The British Army will receive 100 extra Boxer armored vehicles, bolstering the program to a total of 623 vehicles as the U.K. maintains defense ties with Germany.
The modern digitalized armored vehicles can be used to transport troops to the frontline and can be rapidly reconfigured to fulfil different roles on the battlefield.
The U.K. and Germany have worked closely together on the Boxer program for the British Army, with the Boxer build in the U.K. benefitting from German expertise, data and collaboration.
With more than 400 Boxer vehicles, Germany has had older variants of the vehicle in service for more than 10 years, including service in Afghanistan. The success of the vehicles with the German Army means they continue to develop new variants.
“In these difficult times, our deep defense partnership offers reassurance to our people and the wider world, while also ensuring we are ready to respond to new threats,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “This joint program will ensure our militaries have state-of-the-art equipment as the invasion of Ukraine shakes the very foundations of European peace and security.”
“This contract extension is great news for the Boxer program and committing to buying an extra 100 vehicles demonstrates our confidence in the program and the benefits of the capability,” said Chris Bushell, Director General Land at Defence, Equipment and Support. “Not only is this great news for the future of the British Army but it will also boost our commitment to investing in the U.K.’s defense industry and supply chains, meaning we can retain critical engineering and manufacturing skills in the U.K.”
The first 117 Boxer vehicles for the British Army are being built on German production lines, as U.K. facilities in Telford and Stockport ramp up for the remaining 506 and begin manufacturing.
The first Boxer vehicles will arrive in units from 2023, with the overall program protecting up to 1,000 jobs nationally, enhancing skill sets and creating an ambitious U.K. apprenticeship scheme.
“This order will accelerate the delivery of the Boxer fleet to the British Army and increase its numbers,” said Defense Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin. “The land equipment upgrade is a vital element of the Integrated Review, on which we continue to deliver. Doing so, alongside our German allies, creates opportunities for both our Armed Forces.”
As an addition to the £2.8 billion contract announced in 2019, manufacture of the additional vehicles will commence shortly. U.K. production is focused in Telford through Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), and Stockport through WFEL, with supply chain sub-contracts across the U.K., including in Glasgow with Thales.
Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Tickell KBE, said, “This is a significant announcement for the Army in enhancing this key capability under the Integrated Review. Boxer will form the core of our modernized Armored Brigade Combat Teams and it is great news for our service personnel getting more of these excellent platforms as part of delivering Future Soldier, whilst investing in the U.K.’s defense industry and supply chains.”