British Army re-joins Boxer programme

Posted on 12 Apr 2018 and read 1223 times
British Army re-joins Boxer programme The British Army has taken a step towards exploring a deal for a fleet of new armoured vehicles, potentially supporting a significant number of British jobs, after announcing at the end of March that it is re-joining the Boxer programme and exploring options to equip the Army with the 8x8 troop carriers.

The UK played a major role in the original design, development and testing of the Boxer, and it would re-assume the rights it had as a project partner if a deal was to go through — allowing the option for the vehicle to be built in — and exported from — the UK.

The deal could see the Boxer fully assembled in the UK, with at least 60% of the manufacturing with British industry, thereby sustaining and developing UK industrial capabilities, facilities and skills.

Artec, the consortium that manufactures the Boxer, has already made commitments to British industry by signing partnership agreements with BAE Systems, Pearson Engineering and Thales UK in anticipation of a deal being struck.

It is expected that British companies would compete for the manufacture and supply of many of the vehicle’s sub-systems, as well as for a full production and assembly line in the UK.

It has been estimated that Artec’s planned investment in the UK could secure or create at least 1,000 jobs, based across the country and including locations such as Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Stockport, Telford and Wales.

The MoD is now negotiating with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation and Artec.

The Assessment Phase (concluding in 2019) will consider the comparable benefits of manufacturing locations and different supply chains for Boxer, as well as ‘value for money’.

Any deal will be subject to commercial negotiation and assessment in 2019, and the aim is to have the first vehicles in service with the Army in 2023.

As part of the proposed deal, the UK is also expected to see substantial inward investment from Rheinmetall, one of Artec’s parent companies, which signalled its intention to launch a production and integration centre for armoured vehicles in the UK as part of the programme.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Artec’s other parent company, already has a substantial UK manufacturing facility in Stockport, where it designs, manufactures and supports complex military equipment that is as far afield as the USA and Australia, as well as parts of Europe.

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