Artec, a joint venture between two German companies – Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann – have signed a £2.3bn contract to deliver over 500 Boxer vehicles to the British Army.

Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) will be one of the primary vehicle manufacturers in the UK undertaking the fabrication of the armoured vehicle structures together with the assembly, integration, and test of the complete vehicles at its Telford facility in the West Midlands.

According to RBSL in a news release received by the UK Defence Journal today:

“The MIV contract award will sustain jobs at RBSL sites in and around Telford, Washington (UK), Bristol and Dorset.  The company will also double its apprentice intake for 2019 and maintain this level over the next five years to grow RBSL’s Early Careers community.

The complete programme will also create and sustain a vibrant national supply chain, with substantial investment across the industrial base in training and capital equipment.  The programme aims to source more than 60%, by value, of the vehicle content from UK suppliers, ensuring that the UK maintains sovereign manufacturing and engineering expertise to support the vehicles.”

Boxer allows for any Mission Module configuration with a payload up to 15 tonnes. So far, more than 800 vehicles in various configurations have been supplied to, or ordered by, three NATO nations – Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania – as well as Australia. The Australian armed forces are introducing the Boxer under the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) project.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced they would re-join the Boxer programme via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, or OCCAR, in March 2018. In July 2019, Rheinmetall and BAE Systems launched a new, independent, UK-based joint venture for military vehicle design, manufacture and support – known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL).

Rheinmetall owns a 55% stake in the business, with BAE Systems retaining 45%.

Peter Hardisty, Managing Director of RBSL, said:

“Not only will the delivery of Boxer provide the British Army with a complete step-change in capability to meet their MIV requirement, it will also protect vital engineering and manufacturing skills as a sovereign capability to the UK.

RBSL is incredibly proud to be a part of this milestone, alongside our partners in Artec.

RBSL has a proud heritage of working with the British Army and remains the Design Authority for almost all of the UK’s in-service armoured vehicle fleet.  This programme builds on that relationship and marks a new chapter in vehicle manufacture for the UK defence industry.”

The British Army will receive Boxer vehicles across four variants: Infantry Carrier, Specialist Carrier, Command, and Ambulance.  Boxer has a service life of over 30 years and will play a major role in the British Army’s Strike concept, as well as ensuring compatibility with NATO allies.

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Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

I’m sure I read these are to be armed with just 7.62mm?!

Strike Brigades?! If true they couldn’t strike a chuffing match with just 7.62mm up top. Dangerously under armed against anything but infantry. Even a raggy arsed technical would be bad news.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Too true. We chewed over this at length recently.
There should be variants for ATGW, Fire Support, Mortar, Anti UAV, even one with Starstreak mounts for 2 batteries as Stormer is tracked.

Is it me or is this a great looking beast? Looks better than the Ajax.

farouk
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farouk

comment image

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Oh! Nice graphic Farouk.

Steve
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Steve

is that image updated, as i dont’ remember reading anything about a mortar version being ordered by the MOD?

Nicholas
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Nicholas

It’s a pity an air defense version has been left out. A variant with Starstreak mounts and a 35mm gun would be a good start as a replacement for the tracked Stormer.

james
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james

Agreed. Looks great but as with so many UK assets across the entire armed forces its desperately under armed. There is an amazing anti air varient, and a massive mortar carrier available. I do hope these are added to the inventory later.

Jason Holmes
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Jason Holmes

As always we under-armour and under equip everything we purchase, the Type 26 with a local area Artisan radar, the aussies are putting a full phased array set up on theirs…

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Artisan can see out to 100 miles +. That is not local area. It is also a phased array, it just happens to rotate as does Sampson on a T45 Yes the Aussies will get CEAFAR but that is a huge and heavy fit to put on a vessel, far heavier than a R997. I worked on a couple of Aussie ANZAC frigates with the first stage of the CEFAR fit onboard and it is a massive system. Then next stage of the fit which has gone is now on Warramunga is even bigger and heavier. Ok on a T26… Read more »

Sceptical Richard
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Sceptical Richard

Besides, Australia needs CEFAR because it needs to provide interrupted continuous wave radar alongside its surveillance and target tracking modes to support its semi active radar guided Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles. Bit like the Dutch APAR fit. Sea Ceptor doesn’t need that so Artisan will do fine. But agree with Jason that by the time T26 is fully operational Artisan will be getting long in the tooth and something new will be required.

Keeler
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Keeler

Gunbuster I worked on this as well in the Henderson yard.

Lee1
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Lee1

Are these not modular and therefore able to be reconfigured for different operations? If so then having one variant is not the end as you just order the modules and fit them as needed in the future.

Corin Vestey
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Corin Vestey

I think Ajax is meant to supply the punch and Boxer the troop-carrying capacity. I very much hope that we order at least the turreted version in due course so Ajax can go back to the Armoured brigades. As we seem to have decided to CSP Warrior and hold-off on other Ajax variants at least for now, the last thing we need to do is to fail to procure the full family of Boxers. Another half-assed effort that fails to leverage the value of a single family of vehicles AND fails to generate a credible peer-level fighting formation AND fails… Read more »

farouk
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farouk

I Just hope whoever wins the upcoming election that they don’t cut this, I mean lets be honest, the first thing we have seen after each and every election since 1992, is a defence review which whilst pointing in the direction of delivering a military fit for the future, has simply been a vehicle for the Gov to shave the defence budget even more.

spyintheskyuk
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spyintheskyuk

Too true

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

This is a good capital expenditure contract supporting uk jobs, neither party will touch it.

John Clark
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John Clark

You are spot on Farouk, however there really isn’t anything left to cut, with the possible exception of the Royal Marines ( As they are currently formed) and the removal of Challenger 2 fleet. Both moves highly inflammatory, arguably the RM cuts are already underway, under the cover of an ‘updated force structure’. The usual ” nothing to see here, move along please”. I can see Challenger 2 force being axed, it’s already at token levels and deleting it would allow additional money to saved from the forthcoming upgrade program. Again, a cut portrayed as updating for the future, more… Read more »

Jonathan
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Jonathan

To be fair on labour, not support the US war on terror was a non starter and all parties supported to. As for the financial collapse that was a world wide crash cause mainly by the American financial markets reinventing the concept of tulips.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

To be fair, parliament agreed to Gulf War 2, a massive mistake, as history has shown. It’s much the same with our Afghan involvement. Hundreds of British troops dead, many more carrying permanent injuries … And for what? What did their huge sacrifice accomplish? I struggle to see any win coming from this mess. On top of this, these endless sand pit wars caused our armed forces to be hollowed out to where we are today, a bloody mess, to pay for them. As for the financial crisis, that’s on Labour too, world economic crisis, yes,absolutely. But Labour policy under… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Don’t get me wrong, I agree the justification for Afghanistan Is hard to see, but it was there. in the end America was always going to war post 911, the act itself was designed to inevitably provoke war, we supported our key Allie and I can’t really see how any government could have done differently at that time, considering the level of the attack, remembering the court of hindsight is not the reality of the time ( and I’m naturally inclined to being critical of war). I think the issue was hubris around thinking that western nations could then convert… Read more »

Andy P
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Andy P

I remember reading something years ago which struck me as apt, it was along the lines of “The UK doesn’t have defence reviews, it has defence cuts”.

andy
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andy

just a shame that we as the UK now only partner up with outside firms to produce equipment,granted it may be an advantage on cost,but a shame we no longer build everything in the UK,seems we are more a parts supplier or an assembly plant

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

Britain was originally part of the Boxer consortium and responsible for moving the design to be heavier against the wishes of the other partners and then Afghanistan came along and we suddenly needed lots of light vehicles and quit the consortium really pissing them off. If we hadn’t quit it would likely have seen more British contribution but at least they are being assembled here.

Lee1
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Lee1

We re-joined the consortium. But yes it did not do our relations with the partners any good at all!

Nicholas
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Nicholas

The same can be said for Britain’s aerospace sector. For example, BAE is more of a Systems Integration company now than a builder of complete aircraft. BAE lost heavily with its commercial aircraft programs and later phased them out. Rolls Royce aero engines, however, is a different success story.

Julian
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Julian

I’ve managed to learn a bit about airforce & navy stuff but I’m afraid that Army-related stuff is still a total blind spot in my knowledge so apologies in advance for the following question. Due to my extreme ignorance even the question itself might not make sense (can’t evaluate foundation platform in isolation?) but if anyone can volunteer any info on the following I would find it extremely useful in knowing at least a bit of what to think about this article… Ignoring variants/armaments chosen so far for the U.K. how good is the basic platform vs other stuff out… Read more »

Pacman27
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Pacman27

Hi Julian I have been following FRES for years now and there is no doubt in my mind that Boxer is an amazing product and exactly what the UK should be buying, so for once the right choice, just 10 years and a couple of billion wasted. The key for me is the fact that it separates payload from base unit and that the base unit itself is really good. Going forward this means that we can renew the parts we need to, have specialist top modules that we only deploy as and when needed and far easier for maintenance.… Read more »

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

Supposed to be the best wheeled IFV platform on the market at the moment. When first produced it was considerably heavier than all the other platforms but in recent years they’ve all started approaching the same weight as their protection is upgrade. Boxer is superior to the US Stryker (considerably heavier but with better range, blast resistance and marginally faster while being a more flexible platform).

DaveyB
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DaveyB

You forgot to mention as a standard vehicle the Boxer has the best armour protection of all the 8×8 vehicles. It has all round protection against armour piercing 14.5mm rounds and is rated at STANAG 4569 Level 4. The frontal armour aspect is supposed to protect against armour piercing 25mm rounds with a rating of STANAG 4569 Level 5. When you add the ceramic AMAP armour to the front and sides the protection level is supposed to protect against 30mm armour piercing rounds at STANAG 4569 level 6. The Army have yet to state what the baseline protection will be,… Read more »

Julian
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Julian

Thanks Pacman27 & Watchzero – very heartening to hear that the basic platform is so good.

Grubbie
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Grubbie

BAE have managed to gouge a cut as usual

peter
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peter

Perhaps the Government should have 25%| of BAE shares to steer them in the right direction? I. P. rights are a major headache

700 Glengarried Men
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700 Glengarried Men

Does anyone know if this design has been tested in combat Iraq or Afghan

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

Never seen combat, Germany have had them for a decade but doesn’t really do combat deployments and Netherlands and Australia only started receiving them last year.

Watcherzero
Guest
Watcherzero

The design theoretically has the best blast resistance of any wheeled IFV while having the standard NATO standard ballistic resistance value for IFV (All around Impervious to 14.5mm AP, the Soviet standard Anti-Material and heavy machine gun round).

700 Glengarried Men
Guest
700 Glengarried Men

Thanks, I take it has a v shaped hull I wonder how it stacks against battle tested rivals such as Ukraine Btr 4 in its latest guise with various turrets options

BB85
Guest
BB85

Yes V shaped Hull. The rear module itself adds an additional layer of blast protection. As it sits on top of the floor. It’s protection rating exceeds every other 8×8 apc on the market. Just a pity we pulled out in 2003 as these would already be in service. Still not sure why we are opting for a wheeled and tracked strike brigade.

Simon m
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Simon m

Germany deployed them to Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission. They were extremely pleased with the platform for protection, mobility and reliability. Even so it led to an A2 version with even greater protection.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Since when did the army field 120mm mortars or have a requirement for a wheeled 155mm howitzer?? Boxer must have an effective anti-armour capability or as noted previously we will have to shoot and scoot. Stick a 40mm cannon on it as well and a gimpy or a fifty cal. For once, lets go out fully armed up giving our guys a better survivabilty chance. Strike, destroy, move on!

BB85
Guest
BB85

The army has had a requirement to replace the 105mm light gun for years now. It just hasn’t been high priority enough considering the mess fres has been and the need to replace the cvrt vehicles. Not sure if a boxer module or Archer would be the best choice for it.
Ive no idea if there is any serious interest yet in the UK adopting 120mm morter. I’d like to see it but doubt we have the money.

Mark
Guest
Mark

We had a requirement for wheeled 155 mm until 1999 and it was called FH70. There has been a capability gap since then, and as we revert back to more wheeled armour, this requirement will come back into the force mix. You can mix wheeled with tracks, but rarely do you mix tracked with wheels.

DaveyB
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DaveyB

Watched the Dutch use their 120 mortars to really good effect in Afghan. You have to see a 120 mortar round to get a sense of the size difference, they are bloody huge compared to the 81. I think there is a fantastic opportunity for us with Boxer, to combine a direct and indirect fire weapon. Russia have the new 2S42 Lotos based on the BMP4 and the Chinese have the 6×6 wheeled PLL-05. Both have a breech loading gun-mortar. It can be used as a conventional mortar or in the direct fire support role. Being a 120mm round they… Read more »

Simon m
Guest
Simon m

The army has a requirement for Mobility protected fires to equip strike and explore replacement of/upgrade to AS90. Bae systems showed the archer on a MAN truck in response to the requirement and Rheinmetal show a model of a redesigned RCH155 on Boxer. There’s currently no programme for 120mm mortar but both RUSI and commentators have push the army to consider due to dispersed nature of how the strike Brigade is supposed to operate.

Wayne
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Wayne

I would have liked to have seen this vehicle purchased instead of Mastiff some years ago. Boxer is well armoured (for its type) and has good mobility. Would I trust it to deliver an infantry company onto an objective during high end war fighting… probably not but it could given the correct support. Can it deliver that same company into in a peace enforcement, peace support or lower scale battle in good order… definitely yes. The infantry don’t need this vehicle to do the fighting for them, they need to get to that fight quickly, in a well protected vehicle… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Spot on.

That’s the key. They could have used the Strike Brigades in 1 Div, converting two of the seven “Infantry Brigades”, which in reality are the regional brigades of the old 2,5,6th Divisions. But then that would not have been the cuts which underlines this whole business.

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

The recent changes to 1 Div and the creation of 6 Div are pleasing to see. More can certainly be done. 3 Div really doesn’t need to change. With the armoured upgrades finally coming online 3 Div could be a force to be reckoned with in the future. The three AI Bdes with upgraded equipment and backed up with a form of Active protection would probably be the best Armoured division in the world. I rather like the idea of that but as you say, not with the current cuts.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Hi Wayne.

What changes to 1 Division are you referring to?

And 6th Division? That is the same units of FTC in a name change.

Agree. 3 armoured infantry brigades as they were. But they will now only be two, have each lost an infantry battalion, and their recc regiment.

They will be much reduced from previously, even with WCSP.

Wayne
Guest
Wayne
Wayne
Guest
Wayne

Check out the Army website. The changes can be found under Divisions and Brigades.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Thanks. Looked but not seeing anything new though. The “changes” in 1 ( UK ) Division are cosmetic, as is the rebranding of the ISTAR elements of FTC into 6 Division. 1 ( UK ) Division remains a “division” of orphaned RAC Regiments and Infantry Battalions not assigned to a deployable Brigade, which lack support of every kind, and units assigned to London District and Regional Command. And it has had some of FTC’s elements now stuck into it, like 8 FEB and 2 MB. That website is frequently out of date and a PR exercise. I would never use… Read more »

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

I totally understand why you avoid it.

1 (UK) Div needs to shake its regional responsibilities and be given the assets (equipment) that would enable its deployment into more demanding operational theatres.

Back on topic, Boxer and its variants would provide the sort of assets I think it needs.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree.

Sadly they are headed to the wrong Division!

BB85
Guest
BB85

Isn’t the armour protection on boxer greater than the protection on warrior?

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

Not the upgraded Theatre Entry Standard Warrior. Boxer is well armoured though.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Could the Royal Marines not do with a few of these, pity they aren’t amphibious though.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Moving to raiding Cam.
Which might yet mean cuts to the Commando Logistic Regiment, 29 RA, 24 RE, and so on.
If they need mobility over arctic terrain, which they are supposed to also be re prioritising, then Viking is there for that.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Ah right m8, I always thought viking was a bit small, suppose it fits on landing craft well though.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I think it is also amphibious? And of course is able to traverse arctic terrain. And be carried at ease by a helicopter.

Herodotus
Guest

Pacman 27 mentioned the Oshkosh oreder…has anyone an update on that?

Cam
Guest
Cam

Is there any footage of these been tested against IEDs or RPGs? Or even heavy machine guns?, I would like to see how they fair.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Boxer seems to be a great vehicle for your military to acquire. The concept behind the strike brigades also seems okay however I agree mixing tracks with wheels doesn’t seem to align with the theory of rapidity. I would like to see the Army retain 3 Tank Regiments and then use the Ajax in the Heavy Cavalry Regiments as their formation reconnaissance – thus 3 Heavy Brigades. I would then equip the 3 remaining light Cavalry Regiments with the Boxer Scout and go the whole hog and build 3 Strike Brigades. I’m sure with British technical skill an Artillery Boxer… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I agree Chris.

So logical, so sensible.

There are 3 RAC Regiments in 1 Division now with Jackal, whistling in the wind.
They indeed could have been equipped with the Boxer variant you suggest, allowing the 3 RAC Regiments on Scimitar ( And in future Ajax ) to return to the armoured brigades as you suggest.

But then that would require 6 Brigades, where’s in A2020 there were 5, reducing to 4 ( despite what Fallon claimed in Parliament )

And that would not have been a cut, the whole point of the exercise.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Thanks for your reply. I’ve read your posts for many years here and on Armed Forces UK blog. They are always calm and reasoned. I’ve always agreed with you in that even though the Army is important and could easily be organised more efficiently the RAF and RN should be priority. It just seems as though a lot of money has been wasted for very little. I was meaning to ask you if you think it would be a good idea to scrap Warrior and replace it with whatever the US Army go with for IFV in the Mechanised role.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Afternoon Chris. There is a chain of thought that Warrior CSP should be shelved and the money spent on more Boxer instead, including fitting Warrior turrets to the Boxers. I’m not against the idea of OTS purchases from close allies if the UK cannot / will not create a home designed alternative. Like total idiots though the UK closed the varied RARDE sites years back and privatised much of DERA. And no doubt you’re aware of the phenomenon in the UK of home built costing and arm and a leg, due to dithering from HMG, chopping and changing requirements, and… Read more »

Simon m
Guest
Simon m

Hopefully, there will be due consideration to Ajax adopting rubber composite tracks as these: reduce noise, vibration, they are virtually maintenance free due to less rolling resistance they also improve range and road speed they have already been tested on warrior over 3000km. The tracks also give great grip off-road, but are slightly more vulnerable to damage over rocky terrain & sharp terrain. However, I could see the use of rubber tracks to deploy and then refitting of metal/rubber combined once in theatre if required. If they are as good as they sound they may save the mod’s/army’s blushes. However… Read more »

peter
Guest
peter

Ajax a bit big and heavy for proper recon, weight and width limits use of many bridges and woodland tracks. Not practical for recon to need bridge layer 28 plus tons?

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

For 2.3 Billion I hope we’re getting all variants!! Cab’t really see us needing 500 on top of Ajax? Better to order 250 and spend the other Billion on upgrading Type 31 Frigates and a decent anti-ship missile to fit on all destroyers and Frigates!

Simon m
Guest
Simon m

Not everything can solved by naval power or airpower. If you compare costs of RN projects and RAF projects they have easily dwarfed army projects. Btw I would like more destroyers and frigates as well.
But if you want to be taken seriously as a power you need to be able to take land, even USN see the value of the USMC if things progress in the way I would go, I can see the Strike Brigades providing this element, providing more range and firepower that 3 commando could give. With RM providing theatre entry.

Paul42
Guest
Paul42

We have a heavily depleted Army, with an awful lot of new kit over the past few years. Simply put, we don’t need 500 of these, we’re buying Ajax aswell. We need to spend wisely and the Navy grows weaker by the month. The ships we do have are underarmed with new builds lacking the strength and firepower they badly need. The Type 31 is a complete waste of money – an oversized gunboat. The design as built in Denmark is an extremely powerful warship with Mk41 vls, our version will struggle to defend itself with no real offensive capability.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

250 would not be enough for outfitting 4 Infantry Battalions, 2 Engineer Regiments, 2 Medical Regiments, REME, and additions at the RAC Centre, maintenance, and reserves.

Ajax is a different beast so yes, both are needed in those numbers. There are many CVRT that need replacing. Only 200 or so will be the Scout variant.

However, I agree with you that a lot of what we buy costs an awful lot of money, and that for the money we should be getting many more variants than just the 4.

Simon m
Guest
Simon m

The fit is either 7.62mm or 0.5 hmg, I agree a bit pitiful. I would like to see either 30mm 230lf or British AEI venom LR and then 0.5 hmg on the back of the line vehicles. One thing I think would be great addition is the RiWS by MOOG, this weapons station is completely reconfigurable and can even change weapons in the field (heavy ones could take up to 2 hours though). RiWS has customiseable stanag level 3 armour and loading under armour protection with latest sight technology from Leonardo. I would like a weapons fit for more frontline… Read more »