The Conservative manifesto has made an incorrect claim regarding Boxer armoured vehicles.
This article is part of a series looking at the manifesto claims made by the main parties in the run up to the 2019 General Election.
The Claim: “We will support the UK’s worldclass defence industry by investing in ambitious global programmes, including building the new Type 31 frigates in British shipyards such as Rosyth and a new generation of armoured vehicles, made in Britain.“
The Reality: While it’s true that the bulk of the British Boxer armoured vehicles will be built in the UK in Telford under A Rheinmetall-BAE Systems joint venture, UK production work is to begin in 2024 meaning that around 30 Boxers will have been delivered from vehicle lines in Germany. In addition, while the programme aims to source more than 60%, by value, of the vehicle content from UK suppliers, 40% is still coming from overseas.
Verdict: The bulk of the work is being done in the UK but the claim that the vehicles are “made in Britain” is not correct.
What’s the background here?
The Ministry of Defence announced they would re-join the Boxer programme via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, or OCCAR, in March 2018. The UK left in 2003.
Germany and the Netherlands however proceeded and have since received hundreds of Boxers to outfit their respective land forces. In the end, the UK will be paying a more per than either Germany or the Netherlands did, although the UK variants will be slightly more advanced.