, just 2 crew to drive it & control it. Only 30 rounds carried sounds quite low, may be wrong as I’m not up on SPGs. May be good if an extra crewman or two could be carried as once one(or both) crewman is killed or injured the system may be OOS.

Last edited 17 days ago by Frank62
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_813644)
17 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Being built here is important I think and keeps our land platform capability which let’s be honest is hanging by a thread a chance to re grow even if it will unlikely ever be truly independent any more but if there is conflict we need to be able to build what we need as we did with so many weapon systems during WW2.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_813529)
17 days ago

Better not turn the turret too fast that thing will tip over.
I prepared to be convinced other wise but what is the advantage of this over all the other wheeled artillery?
How many Ukrainian or Czech wheeled SPGs could you get for 12m each?
That price is going to shoot up.
No info on numbers, dates.
What’s the support vehicles going to be based on? Resupply is key to artillery.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_813538)
17 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

How many Ukrainian or Czech wheeled SPGs could you get for 12m each? That is the problem, with this you pay 1B£ and that is just “flyaway price” for 100, it is huge. From web In particular, a few days ago, Germany officially agreed on the procedure for the purchase of the PzH 2000 SPG’s for the Bundeswehr, which are supposed to compensate for the units transferred to Ukraine. And 10 such self-propelled guns were worth 184 million euros, that is, one PzH 2000 costs 18.4 million euros ($20 million). Considering the price and terms, it is clear why the… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_813797)
17 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Thanks for breaking those down- will be interesting to see the price point of Archer vs Caesar too. I can understand our procurement price tag for these RCH-155 only if they include the Boxer vehicle underneath too- if it’s module only then that’d raise my eyebrows. The fact that this is split production between UK and Germany implies to me that the vehicle will be built here and the module in Germany- where they still make artillery guns and suchlike. Cheaper than a PzH2000, a tad more than a K9? Sounds about right. I assume that the thinking is that… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_813641)
17 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Looks more flexible than other wheeled systems to me, are there any that can be fired on the fly or can shoot and scoot within seconds or can do so with their gun traversing? If you are going to go wheeled this seems the best option in terms of manoeuvrability. How it compares with actual gun performance with competitors I don’t know however, I’m sure others do.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_813715)
17 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

400 Caesar or 100 Boxer ?

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_814818)
14 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

The issue with Caesar, although it’s cheap, is that it is manually loaded and fired. It needs a crew of 5 to 6, who are all standing out in the open. This is the advantage of Archer and the RCH has over Caesar. As the loading, training and firing is all automated. Where the crew of 2 to 3 sit in an armoured box. So the choice is do you go for a cheap solution, that requires more manpower and are very vulnerable to counter-battery fire. Or go for the more expensive automated option, where you need less crew, who… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_813737)
17 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

All the videos and ads say explicitly that it builds off the PGZ 2000 in artillery capability, which is a bit confusing given that some commenters would rather we bought that instead.
I don’t mind much about the extra cost. One of Boxer’s main selling points is that the actual module can spend longer on the front line because when the drive module develops a fault you can just swap a new one in and keep fighting, a force multiplier that no other vehicles have.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_814554)
15 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

This an article on wiki about it. It’s a module developed 2007 can be fitted on trucks, M270 chassis etc.

Coll
Coll (@guest_813589)
17 days ago

wouldn’t archer be cheaper?

Gary
Gary (@guest_813652)
17 days ago

is the boxer RCH 155 just a module added to a standard boxer or is it a purpose built vehicle?
Because in my head im imagining MOD saving money by buying modules and adding to previously ordered chassis.

Mark F
Mark F (@guest_813728)
17 days ago
Reply to  Gary

My understanding is that like all Boxer variants it is a module, so could be swapped out like all others. I suspect that although this relatively simple, it won’t happen that often.
I also believe that the module needs to be removed so that it can fit on the “rail-gauge”.

Gary
Gary (@guest_813736)
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark F

Thanks.
I do hope this adds to Boxer numbers .

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_813684)
17 days ago

The question is How many will they purchase ?, we can hope for a one-for-one replacement ratio, but knowing the MOD ….

John
John (@guest_813703)
17 days ago

Must admit it looks slow and unstable; however, according to sources “The RCH 155 is the world’s first howitzer that can fire on the move. This is mainly to avoid enemy counter-artillery fire, as modern Counter-battery radars such as COBRA can be used to reconnoitre fire positions after firing in near real-time. In addition, RCH 155 has the so-called hunter-killer capability, which otherwise only main battle tank and infantry fighting vehicle are capable of. The fire order and the search for the next target can be carried out in parallel. This capability of the RCH 155 is for self-defence, not… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_813730)
17 days ago

When the NATO /ivan border and area of operations was northern West Germany then tracked was a thing. BAOR was in place and tracks where needed because of the terrain BAOR was based in. Now there is no BAOR, no prep-positioned UK Army in Germany and with the NATO/ivan border even further east in Poland and lets be honest effectively Ukraine (1500 odd miles at least from the old cold war border) the army needs wheeled units to road march from the UK bases to where it’s needed. Tracks cannot do that without transporters or rail. At least with Boxer/Archer… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_813791)
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Interesting perspective that I hadn’t really considered.
There’s a lot of talk about Ukrainian mud, but I suppose that’s less of a problem if you can’t even make it there in time!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_814466)
15 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Himars is on a truck does OK because it sticks to roads for the most part and doesn’t go off road that much. If you want to shoot and scoot with a Boxer then roads are better and quicker to get out of dodge to avoid counter battery than a muddy field. Boxer can sit back a lot further than an AS90 can from the FEOB because it has a longer reach with the 52 calibre barrel (40km) vs the AS90 39 Cal barrel (25km) (ignoring base bleed and exotic shell types). That makes counter battery a lot more difficult.… Read more »