The first official sub-contract for a UK company involved in the production of the MoD’s new Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles programme, has been awarded by a member of the ARTEC consortium to WFEL, a nominated Tier One supplier in the project.

The contract covers the transfer of manufacturing technology from Germany to the UK for the Drive Modules for the Boxer Infantry Carrier, Special Carrier and Ambulance variants and marks a significant milestone after many months of planning, preparation and consultation following the signing late in 2019 of the £2.3bn contract between the UK Ministry of Defence and the ARTEC consortium, for the delivery of over 500 Boxer vehicles to the British Army.

Boxer is A wheeled armoured vehicle and it is hoped that it will form an integral part of the British Army’s new Strike Brigade capabilities and shall have a service life of over 30 years.

WFEL say they will play a significant role in delivering the completed Boxer vehicles to the British Army and is undergoing substantial investment in an advanced manufacturing facility at its North West base, to ensure compliance with the stringent manufacturing requirements of these vehicles.

WFEL’s Managing Director, Ian Anderton, commented:

“Our teams have been liaising closely with members of the ARTEC consortium, particularly KMW personnel, culminating in the awarding of this contract, which we are delighted to receive.  We can now move further forward with developing our own supply chain partnerships around the UK, creating and sustaining high levels of employment and we’re looking forward to eventually seeing these superb vehicles in use with the British Army.”

Background

In November 2019, ARTEC, a joint venture between two German companies – Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall – signed the £2.3bn contract to deliver 500+ Boxer vehicles to the British Army.

The vehicles will be manufactured in the UK, with production sub-contracted equally between WFEL and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL).  The companies will undertake the fabrication of the armoured vehicle structures together with the assembly, integration and test of the complete vehicles at their respective facilities in Stockport and Telford.

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Mike R
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Very good news, I hope it provides plenty of skilled jobs for the Midlands and North-West to help offset some of the many engineering jobs that are being lost.

Ron5
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Ron5

I’ve not seen an explanation as to why UK production has been split into two. I would think it adds overhead and cost, so why?

Jason Holmes
Guest
Jason Holmes

Most likely short term saving, long term loss…governments don’t look beyond an election period

Paul
Guest
Paul

That’s driven by ARTEC, rather than any UK edicts. ARTEC is a consortium of KMW and Rheinmetall, both of whom have UK operations – KMW with WFEL and Rheinmetall with RBSL. With the work (and there’s a lot of it) split between the two companies by default and a contractual obligation to conduct a certain proportion of the work in the UK, you end up with the scenario in the article above. It’s contractually, logistically and commercially complex but should allow a faster delivery rate for the UK’s Boxer fleet.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Are we still getting ours armed with nothing bigger than a GPMG? And wouldn’t it be wise to keep the husky vehicles that we are supposedly selling for a reserve Force incase we need them in future? Like what the yanks do.

Robert Blay
Guest
Robert Blay

Reserve fleets of anything are just a drane of precious resources.

BB85
Guest
BB85

That’s what the government thought when it came to PPE when planning for a pandemic. That worked out well didn’t it.
Reserve fleets are definitley not a waste of resources especially when the front line fleet is so small.

Robert Blay
Guest
Robert Blay

comparing stocks of PPE to a very expensive war fighting vehicle is ridiculous. Reserve fleets need maintenance, need personnel to man them, they are simply a waste of money when resources are already thinly spread, and it never saves money, if or when they are brought back into service, they will need a big update/maintenance program, and find people out of thin air to operate them. There is good reason why we don’t do this. If it saved bags of cash, we would be doing it.

TrevorH
Guest
TrevorH

Correct. Do France and Italy and Get many have massive reserve fleets of MRAPs?

Robert Blay
Guest
Robert Blay

I have know idea to be honest Trevor.

Lordtemplar
Guest
Lordtemplar

AFAIK there are no massive fleets of anything in Europe, operational or reserve 😉

john melling
Guest

Well said BB85 ;P

Andy
Guest
Andy

What if they were given to the Army Reserve?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree.

Cam
Guest
Cam

That’s what I was Thinking when I said it, not sure about the huge mastiffs but the husky’s would be fine and they are modern enough to not need huge upgrades ect and relatively cheap upkeep.

Daveyb
Guest
Daveyb

At the moment we are only getting four variants of the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV). These are a Protected Mobility (MIV-PM) or battlefield taxi infantry carrier, Command and Control (MIV-CC) – like the version shown in the picture above, Ambulance (MIV-A) and a Repair and Recovery (MIV-REC) version. The Government announced that they are “likely” going to place a further order of an additional 900 vehicles, but have not been specific about the versions. We can but hope that some of these will be specialist versions, that everybody has quite rightly said the strike brigade needs. Thus making sure it… Read more »

BB85
Guest
BB85

The defense select Committee is going to do another review and armoured vehicle procurement. It looks like Jltv is on hold for a while to the current fleet of mraps will he around got a while yet. I honestly think warrior is going to be canned after this defense review with 50% of the current budget already pissed down the drain with 6 vehicles to show for it someone honestly needs strung up for the total fck up of a program it was.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Gen Carter and his strike Brigades.

Good concept as long as all units (infantry, armour, artillery, etc) can all deploy from a light armoured mobility vehicle like boxer. Mix and match, 105 light guns won’t work. The solution is obvious but can we fund it? Boxer has a full range of vehicles ready to equip these Brigades. Look at:

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/boxer-armoured-vehicle/vehicle-details/

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Configured correctly, these vehicles will prove to be a godsend to the army.
Hopefully armed with more than a GPMG!

Peter Crisp
Guest
Peter Crisp

Surely even in the worst-case scenario, we’ll just have to buy better-armed modules for the back.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I suspect this i the thinking of the MOD, but its effectively fitted for but not with thinking. There is a whole load of platforms that have this mentality, meaning they are not really fully battle ready as the MOD is hoping it won’t need them until the extra money is magnetically made available.

We just have to hope that the extra funding they are waiting for, for all the add-on items comes available before we need it, as items can’t be manufactured and fitted overnight.

dave12
Guest
dave12

BAE takes over Vickers and Alvis and creates BAE land systems, BAE land systems partners with Rheinmetall to create Rheinmetall bae systems land, Rheinmetall bae systems land to build the boxers, sounds like a mess.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Those rear view mirrors and the arms connecting them to this otherwise fantastic vehicle look a tad fragile. Guess what I think will be amongst the first thing happening to them. May have been a good idea to have gone with some kind of rear facing camera housing on each side of the vehicle. Just a thought.

Ian M
Guest
Ian M

Rear view mirrors are a legal requirement for road going vehicles. They will unbolt quickly.

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

Do they have the hybrid drive that BAE is selling to the Americans for their combat vehicles?

IKnowNothing
Guest
IKnowNothing

Come the glorious revolution when I am in charge of defence procurement, the default option for all future armoured vehicle requirements will be boxer. Need new artillery? – Boxer. Need air defence – boxer. Etc etc. Navy will get the same challenge- use the T31 and T26 designs as baselines for a run of future ships to meet RN requirements. Design an adaptable hull for use as FSS/ Litoral strike ship/ hospital ship etc etc. Building a purpose built machine for every purpose is too costly when our forces are now so small. We can either have the best possible… Read more »

T.S
Guest

Agree, except maybe the artillery version of boxer. It looks very expensive and we may be better off having more guns on a cheaper platform. The issue then is mobility and whether it can keep up with the strike brigade. But generally the more variants on the boxer platform the better. Direct and indirect fires are critical to strikes success. The whole concept is based on boxer not trying to stand its ground against a heavy armoured force, and needs to stay mobile picking targets and calling in mortar, artillery or precision rocket attacks then scooting.

John
Guest
John

No I think you got it right

Julian
Guest
Julian

Having looked at the Wikipedia article it looks as if we took a tortuous route to get here, initially in the Boxer club then leaving and finally rejoining, but the end result looks to me to be a very good choice. I know it’s a silly thing to do but as a non-expert it’s all I can do when left to my own devices so I did a quick spec-compare of the Boxer vs the VBCI that the French ended up with after leaving but not rejoining the Boxer consortium. Setting aside armament issues, which as others have said would… Read more »

Daveyb
Guest
Daveyb

When Boxer was first released, it was the heaviest of all the 8×8 armoured infantry vehicles. ARTEC stated it was the best protected vehicle in its class. It is supposed to made from steal with ceramic armour modules bolted to it. The blurb say the NATO armour rating is STANAG 4569 level 4 against 14.5 armour piercing all round. However, the Australian requirement was much higher at STANAG 4569 level 6/6+. This spec is resistant to 30mm armour piercing rounds. I have yet to see any protection requirements for our version. However, on average 1mm of extra steel armour across… Read more »

JohnG
Guest

That works out at around 4 million per vehicle? I know I know, the contracts often include other items, but that still seems a bit excessive. That’s the same price as a challenger tank. Why are they so expensive? I’d have thought they’d be at least 10 times less than that.

BB85
Guest
BB85

This report will be a depressing read when it is published https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/24/defence-committee/news/147426/procurement-and-use-of-armoured-fighting-vehicles-inquiry-launched/
Has anyone even heard the acronym AVF? I’ve hear of AFV before, it doesn’t fill me with confidence if the committee doesn’t even know how to spell the acronyms.

Pete
Guest
Pete

But at least with Boxer it will be relatively easy to procure say 50 of the Australian or latvian 30mm modules to beef up the firepower across a reasonable proportions of the strike brigades. The beauty of modularity.

Bob2
Guest
Bob2

Or the Lance 2 module, with 35mm cannon, 2xSpike, a UAV pod and a range of recon sensors.

Steve
Guest
Steve

My assumption is that these will be used in counter insurgency style warfare rather than full out tier 1 combat. As such i can’t help thinking a mortar option might be a good one.

Lordtemplar
Guest
Lordtemplar

Any plans to have boxers the the CTA 40mm? That would be a beast.