Boxer is hoped to have achieved initial operating capability by 2025.

Boxer is an armoured fighting vehicle designed by an international consortium to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. You can read more about the specifics here.

Kevan Jones , MP for North Durham, asked in a Parliamentary written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for Boxer to reach full operating capability.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“The first production vehicles are forecast to enter trials and training in 2023 for an initial operating capability by 2025 which we are working to accelerate. We are now aiming for full operating capability by 2030 bringing this forward from 2032 by accelerating the programme.”

This comes after the Defence Command Paper, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, effectively scrapped the Warrior armoured vehicle.

“We will no longer upgrade Warrior but it will remain in service until replaced by Boxer, which we expect to happen by the middle of this decade.”

In 2020, the House of Commons Defence Select Committee described the project as running over three years late and £227 million over budget. A total of £430m has been spent so far.

Boxer will replace Warrior.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
271 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
3 months ago

Good stuff. Hoping for purchasing of more variants too, particularly a turreted one

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

The command paper says ‘the Army will be able to invest new funds into accelerating the in-service date of the Boxer armoured vehicle and enhancing its capability.’ Some hope maybe?

maurice10
maurice10
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

What’s with the trials bit? The bloody vehicle has been in service for years with other forces. I get the training…..obviously, but the introduction of Boxer is far too protracted. I would suggest we lease some for training now, and get that cooking along, before waiting for production units. 2032 must be the order completion phase1, as many more will be required to replace Warrior or at least the majority of the fleet?

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Exactly, when the initial vehicles will be made in Germany there is no reason for them not to go straight into service and for training in the next 18 months will full operational capability before 2025 and all 500+ delivered before 2030.

Jane Doe
Jane Doe
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Any of you guys work in defence procurement (I know that might seem like an oxymoron)? This is not wartime, peacetime industrial capacity is taut and they have current orders to fulfil. There will be offset and workshare agreements to be resolved so, simples?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

If Infantry Rifle Sections do not get the turreted version, they will be worse off than if they were in an unmodified Warrior.

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago

A very expensive 30t armored truck armed with a machine gun that can not go where tanks go…
Other countries at least have an auto cannon and ATGW’s in an unmanned turret.

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

we dont have any tanks

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Yes we do.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Approx 150 being upgraded to “Challenger 3” standard. Two regiments’ worth

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Yes we do. We invented the tank. They are called Challenger 2.

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

An auto cannon will not stop a tank.

It’s 38 tonnes not 30. In other words heavier than a Sherman tank. Almost as heavy as a Pershing and longer.

Its an infantry vehicle… Its not an armoured fighting vehicle. There may be an argument about role and armament but I don’t think knew jerk reactions help in trying to analyse things.

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Not really the latest generation of wheeled armoured vehicles are generally thought to be able to do 90% of tanks. They are far better than the 1st generation. That report was written by an ex challenger officer that said people read far too much into the track/wheel issue
The usa marine core agreed with the LAV, in tests found it second to none plus’s air transportable

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy a
George Royce
George Royce
3 months ago

Put a CTA40 on it and it would become a potent machine.

Taffybadger
3 months ago

I am guessing they will mount the 40mm cannon that was to be fitted to the Warrior upgrade to some of the Boxers?

Rob
Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  Taffybadger

That would be the right thing to do. We don’t need the whole fleet with a 40mm turret, 2 or even 1 per platoon would make a huge difference in direct fire support. I’d also love to see us buying the artillery, mortar, air defence, MLRS, engineering and medical variants (see Boxer Armoured Vehicle Details and Variants – Think Defence). That would simplify Logs and give legs to the enablers within the BCTs.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

One per platoon would make that vehicle stand out as a priority target, like a Sherman Firefly in a Sherman Troop during WW2.

I see LM have at least proposed or at least mocked up the Warrior turret on a Boxer so maybe that is the way to go. I believe the CTAS cannon order that was already placed included those for Warrior so that would seem logical to go that way

comment image

Which of course means it’ll never happen

Rob
Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Yes get that but we aren’t going to be able to afford putting 40mm turrets on all our IFV Boxers. Rather than none a couple per platoon would be much better than nothing. Maybe we could look at mounting ATGM on the other ones too. What is for sure is that a mounted Gimpy isn’t going to cut the mustard.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Agree, unless they mix in some of the 245 Ajax with the Boxers to provide the close fire support….the “medium tank” regiment approach from the Strike Brigades was supposed to operate that way; how it will work in a Heavy BCT, with only one Ajax regiment, is anybodies’ guess

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Someone posted a while ago that the UK is contractually bound to buy a certain number of the cannons, so i assume that number has not changed and will just be used on boxer

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

No mention of it specifically being moved to Boxer however, only that Boxer numbers will increase (vague) and more variants (also vague)

The Warrior turret is pretty much developed, so it would make sense to use it on Boxer, which LM have proposed – interestingly with 2 ATGW bolted on the side too.

Integration would still need to be done, so it won’t happen quickly. Still, they’ve given themselves til 2025 for IOC and 2030 for the full capability….

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Good thing about boxer is that it is modular. They can get their full capability (not sure what that means and if it means all hulls or just one set) with the machine gun option and then at a later date buy other modules with more effective firepower.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I wonder how often that feature would actually be used in real life, and also, if it is, whether we would actually acquire sufficient variants of the modules to allow the flexibility

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

No idea, but they are perfect for policticans. They can talk about vague plans to buy new modules and then at a later date state that plan was now obsolete and announce another and repeat this indefinetely.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

And I thought I was cynical 😉

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Equally though, should we tell all and sundry what we are proposing.

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

In this case yes. We have announced to the world that we are cutting back on pretty much everything and becoming much less of a threat. Some concrete capability upgrades would help balance that message.

Rob
Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Boxer is only multi-role modular if you have plenty of modules to swap around and a ruddy great crane. I very much doubt we will be swapping modules around except as a refit.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Rob, I agree with your viewpoint 100%

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I assume the approach will be to switch them based on the mission/conflict we are entering. Based on the current plans there would be no need to switch as they all fit similar conflict role, but in future you could have a more heavy option and more counter insurgency option. Maybe anti air if needed etc.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

But there have been some mentions that the CTA gun will be fitted to Boxer. For one, the Telegraph reported it from an MoD source.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Let’s hope it happens

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Does any body believe thd DT?

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

My view is that if they had anything like this vaguely budgeted/ planned, they would have included it in the SDSR to make it look less like a hatchet job. The fact the only concrete thing they had to talk about was vague mentions of new ships, tells me they have nothing really planned for the ground forces at this stage.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Could the Warrior turret be fitted to the River’s and Type 31’s………..haha

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

unless they mix in some of the 245 Ajax with the Boxers”

Warrior Bns have a Recc platoon with Scimitar I believe?
So Ajax just replaces that like the Recc platoons in the Armoured Regiments.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago

Yep, so mixed track/wheeled. Losing strategic mobility. But then the Heavy BCTs are mixed anyway now

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Another point is that without an APS it is death trap against any peer or heavy anti tank armed insurgency.

Jacko
Jacko
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

we would need to get a fixed price from LM if the warrior carry on is anything to go on!

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

If you were a defense company, would you offer a fixed price deal to the UK MOD, considering their history of cancelling / changing orders and the contractor looking like the bad guy when massive costs occur.

Sonik
Sonik
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Babcock did for T31. The point there being it has to be fixed terms on both sides, otherwise like you say nobody would agree to it.

I think LMs problem with WCSP was lack of experience dealing with MOD, BAE on the other hand have plenty so they sensibly didn’t fight too hard for the contract, looks like they made the better choice in hindsight!

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Warrior is interesting as BAE told the MOD a new turret would be required, costed it and promptly lost the bid to LM who said a new turret was not needed. roll on a few years, delays are down to the need for a new turret, all accept this and 400m in and change of tack. ridiculous, it’s not even a good turret. Why can’t we just buy off the shelf and make it work. as Nicholas Drummond points out, there is a class leading RWS turret that can pretty much take any gun upto 50mm and has a couple… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
2 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Personally I think CTA-40 was selected for valid reasons, however I do agree that WCSP has been a total cluster. LM claim a lot of the delay was down to MOD/DE&S, and to be fair LM have lost a lot of money on the contract. Hence why I said BAE were sensible to let it go.

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

No problem with CTA if we can afford the ammo. But the issue here is BAE knew warrior and were clear a new turret would be required. For the MOD to totally discount this input and then go for something based on cost is one reason I just don’t agree with LEP’s much better to have cycled warrior through the force to the reserves and buy a new product, which they are now being forced to do. unfortunately the mastermind behind all of this is now CoS and he seems to be doing the same again. It’s all buzzwords with… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

My argument was that if there wasnt enough turrets, for the boxer when it was going to be used for Strike, then get support company 8 x 120mm mortar variants, 8 turreted recce variants and 8 turreted carrrying dismounted JAV teams, LLM Starstreak teams and snipers. That way support company becomes not only the overwatch but the punch in each Battlegroup. But now Boxer is going to Heavy BCT every vehicle should have at least an off the shelf 30mm turret, most likely unmanned. This is affordable and achievable, if the head sheds want it to be so. Cheers.

Rob
Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Basically everyone agrees! Your support Coy would be parcelled out to the forward Coys so the actual affect is the same. I say again, getting the mortar / artillery / air defence variants is key otherwise the BG isn’t survivable. We are moving to a stand off rather than close engagement force and thus getting the ‘fires’ (a horrible Americanism) right is key. I bet they are now regretting the whole Ajax programme because if we are moving to a completely wheeled, more mobile, force then the CRV / Command / Ambulance / versions of Boxer would make far more… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Correct the balance has to be right for each BCT otherwise it’s pointless. Stand off is the way absolutely and the RA will be the movers and shakers in any future operation.

Rob
Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

They should be looking into each BCT having a dedicated air defence, 155mm, HIMARS & a target acquisition battery / batteries – all mounted on Boxer. Will never happen though…

Andrew Baty
Andrew Baty
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Archer’s on 8×8 MAN and HIMARS on 6×6 MAN truck’s, with MAN trucks for resupply and counter battery all with armoured cabs! would be cheaper to purchase and operate with our existing MAN fleet! I also think we should have the following modules for the boxer fleet: * Amos – 120mm mortar * Sky ranger – 40mm with star streak pod * mobile gun – 120mm smooth bore * Spike NLOS or a brimstone variant * 30/40mm turret for recon and support * ambulance * command * engineers * signals And keep all the Ajax / ascod tracked fleet to… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Baty

Amos also has a direct fire capability, it’s like a 120mm shotgun. definitely a system we should be getting for boxer IMO. also every boxer should have a CTA 40 mm on it as I think we should only go for combat vehicles initially and build out from there. Reason is we have enough low end platforms that can be repurposed, but we are short on actual combat capability. I would have all infantry/command vehicles look the same, then special versions for the embedded fires (Amos, brimstone MLRS and landceptor aad) 155mm would be nice, but can go on another… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Thus is why the Army gave made a complete horlicks of procurement. And tactics. And strategy. They are totally all over the place.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Currently each and every rifle section riding in Warrior have a 30mm cannon. Surely every Boxer in a rifle platoon needs a cannon or the guys will be worse off.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
3 months ago

They need to work on the camo scheme

Herodotus
3 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

No, this is the executive version for government ministers and the royals !

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Anti dazzle

James H
James H
3 months ago

What is its survivability compared with Warrior? and if no firepower is added to these the army really will have been destroyed.

Daveyb
Daveyb
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

In standard form they both have comparable armour schemes, including all round protection against 14.5mm armour piercing rounds. The Aussies have opted for a heavier baseline armour on their Boxers which is about STANAG 4569 Level 5. This is 25 mm APDS-T (M791) or TLB 073 at 500 m with 1258 m/s. Angle: frontal arc to centreline: ± 30° sides included, elevation 0°. It can be further upgraded with modular steel or ceramic applique armour.

When Warrior is modded to theatre entry standard, it can and has withstood 30mm APDS BMP rounds frontally and is pretty good on the sides.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

I believe both are NATO STANAG 4569 level 4…so similar

Simon m
Simon m
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Except is there a TES kit for Boxer? Does it still cope if laden with it in heavy mud?

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

Presumably one will be developed. The British Boxer spec includes a more powerful engine and additional power generation for the modules too.

So this does logically point to the vehicles having the power:weight ratio to handle a TES package. But. I thing that I’ve seen confirms what a TES package would include

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

The main survivability aspect is that Boxer will ‘go’ when you hit the start button and Warrior will be a broken down, a belching black smoke sitting duck!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Not sure that I have heard stories about poor WR availability. Are you sure they keep breaking down? Accept that you often get some black smoke at start-up, like most other AFVs.

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Big old school low compression diesels with inline injection pumps use excess fuel to start. At 5 degrees and lower a challenger 2 can smoke out about 100 m2 on start up lol. The inlet manifold heater adds more smoke to the mix and if not run for a few weeks they pop and bang as some cylinders miss-fire before they all settle down.

David
David
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Do the USAF still have A10s?

Sonik
Sonik
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

I think those two questions are the main reason for the indecision. We are hitting a point where conventional armour is becoming unfeasible as a single defence, due to the ever increasing capability of modern armour piercing weapons, against the weight of armour a vehicle can carry. It’s much the same as happened to warships between the two world wars. The answer for ships was longer stand-off offensive capability, and better defensive armoment, to intercept incoming aircraft and projectiles, coupled with better long range threat detection in the form of radar, sonar and aircraft. Hence for armoured vehicles we now… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Sonik
Andy a
Andy a
3 months ago

Do we know why it’s so much more expensive than say the french simalar vehicle? Is it because of better capabilities or just bad management?

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Same reason BMWs are more expensive than Citroens, perhaps? 😉

Andy a
Andy a
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Yes but I meant does any one know specific capabilities or difference? Granted Uk tends to gold plate but sometimes “numbers have a quality all of there own”

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Less cynical answer – the modularity is probably where the extra cost comes in. Flexibility comes at a cost

Andy a
Andy a
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Interesting I just read an article about strike and wheeled vehicles, the marine lav when tested gave 85% of tracked capabilities, people saying were using it just cos it’s cheap are wrong. The latest generAction is far better than 20 years ago as usa found in Iraq 2 and grenada

Peter S
Peter S
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

I have pointed out the massive cost difference before. The Griffon is based on a 6×6 commercial truck which helps keep the price down, a bit like the old Saxon APC. The big expense is what you put in the vehicle- sensors, communication. It isn’t armament or carrying capacity. But when budgets are so obviously stretched, it is reasonable to question whether the four times price difference is justified. Ajax seems even more overpriced. I guess some of the cost arises from the need to set up production lines from scratch. If the Defence Command paper is right, we are… Read more »

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

The price of griffon seems too good to be true. How did they deliver it for less than €1m when foxhound was double that. How can a chasis contribute so much to the cost regardless if it is commercial or not. If it wasn’t French I would love it for our mrvp program

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Each CH3 has a budget of £1.5m-£1.9m hence a lep 2 is £9m a pop plus support.

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

If £8m to Upgrade each CH2 is correct someone needs a good taliking too – that puts it in the ‘might as well build new’ catetgory – completely Nuts !.

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

I think Rheinmetall offered the Leopard A7 for less money, the issue being it would not support any British jobs or industry which is why the UK opted to build a new turret in the UK instead. The cost of developing a brand new turret for 148 tanks means there is pretty much no EOS. I’m assuming its a Leo turret internally shaped to fit the C2 chassis.

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

The vbci was built on a very tight budget to protect French industry and win exports with 3rd world countries with budget in mind. The specs should be on wiki. Its criticisms where lack of floor armour, its engine is under powered compared to boxer and it had a 25mm cannon which I think was an old design. I doubt its optics and electronics where up to much either compared to the lance turret. Compared to boxer, Piranha 5 and Patria, Vbci was a distant 4. There is a vbci 2 that aimed to fix many of these issues don’t… Read more »

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

The French Version has army you can poke a pencil thru, and has 7 reverse and only one sideways gear, no forward, AS Boxer has been designed to BA spec and not a standard spec.

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

The French army puts the British army to shame. It’s like comparing Goliath with David and the British army is David!

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

I think David won…

The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

? yes he did and very easily at that .

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

… and your evidence is? Throw away comments of that nature even if they do potentially contain some truth are meaningless without substantiated back up. It’s like using that throw away cover word ‘passion’ when the user either cant or is too lazy to explain what they are actually ‘passionate’ about. It becomes effectively pointless and unproductive.

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It has the largest armed forces in size in the European Union.[According to Credit Suisse, the French Armed Forces are ranked as the world’s sixth-most powerful military. More men, more tanks, and equipment similar to that yet to be acquired by the British Army.

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

More men, more tanks, and equipment similar to that yet to be acquired by the British Army. Largest armed forces in EU and according to Credit Suisse, the world’s sixth most powerful military. 

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Empty words

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

More men, more tanks, and equipment similar to that yet to be acquired by the British Army. Largest armed forces in EU and according to Credit Suisse, the world’s sixth most powerful military. Not empty words, facts. Get over it.

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

France is a continental Army. It would expect to be relatively high. Its a ‘revolutionary’ country, its always fighting against itself. So it has loads of paramilitaries as well.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

I have noted over the months with our Mike nothing ever positive, just put downs, highlighting a negative or bad news, and references to Scots and Welsh going independent at every opportunity.

Just ignore. When I replied to him with an alternate point of view silence. No debate or discussion.

Move on and ignore.

Mike
Mike
3 months ago

I shall ignore you then. I really couldn’t care less about you or your views and remind you that YOU don’t own this forum.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Ahhh, the old own the forum nonsense because I post often. Had that before. It’s a free site sunshine. George owns it.
You on the other hand contribute nothing.
Putting you in capitals doesn’t hurt me more btw.
Cherio! ?

Mike
Mike
3 months ago

So, young lady, you didn’t move on and ignore after all?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike.
Course not. You replied to my observation so I reply back.
Anyway. One. Have a check of wiki on the origins of Daniele…wrong sex.
Two. I actually agree with you on your comments below on the current situation in cities with demos and riots. I fear police hands are tied though.

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

KEYBOARD WARRIOR BED TIME BUTTERCUP

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Have you seen what’s happening in our cities of late?

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Yes. A bunch of hooligans are pretending to campaign for rights that they already have other wise they wouldn’t be able to protest in the first place. Are you advocating para military forces to deal with them?

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Spot on, pathetic little saddos who need a back hander.

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Yes. I cannot believe why these riots and blatant disorder is allowed. It needs firmer policing.

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Yes mate a bunch of clueless bellends cutting about taking advantage of having an easy life, with a sense of entitlement which is shocking. But whats that got to do with this story mate?

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Trevor H called France a revolutionary country. Our own looks unsettled at this time!

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Not really, same unwashed whingers, same gripes just using a different excuse this time. Gets boring as you/they/we all grow up.

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

but doesn’t have its own nuclear capacity, and they all carry a personal white flag

Mike
Mike
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

I believe you will find that France has a larger and more independent nuclear deterrent than the UK.

Paul
Paul
3 months ago

Seems to be a good vehicle but we certainly need a turreted variant similar to the aussie test vehicles with a ct40 cannon

RobW
RobW
3 months ago

Are we not ordering more of them? We had these on order anyway and were upgrading Warrior as well. It seems to be a huge cut if not. Am I missing something?

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Not missing. Part of British Army is now on foot.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Most were on foot anyway. Before this announcement of 33 infantry battalions 6 had Warrior ( reducing to 4 ) and 3 had Mastiff.
In the early 2000s there were 9 Warrior battalions and 3 of Bulldog, and earlier 6 of Saxon.
In BAOR I recall 15 battalions of FV432 supplemented by Warrior, out of 56 Battalions
British infantry have never been highly mechanized.
An interesting comparison is with the Wermacht. For all the Blitzkrieg the vast majority if the army remained horse drawn!
Maybe we need to create more airmobile units.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago

… I hope no one is thinking we should use more horses.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

“The Army now have less manpower than anytime since 1755” we hear shouted out by the Cap badge Mafia et al…
We also have less horses…no one seems to be worried about that though…Horses are greener , less polluting and the by product from them is good for your roses… yes I am being flippant…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Maybe autonomous ones! UMFLC’s, developed by ARIA!

“Unmanned Four Legged Carriers”

Sorry!

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago

‘British Infantry have never been highly mechanised ‘ are you sure Daniele ? ,it wasn’t the case in 1940,and yes the Wermacht did rely on Horses for Transport but it didn’t stop them Cutting through the French Army and BEF like a Hot Knife Through Butter.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

BEF. Equipped with trucks? Bren carriers?
Hardly the Panzer Grenadiers in halftracks.
Mechanized? Or Motorised.

Blitzkrieg. No, it didnt. I was just comparing, was making no point on that subject.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Not at all you are simply seeing through the smoke and mirrors that presents everything as an upgrade.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

Wheels are better than tracks for our needs with a small force. They are much faster, quieter and have lower maintenance needs and much lower crew and squad fatigue, especially in urban environments. They can travel long distances fast for deployment. Assuming we are not planning to fight the Soviet Union on the central European plain, and want to pursue a maritime strategy, they are the right choice. Anyway an Ajax IFV was a much more logical and sensible idea for retaining a tracked infantry vehicle.

Last edited 3 months ago by James Fennell
AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Ajax seems an irresponsible luxury.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes, better to have a Boxer recce variant. but too late now. Its a very capable vehicle.and the combination of Ajax, medium UAVs, long range fires and Apache seems intriguing and powerful at force degradation, with the mech brigades coming up behind them to take and hold ground.

Last edited 3 months ago by James Fennell
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I’m intrigued by this Deep Strike recc bde combining Ajax with MLRS and hopefully other long range precision fires and EW assets. I’d guess 5 RA will be found in it too as 1 ISRB has vanished from their graphic.

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

Mate you know that the RA will be the key formations in any BCTs. The deep strike recce is a renamed Arty Bde which is already there. Sure, add a spare Ajax Regiment for recce, improve the fires and deep strike and in fact you actually have a decent workable solution with pretty much the assets we already have. It will work quite well if the assets we have are funded correctly, and AS90 eventualy replaced. 5 Reg is very relevant to this and wonder if 473 Bty will be increased and expanded?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

I did suspect that it was 1 Art. That was a primarily administrative formation. I suspect they’ve elevated it to make BCTs look higher in number and to give Ajax a home. 2 regs worth.
473, should be. Wonder what happens to 21 and 23?

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

21 and 23 went HUMINT some time ago, wonder if they will revert to type, and the HAC, where will they fit in, on what assets?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

HAC should remain with DSB BCT because they are the specialists along with 473.
21 and 23 yes HERA patrols. If they remain in role. I see 1 ISRB seems to be missing, no surprise as its assets could easily split into either, and these “Info Manoeuvre groups” have appeared, so possibly there?
It is frustrating that we cannot yet properly analyse this without the full ingredients of what goes where, and that is missing from their pretty graph.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Update on that. According to army website and Wiki ( not always the most accurate I know ) seems 21 and 23 are back in DSF from 1 ISRB, happened in 2019.
I missed that.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

I wonder if we might see this sometime in the future?

Eurotank

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1WN8iDxyvs

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

GERMANY and FRANCE, BOTH have totally different ideas about tank design. it will be Tornado/typhoon all over again…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

And another thing. A 4th infantry battalion into 16AA I read? Wonder who?

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

Would be any bugger at the moment lol

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Daniele / Airborne.
Given that we have a Gurkha Battalion now how about another one.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Morning Geoffrey.

Why not. They’d have to pull it out of Brunei mind as 1 and 2 RGR rotate between Shorncliffe and as the British Armies far east theatre reserve. Unsure if still correct but I’d read the Sultan picks up the cost of garrisoning there too.

3 RGR recently formed as SIB so they’re too small for 16AA.

I’ve always fantasy fleeted using the Gurkhas as a stand alone brigade myself akin to the French Foreign Legion.
As it is, their units fill in gaps in other regiments.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago

..and good afternoon to you Daniele,

T o be honest I was thinking of a new battalion. As you say the Sultan pays for the other one anyway.Brigade of Gurka’s sounds good doesn’t it? Given the numbers that come forward for every one that is recruited it could be achieved.

I had the pleasure of working with the Gurkha’s some years ago on a charity fund raiser and they were brilliant. Hard working,nothing too much trouble and a tucked away sense of humour that came out now and again in a beaming smile.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Why would they form another Gurkha battalion for 16AAB when they have a selection of light role battalions probably desperate for the Air Assault role to justify their existence?

The new Infantry Division structure would even allow for a number of battalions to rotate through the role, along with Cyprus and Public Duties. Suspect that’s a more likely approach?

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

You may be right but the air assault infantry battalion attached to 2 and 3 para is a Gurkha unit. Adding another would allow for the creation of two identical Strike Groups..each with a Lead Assault H.Q. Further upgrading would enable a Pathfinder Platoon and a lead Company Group available at two days notice. follwed by the remaining Para’s within four to five days and the Gurkha’s after eight to ten days. Support echelon for each would be a battery of 105 mm light artillery and a battery of Starstreak Each Strike Group supported by an A A C regiment… Read more »

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

As I recall, the Royal Irish were also an Air Assault Battalion at one point (when 16AAB was last 4 Bns), with their TA battalion also trained for the role. So maybe that’s an option too. Orbat of a Gurkha LI Bn is I believe same as U.K. LI Bns, so no reason why your two identical groups can’t still be formed out of existing units.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

To repeat: You may be right but I chose a Gurkha battalion.
Part of the reason was to do with our recruitment problems which in my opinion are not over, regardless of the size of the army. That is not a problem with the Gurkha’s.
I would not have a T.A., now Army Reserve element as any part of 16th Air Assault. With a rapid response force there is no time to wait for their call up. The Gurkha’s are natural fighters in desert, plains and jungle fighting, the likeliest ground scenario’s for 16th A.A,B.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Fair enough. It’s an intriguing idea. Will watch to see what they do
Certainly agree about AR Bns. AR should be limited to providing individual reinforcements and Home
Defence

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

I agree on the A.R. I the world that’s coming we are not going to have time to worry about deploying them overseas straight up.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

Surely the point with these BCTs is they are supposed to be fully self-contained fighting units with their own fires and support? That’s different from the force troops model used recently. My guess is that in additiom to infantry and AFVs each BCT needs an engineer rgt. an artillery rgt. a signals rgt. and one or two of these new fangled Combat Service Support Battalions. I.e. they are more like 3 Cdo Bde or 16 AAB. Generating five of these BCTs from the current Army 2020 force structure before the cuts is not easy. Presumably more GMLRS will need to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

They already did James. The CS and CSS were grouped in FT but I believe were still assigned to a specific Bde. Each has a Signals Reg, Engineer Reg, Artillery reg, RLC Reg, RAMC Reg, REME Btn, RMP Coy.
The 2 Armoured Inf and 2 Strike all had this available.
My understanding is that they want the support even lower than Bde/ battlegroup level.

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Ajax was the right vehicle and variants at the time it was ordered. Unfortunately the Army head sheds have fucked about with ORBATS and CONOPS so much that they are now stuck with Ajax, which was stupidly going to Strike, which it was not designed for, but now going back to where it belongs and that’s armoured recce. Let’s not forget the other variants, which are excellent wagons with role specific capabilities. For me though, we are all need to take notice of Ares, would have been an ideal replacement for WR, put on the 40mm (even an off the… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Ares is such an ideal replacement for Warrior but you have to add a turret? Adding a turret makes it something other than Ares doesn’t it??

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Thats what im saying mate, add a turret, even if its not the 40mm that was going on WR. An off the shelf 30mm unmanned is betetr than nothing. Ares is a “replacment” for the Spartan in the specialist team carrier role. Wether it has a turret or not its still an Ares, just carrying dismounts in an offensive role.

Ian M.
Ian M.
2 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hi Airborne, the problem with re-roling Ares as a troop carrier is space, as you have alluded to 7 pax could “squeeze” in. Ares with a turret is an Ajax, with even less room. The turret intrusion (downwards) of the 40mm is pretty large, the crew basket and ammo etc takes up a huge space, no room for dismounts.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago

So, as of December 2020, construction work on the hall for half the fleet is still not finished and £227 million over budget, but we will complete two years earlier than planned? “The vehicles will be manufactured in the UK, with production subcontracted equally between RBSL and WFEL. The companies will undertake fabrication of the armoured vehicle structures together with assembly, integration and test of the complete vehicles at their respective facilities in Telford and Stockport.” “Ian Anderton, WFEL’s managing director, added: “The Boxer vehicles are amongst the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world and WFEL’s new state-of-the-art Boxer… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

With a machine gun onboard!

Can anyone post a link that says we are purchasing or intend to purchase more boxers than the original order with better armament installed?

“This £180-million contract with Thales UK will deliver pioneering surveillance and protection for our front line soldiers and our new Boxer fleet. We depend on skills and technology from across the United Kingdom and this order will secure 700 Scottish jobs.

Our troops face a myriad of new and emerging threats so it is imperative we invest in critical detect and destroy technology such as this.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/180m-army-vehicle-contract-protects-700-glasgow-jobs

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Not going to get more Boxers I reckon, they are just being moved from Strike (now BCT light) to BCT heavy. The BCT light are getting the Foxhound and extra boots! Not enough Foxhounds to go round so need to keep Mastiff.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

At some point Foxhound and Mastiff was going to be replaced by (rumoured) JLTV and Bushmaster. Any idea if that is still going to happen?

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Not sure, but if you look at the imagery on the BCTs on the IDR graphics it’s shows a Foxhound and a very familiar looking vehicle……

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

As I recall, the familiar looking vehicle was Mastiff-looking, or possibly more a Bushmaster?

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

More bushmaster to me which gets me thinking….

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

At least the Light BCTs will have some protection if they do it

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Absolutely nothing has been said about either the JLTV or the Bushmaster/Eagle programs. They might be alive or they might be dead.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Which would render the Light BCTs useless

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

@NigelC Yes. The minister in parliament aid the current Boxer program will be accelerated by 2 years.

You’ve basically got all your “facts” wrong about the Boxer program. Go back to school.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Don’t be stupid, Boxer isn’t late and over budget. That’s the Warrior program that’s just been cancelled.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Just like your assumptions over the last two years that I’ve continuously pointed out to you, again and again, and again in relation to F35-B numbers Ron 5, not so clever now are we! If this programme isn’t late and over budget, I’ll be very surprised. And don’t forget your predictions on drones, cats and traps not arriving until the middle of 2035 lol. Go back to school, like I keep telling you Ron 5, do your homework! “Boxer deliveries start 2023 but full operating capability is not planned until 2032 – nearly 13 years after the contract for just… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Just apologize for making untrue claims dude instead of writing even more rubbish.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

It’s all in your history, look back at your postings.

Johan
Johan
3 months ago

Where does Ajax fit into this requirement as Ajax and warrior seem to be similar platforms….

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Ajax vehicles were originally planned to replace CVRT (Scimitar, Spartan etc), in the Recce role. None of them have the troop carrying capacity of the Warrior, and the turreted version is closer in role to that of Scimitar, albeit much bigger, heavier and more protected

The order for 589 Ajax variants was placed before the idea of Strike, which is now really absorbed into the new BCT concept. And is a square peg in a round hole … I would imagine, had they been able to, the Army now would rather put the Ajax funding into a lot more Boxers

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Ares is the troop carrier APC variant – there could easily be an IFV variant if desired. After all the base vehicle is an IFV and the Griffin IFV has been developed from Ajax for the US market..

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

True, but Ares has a crew of 2 and carries only 4 passengers. Warrior is crew of 3 plus 7/8 passengers. An IFV variant could be developed, maybe in a stretched chassis?

Peter S
Peter S
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Ares has a crew of 3 and can carry 7 dismounts, originally intended to be engineers and other support staff rather than combat infantry.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Hi Peter
According to this article on TD the crew
Is 2+4 dismounts, but I’ll do some more research

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/british-army-medium-weight-capability/ajax/

Peter S
Peter S
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

You’re right about the Ajax variant. Sensors and CTA reduce dismounts to 4. Ares variant has more space.
But it seems we can’t combine gun and dismounts in one hull like Warrior. Seems odd, given that the platform is bigger than Warrior.
Cheers

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

I’ll clarify my understanding. I may be confused 🙂 Ajax is the name of the whole program as well as the Recce variant. That has a crew of 3 with room for one other person, presumably a recce specialist Ares, as currently configured, has a crew of 2 and room for 4 fully equipped troops and I guess their specialist gear – engineering, Javelin or whatever. According to Airborne, some tweaking of the interior would allow it to carry 7 Why they can’t then put a turreted or remote 40mm in place of the current MG RWS I don’t understand… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Best to look at the version of Ajax that was offered to the Aussies for their IFV program. The prototype was a modified Ares. Didn’t win.

comment image

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Interesting. I’ll do that. Thanks Ron

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Im sure there will be production issues if we wanted to put an unmanned 30 mm turret, not specificly the 40mm, but it can be done if it was deemed neccessary. But as ever its much easier to object to a little hard work with contractual chuff and an avoidence of spending a little more cash for a better product in the long term. The Ares would be tight, even if it could have just 6 dismounts.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

I’d like to see a way to sensibly (that’s the key word!) use the Ajax and Boxer we have already committed to

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Not much of Ajax is left in the Griffin. Virtually a new vehicle.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Spot on. Army committed suicide with Strike and Boxer.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago

Not so sure Boxer was a bad idea. IF it had been focused on replacing the FV432s in the support roles, and Ajax expanded to include an IFV variant to replace Warrior then the two families of vehicles could have been a strong base for the future. Add in Bushmaster type vehicles for the lighter troop formations and things would have been simpler. Strike was a fudge, born out of a desire to protect cap badges rather than reformat the Army more sensibly And now, with Warrior gone, Boxer replaces it in the IFV role, without an IFV module currently… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Boxer is too expensive. That is part of problem. In part for that reason i suppose there will not be an APS to protect it.

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Strike was a concept. Where does badges come in? One section of the Army want to keep tanks ,(one of the regular columnists on here is prejudiced to them) … and as such the whole Army is skewered. An other section of the Army wanted Boxer.

The army are like that 2 headed donkey in Dr Doolittle. The whole service structure is antiquated, its no wonder the politicians are confused.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

You’re right, Strike wasn’t specifically about cap badge preservation. Apologies for the way I phrased that. But it seems the Army don’t know which way to jump, and always seem focused on cap badge preservation, whether cavalry or infantry. Why else would there be so many light role battalions, light role cavalry… and even this time round, hidden in the detail is the news that some support arm units will go or be merged into Combat Support Battalions. But it’s ok, because no cap badges will be lost.

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

I’m assuming the light battalions are there because they to not have any mechanisation.

I do not have a problem with cap badges. And I did not like the ‘large regiment’ idea that (?) Jackson drove through.

I do not see why we can have slightly smaller (battalions)regiments and formally link them to brigades. This produces more cap badges but also more flexibility to determine how many battalions are operating and rotating at any one time with the brigade. Like minded cap badges might still join to recruit and retain. and indeed could be regularly be linked to brigades.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

The number of LI Battalions is only as glaring as it is due to the lack of CS & CSS elements to go with them! Cut in previous reviews, leaving the army lopsided and seemingly with too many LI units.

As it is if those CS & CSS elements still existed we’d at least have some deployable brigades out of them.

Mechanisation another story.

You’re right on the CSS battalions, a hidden cut incoming. I highlighted that previously. 19 LI Bde was last I recall when they used the concept.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago

You’re right Daniele
There was always a choice. Cut undeployable LI battalions or cut the units that enable that deployment. Units which don’t have unique cap badges

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Mate the Ares can take 7 dismounts, but that’s if there is a little more tweaking in the back, as 7 dismounts and role specific kit can be a bloody squeeze.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Interesting. I didn’t know that. Thanks Airborne and Peter. I’ve learned something today 🙂

Ian M.
Ian M.
2 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

The Ares CANNOT carry 7 dismounts. Crew:
1x Driver
1x Crew Commander
1x Tactical Commander (Dismounts i/c)
3x Dismounts
There are only 3 Dismount seats, the rest of the space is CES and Mission eqpt.

Sonik
Sonik
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

I agree, CVRT was by all accounts a bit of a deathtrap, but the ‘solution’ in the form of Ajax by now looks highly questionable.

We have committed to a very expensive program for a recce capability that can by now largely be countered by inexpensive, expendable drones. Hence the Army need to find a new role for Ajax, which it isn’t well suited to.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Bollux. Ajax is shown as being used exactly for what it was designed to do. Recce.

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Thought only six of the troop carrying version has been delivered so far ?

dan
dan
3 months ago

Wish they would stop arming these types of armored vehicle with just a 50cal. Utterly useless against other armored vehicles and no very accurate.

Simon m
Simon m
3 months ago

What’s being picked up is that Boxer really needs a 40mm cannon in IFV role. The problem is with the cost, the turret is normally the most expensive part of an AFV so although Boxer’s cost looks attractive through comparing contracts vs WCSP & Ajax. In reality once you’ve upgraded Boxer you’ve made very few savings cutting warrior. Now you just have less vehicles! Warrior had virtually completed all its trials which apparently were going well. The time to cut warrior was 4-5yrs ago. In reality if the KPMG report that was commissioned by LMUK the net cost to the… Read more »

James H
James H
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

Just army not having a plan that only lasts five minutes is the problem and if the plan to upgrade them in the first place should have ever been considered.
From what Wallace said, they have become so terrified by drones so much they don’t know the future of armour.

Sonik
Sonik
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

I think that’s the crux of the problem. Nobody knows for sure, what the future of armoured warfare will look like, say in 10 or 20 years time. Will heavy armour be rendered obsolete by ATGM, better APFSDS, drones etc. or will APS and better long range intel give it a second chance? At the same time, what’s possible to deliver, is constrained by decisions that were committed some time ago (e.g. Ajax, Boxer, CT-40) when the overall plan and perceived requirements looked somewhat different. So we get left with a bit of a fudge, based more on what’s possible… Read more »

James H
James H
3 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

But it feels more like retreat from the battlefield rather then trying to defeat the threat. I understand we always expected to have air superiority but we knew about the threat of air on armour since gulf war 1, why has the Armenian and Syrian situation made us radically change our ideas.

Sonik
Sonik
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

Ultimately results are the most important thing. Warfare has been evolving to greater and greater stand off distances for over a century.

So I think a radical rethink is definitely required, just not so convinced what’s now being proposed is the right solution, and I don’t think the Army are so sure either!

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Spot on mate, close combat will always be there and we need to plan and expect it, however the RA and depth fires, AD, UAVs, locating, deep recce, sound ranging etc will now be the movers and shakers. Indeed the FSTs are already the force multipliers of any operation and tasking, at the lowest level.

Sonik
Sonik
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

That’s what’s worrying – future FST seems to be the piece that’s most vague and lacking at the moment. But I guess it’s better to get it properly worked out before making too many more decisions on weapons etc.

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Artillery destrpys the enemy and the infantry defend it and occupy the position.
(?)…

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Yes. Good points.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

Agreed. I think that’s the situation. We suffering from Turkish drone syndrome. The 148 upgraded C2 is probably just the minimum sensible, effective and agreed with the US assuming the drone risk is dealt with somehow. The Warrior IVF situation is also evolving. The obvious direction is to put the 40mm CTA turret on boxers. After all I think we’ve ordered enough for the planned Warrior upgrade. But on a battlefield where Ajax, Ares, C2, Apache and Boxer are all seeing all the shared data do you actually need a direct IVF replacement. Might it not be better to buy… Read more »

James H
James H
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

So many nations around the world are investing in new armour and don’t seem so worried.
I’m not being critical, I’m just curious why the Turkish drones have changed things for us as I hope we would be or could be better prepared to deal with them then the Armenians, Syrians or Libyans etc

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

I think the problem could be that these drones are numerous, give the enemy a good picture of the battlespace and can stand off with laser guided weapons beyond the range of Starstreak. I don’t believe we have yet rolled out Sky Sabre which in any case is an expensive system.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauliddon/2020/10/04/turkeys-drones-are-coming-in-all-sizes-these-days/

James H
James H
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

That’s interesting thank you, i did find the omission of a similar cheap drone in the review strange, if all deployments had a detachment of these it would make up for a lot of the cuts.

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

And there are also nothing about deep strike. What it will be? AS90 lacks long range. MLRS seems to be easier to upgrade than that, so it will not be thrown in the bin like probably what happen to AS90 Exactor: i don’t know if that are earlier Spike versions or late ones with 20 miles range, if the later versions it is also called to install them in Apaches like US Army is doing. There are no request apparently for hundred of drones and loitering suicide ones. Watchkeeper wil be upgraded and since it has also a radar might… Read more »

James H
James H
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

This is from the review “We plan to invest over £250m over ten years in the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) which will provide an upgraded long- range rocket artillery platform with new missiles that travel further and are more accurate. In addition, the Army is spending over £800m over the next ten years on a new automated Mobile Fires Platform that will deliver enhanced close support artillery systems and greater operational mobility. In the short term, the Army will invest to sustain the Exactor missile system. Over the longer-term this capability will be upgraded to provide enhanced lethality… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

Thanks James. So the Exactor “upgrade” will probably be the last Spike version.
I agree i don’t rate 800m£ much for “mobile fires platform” in ten 10! years when 430m£ was spent in in failed Warrior upgrade with nothing to show for it.
It also sounds like it is just enough for putting Exactor in some vehicles.

So basically what artillery gets is upgraded rockets for MRLS and upgraded Exactor, upgraded Watchkeeper and frankly the increasingly misguided Ajax luxury.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Mobile Fires Platform” is the replacement for AS90, will be probably around 4 regiments worth.

Will buy an existing system so no need to spend on develoment like WCSP.

Look at Archer. Look at CEASER.

Nothing to do with MLRS or Exactor.

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago

Ok thanks for correction.. But with only 800m£?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

I know not the cost of artillery systems but with only a handful of regiments to equip plus some spares at 14RA & RSA at Larkhill we are only looking at at most around 80 guns? Hardly a Boxer and Ajax order of 1,000 plus. So assume that amount, not far off a billion, is OK?

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

Prob right mate, with 5 formations needing OS, to include the 5th being the “deep recce” I can see 2 Btys of x 6 guns, or 3 Btys of x 4, either way no more than 60 guns in use with the balance as you say at the school in Larkhill. Not a great number but would be more effective than the good old 105mm. Although an order for a 120mm Mortar varient Boxer for the Battalions covering the 250m to 9ish K range would be very useful.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Why is the army so against the 120mm? I believe it’s a staple of other forces?

Johan
Johan
3 months ago

that very reason, ammo supply on a war footing, we will all be sat waiting for Nato to hand them out like sweets one for you and one for you….

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Zero new Warrior turrets have been ordered so there’s exactly zero available to put on Boxers. Apart from the handful of prototypes that is.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Sort of limits your options. Warrior carries on until the 40mm CTA Boxer production gets going; or an IVF Ares prototype is developed for comparison.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

The didn’t know 4 to 5 years ago that Warrior upgrade would run late and over budget so why would they have cancelled the program?

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

the issue with warrior is now, the program is a mess with so many people’s fingers in it. they have to cut something and as it goes is like MR4. and by the time the fleet is upgraded now. they will be obsolete, the hulls are 30+ years and @ some point, you have to draw a line through an embarrassment. LOOK @ the 3 services Navy procurement, large ticket items, left to Naval architects, to design only small changes. RAF More of the same, little involvement from top brass, Is N Ts. ARMY too many experts know what they… Read more »

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

No good if the 20,000 lbs of the CT40’s recoil cracks the hulls and forces retirement, Lm turret was above hull design weight !

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago

Ajax, Ares family are all networked. Sensor data is shared. My understanding is that Apache and C2 partake of this network. Anyone know if Boxer does and does it need to?

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I believe they are including the same open architecture and networking capability into Boxer

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Thx.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

Slightly off topic but I have been trying to work out what this means from the Command Paper. I think it might be rather radical? “The Infantry will be restructured into four divisions. These divisions will comprise a balanced number of battalions offering the full range of infantry roles. No cap badges will be deleted nor any redundancies required. It will ensure all infantry soldiers can access the full range of operational opportunities.” There are already four Divisions of Infantry, but this looks like transforming them into regiments, with soliders able to move around between battalions within the Division, changing… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by James Fennell
AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Makes sense to me. Each division has a mix of battalions with different skills. Armoured Infantry, light Infantry, ranger (for the new Spec Ops Bde), Specialist Inf (for the new SFA Bde), plus another “division” in all but name for the Paras and Gurkhas. My suspicious mind says that the Ranger Bns will be sized same as the Spec Inf Bns, thus we end up with 8/9 units of 270 or so. Ultimately the SFA Bns will be all arms, but they are directly currently in the role of the Spec Inf Bns. Which are also seeding the Ranger Bns.… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by AndyCee
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Crikey. I’ve been scratching my head too over it.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

It’s a long overdue restructuring, I’ve been diving into and out of the meat of this review all week, as time has allowed. The more I see of the restructuring, the more I like it. There should be more interesting opportunities for youngsters, so hopefully far less of a problem with retention. I do wonder how the Army Reserve will feed into the new structures. A shift towards out of area operations in general, will mean a change in the way the reserve has to work to fit in with the changes. Reserve units will have to be mobilised rapidly… Read more »

James H
James H
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Dont know if this helps, its the best guess of current information.

ExbUMn5WgBYVklX.png
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

Interesting. Been looking for an updated chart like this. Needs all the CS & CSS elements of FT/6D Brigades added but not a bad starting effort.

Delabatte
Delabatte
3 months ago

Excuse me I’m not brit, can someone explain me the capabilty, technical spec and how will be use this vehicule? Look like kind of APC with light weapon.. how is the armor?

Delabatte
Delabatte
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Perfect! Thanks

Andrew
3 months ago

I wonder if the Army should of went for the German puma to replace warrior ? .Also how it compare to Ajax ,not that I prefer going for a foreign nation platform for jobs wise and pride ect.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

They did with the Boxer, so could have done the same with Puma and established a U.K. manufacturing base for it.

It won’t happen now though

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Puma,like Boxer has had a long protracted Developement History,very Capable but very Expensive too – CV90 was the other Option on offer i believe.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago

There are 2 Boxer variants, I would like to see added to the British Army order. First is the 105mm gun with autoloader in the Cockerill C3105 turret. The other is the 35mm Oerlikon Skyranger, as bottom layer air defence against UAV/helicopters, etc.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Add SP Mortar, IFV, SAM and Guided Weapons carrier…. but I’m greedy

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Funny you should mention this!

“The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) presented its technical proposal for ground-based air defence (GBAD) to the Bundestag, the federal parliament, on 23 March.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/german-mod-presents-gbad-proposal-to-bundestag

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins
AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Why not the 120mm turret of Italian Centauro? why another caliber 105 instead of commonly using the new 120 of Challenger 2 upgrade?

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Does the Centauro 120mm use the same ammunition as the M1 and Leopard? The cannon is not the same as the Rheinmetal one in the MBTs

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Seems so, from a website:

“The Centauro II represents the logical evolution, being armed with a third generation 120/45 mm gun, with integrated muzzle brake and semi-automatic loading system. The weapon system provides a fire power equivalent to that of most modern main battle tanks, and is capable of firing all latest generation 120 mm, NATO APFSDS and multi-role MP munitions.”

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Because the Boxer with the Cockerill turret exists. It is about to undergo firing trials near Munich.

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Don’t changes the issue: Another ammunition type instead of commonality and less capable. I also doubt British industry will manufacture both rounds.

But since the Army does not even consider up arming the Boxer IFV with a gun probably would not make anything about that too. Maybe they don’t even have and idea for a MGS combat vehicle type.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

The need to sort out the camouflage.

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

But Austin Powers chose it!

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago

So mow we have strike brigades with CR2’s added or armoured brigades with Ajax back where it should have been in the first place and an under armed wheeled box. It’s good to know that the ten year delay with a Challenger replacement, the indecision over Scout/Ajax and the opting out and opting in of the Boxer programme has achieved so much in such a short space of time.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Don’t forget the 2 Light Brigades that don’t have a confirmed Orbat, or any confirmed vehicle platforms. Or artillery. Or pretty much anything other than vague indications that they’ll exist.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Sorry Andy…forgot the “bits” round the edges.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

🙂
There are a lot of “bits”, and not a lot of substance, at least on the Army’s side of things….

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Agreed… I was being ironic!?

john melling
john melling
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

According to the British army website

A new Deep Recce Strike BCT will give the Army a formidable find and strike capability, connecting longer-range artillery, electronic attack and attack helicopters with the reconnaissance capabilities of AJAX and uncrewed aerial systems.

Two Heavy BCTs formed from the modernisation of two Armoured Infantry Brigades. Over the next decade, these will be equipped with Ajax armoured reconnaissance, Challenger 3 Main Battle Tanks and Boxer mechanised infantry.

One Light BCT consisting of light cavalry in Jackal and light mechanised infantry in Foxhound.

One Light BCT consisting of light cavalry and light infantry

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  john melling

So using what is already on order and one Light BCT that exists on paper with no designated equipment. Or have I interpreted that wrong?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

The LBCT exists, It’ll be one of the infantry brigades of 1 Division. The army website ( which is utterly useless btw for any real detail) used to quote 1 Div as having a deployable light infantry bde without ever revealing which!
Prior to A2020R up to 2015 two of the then 7 brigades had the CS and CSS assets to enable them to deploy and be part of the army rule of 5. With those cuts it’s a mass of LI with 3 regs of Jackal too.
So one of 4, 7, 11, 51 bdes.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago

Deployable, but with what equipment? That will be interesting to see. What will be the LBCTs’ orbats

Last edited 3 months ago by AndyCee
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

You’re not wrong. My guess re ORBAT. One will have Foxhound, I guess 3 battalions with a Jackal L Cav Reg. That’s in keeping with the comment months back from a MG that our formations would be square from now on-that is 4 manoeuvre units. Unless they’re cut the CS and CSS already exist in the formations assigned to what would have been the 1st Strike Bde and the Strike Exp Gp. Artillery Reg , x12 LG as that’s all there is for now. The batteries in those regiments currently have 6 each plus TAC Gp batteries. LML HVM battery.… Read more »

John Mayall
John Mayall
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

The Boxers are modular & I believe there are now 19 different modules available, so they are able to rapidly reconfigure the vehicles (in around an hour) according to the mission, all in all, a very capable & adaptive piece of kit!

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  John Mayall

I appreciate what you say John. I have previously advocated setting up the strike brigades as an all Boxer force made up of various models and their convertible sub sections. At the moment though, and it may change, no one is talking about buying different systems.
In any case, if we are now back to two properly equipped armoured brigades…CR3, Ajax, I would prefer to see a tracked APC in the mix., Ares maybe, slightly reconfigured.

John Mayall
John Mayall
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

I agree Geoffrey, too much is too few sometimes, it’s not about numbers anymore, it’s about capability & firepower. When I served in the 80’s/90’s the armed forces were twice the size as what they are now but had less firepower, everything had to be shared (helicopters, artillery etc) so the Brigade’s looked good on paper i.e. 24 Airmobile & 5 Airborne (I served in both) could not operate simultaneously. For once, we have a defence minister who has served & knows what he is talking about! I believe we are on the right tracks now (no pun intended) I… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Best post here Geoffrey. It is so laughable there should be a national enquiry.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

I find it astonishing that the Boxer project started in 1993 (UK joined the project originally in 1996) and until a week ago we were going to acheive FOC by 2032 (now accelerated to 2030). Is this really going to be a cutting-edge vehicle after such a long gestation?

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

True but the yanks LAV’s come into service mid 70’s ,they just keep upgrading them.

Pacman27
Pacman27
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes it is cutting edge, TD has an article on FRES if you really want to depress yourself. it is an extremely capable platform and with the US improving and lightening the apps trophy system to 1tonne I believe can be mproved further. its particularly good for a force like the uk as the base and payload can be separated improving payload availability and reducing TOC. we don’t have to think too much about creating different systems from scratch as we have one common set of inputs. it is definitely a benchmark system albeit there are others also available non… Read more »

John
John
3 months ago

Are the FV430 or Bulldogs APC’s getting replaced? Warrior was introduced because the FV430 was too slow and underarmed to keep up with the Challenger MBT’s. The design is nearly 60 years old, so maintenance costs must be high?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  John

Will probably be quietly dropped.

simon
simon
3 months ago
Reply to  John

Wasn’t Bulldog basically a full rebuild of a FV430? They should be cheaper to keep in service

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  simon

The bulldog was quite a deep rebuild and did ok in Iraq. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, id rather keep the bloody Bulldog than have formations walking!

simon
simon
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

It would seem a logical choice to keep them in service given there running cost and the fact they been rebuilt. Now I have said that I expect they will be retired

Last edited 3 months ago by simon
peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago
Reply to  John

The 430 series cost about 1/4 of running a warrior, this is why MOD likes them although the armour a bit thin 12.7 mm. The cummings engine in the Bulldog version is pretty good ! Seems the exhaust has changed again recently so maybe they are not going anytime soon!

Grant
Grant
3 months ago

Why will it take 8.5 years to full introduce 500 or so vehicles?

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Good question.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

I’d read 1 a week is the build time! No idea if correct mind.

Pacman27
Pacman27
3 months ago

But that means a minimum of 7 per week per line Daniele as its 7 day for each unit and there will be multiple units per day if we want, sadly it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a 10 year contract to build 500 vehicles. I am sure if we ordered 2500 the cost would reduce dramatically and we would finally be able to arm our much smaller army with the kit they need. let’s hope we actually merge all the military’s requirements (c.50 k vehicles) into an industrial strategy and create or repurpose An industrial estate or car… Read more »

Grant
Grant
3 months ago

Well I guess that would make sense… I guess yheybare stringing it out for employment purposes?

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

Ferrari’s and Rolls Royce’s are built quicker.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  Grant

It’s the gold plating

Grant
Grant
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

What have they gold plated…. does it even have a gun!!

Mike
Mike
3 months ago

Seen the French Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie? Years ahead of British project and in service. 

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

POS compared with Boxer.

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Both are destroyed by an anti tank missile….

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 months ago

Can someone really tell me why we need tracks and why we need to be forward based in Germany. given we have left the EU and the fact that most of mainland Europe do not fund their own defence properly, should the uk really be putting an armoured force into the mainland or should we contribute forces that benefit us on a day to day basis and can be used to reinforce the mainland if required. surely a larger Air Force and a missile shield / precision fires capability that can stretch all the way to Moscow is better than… Read more »

john melling
john melling
2 months ago