‘Boxer’ touted as answer to British Army’s needs

Posted on 29 Sep 2017 and read 1067 times
‘Boxer’ touted as answer to British Army’s needsA new military vehicle being promoted as the answer to the British Army’s needs has been unveiled by German manufacturer Rheinmetall (www.rheinmetall.com).

The company showcased its ‘Boxer’ armoured vehicle at the recent Defence and Security Equipment International show in Docklands and is highlighting its UK credentials, hoping to win a major contract.

The British Army is keen to replace its ageing wheeled armoured vehicles with more-capable ones. Its generals want new eight-wheeled Military Infantry Vehicles in service as soon as possible, and sources say that a contract for 500-800 MIVs could be tendered by the end of the year.

Peter Hardisty, managing director of Rheinmetall UK, said that the Boxer is the best vehicle for the job, with its origins in a pan-European project that Britain pulled out of.

“Boxer has British DNA. Even though the UK left the consortium, the other members kept the design features that Britain wanted.”

Built by a consortium headed by Rheinmetall, Boxer is seen as a leading contender for any contract, but it was the source of controversy last year, with rival firms claiming that Rheinmetall would be given the contract without a procurement process.

“They also said that the Boxer cost twice as much as their products, and would have little manufacturing footprint in the UK — a claim denied by Rheinmetall.

Mr Hardisty said: “By value, 60% of the Boxer will be made in the UK. We are not talking about a final assembly line, but parts fabricated in the UK — in manufacturing facilities in the Midlands, the North East and Scotland.”

An MoD spokesman said: “No decision has been taken on the acquisition strategy for MIV; at this stage, our approach remains competitive procurement within the supply chain wherever possible. An announcement is not expected until the end of 2017.”

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