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Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle Australian Army

germany

Artec Boxer

Dutch Army Boxer
Unveiled / Entered Service
2003
Boxer UK
Status
in-service
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Introduction

The Artec Boxer is a modular 8×8 Fighting-Vehicle in service with the Dutch, German and Lithuanian Armies. It is scheduled to enter service with the Australian Army in 2026 (manufactured under licence) as a replacement to the ASLAV and the British Army to meet its Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement (also built under licence) in 2024.

The Boxer has a unique “Mission Module” capability. The basic vehicle (referred to as “Drive Module”) is the chassis with the forward section containing the engine and Drivers Compartment.

Traditionally referred to as family variants, there are x9 Mission Modules available for the Boxer, which can be installed or removed from the Drive Module within 30 minutes.

This offers complete flexibility and readiness for deployment, reduced operating costs and a reduced price tag.

The concept and design of the Boxer has been proven and qualified by extensive reliability and durability trials (180,000 km) with 12 prototypes in 9 different variants, according to the challenging requirements of Germany and The Netherlands since 2003.

The Boxer is manufactured by German companies KMW and Rheinmetall, who also have a number if international manufacturing facilities who also build the Boxer.

Both companies are owners of the German company ARTEC GmbH, who handle all aspects of project management and administration of the Boxer. All three companies list the Boxer and its modules as well as news on their websites.

In addition to manufacturing in Germany, Rheinmetall manufacturers the Boxer in Australia at their "Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE)" at Ipswich in Queensland and in the UK, at their RBSL facility in Telford, Shropshire (Rheinmetall bought a controlling share in BAE Systems Land division in 2019 to form  Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land aka RBSL).

Background

ARTEC GmbH was founded in the year 1999. It is a Joint Venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles and Rheinmetall Military Vehicles Neaderlands.

ARTEC is responsible for the BOXER development programme for Germany and The Netherlands, acting as the prime contractor. ARTEC is further in charge of the co-ordination of series production and is the focal point organisation for any BOXER export cases.

1990 – Major European armed forces need vehicles to face future threats.

1994 – Germany and France establish joint procurement and development study.

1995 – German, British and French governments work in close cooperation.

1996 – Competition between two Franco-German-British consortia.
Competing consortium TEAM International GTK/MRAV/VBCI.
Memorandum of Understanding between GKN, Krauss-Maffei, MaK (now part of Rheinmetall Landsysteme), Wegmann.
Establishment of ARGE GTK/MRAV/VBCI.
Concept studies of a 6×6 and a 8×8 vehicle.

1997 April – ARGE submits offer to German Procurement Agency (BWB).
The Netherlands get the status of an observer of the Programme.

1998 April – ARGE GTK wins the competition.

1999 September – France leaves the Programme.
Foundation of ARTEC.
November – bilateral contract signature.

2000 – The European agency OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperátion en matierè d’ARmament) gets customer for ARTEC.

2001 February – The Netherlands become a full partner in the Programme.
Production start of 1st Boxer prototype.

2002 December – Rollout of the first German BOXER prototype.

2003 BOXER Prototype – ready for trials and tests.
July – UK MOD announces withdrawal from the Programme.

2004 November – Germany and the Netherlands sign bilateral contract.

2005 – Begin of reliability Growth Trials with 3 prototypes.

2006 – Modified Armoured Personnel Carrier GE and Ambulance NL are presented at Eurosartory, Paris.
Modified APC starts trials.
December – Series Contract Signature.

2007 – Command Post GE modified starts trials.
Production start for 1st Ambulance GE Prototype.

2008
– Reliability Growth Trails after some 90,000 km successful finished.
Production starts for 1st Series vehicle.

2009 September 23rd – Roll out of the first BOXER Series Vehicle.

Firepower

Thanks to the vehicles modular design, the Boxer has either been demonstrated with, trialled or in service with every type of weapons platform as used on all significant armoured vehicle roles used on the battlefield. This includes:

Boxer RCH 155

Using the same 155mm, calibre Length 52 howitzer of the PzH 2000, the RCH 155 is an unmanned and fully automated Artillery Gun Module that has been trialled on a number of vehicles including the Boxer. The two man crew have a small operating compartment behind the Drive Module. It can fire up to 9 rounds a minute and can even fire on the move.

Developed by Rhienmetall, its not listed as a product on their website (they have moved on to the “Wheeled self-propelled Howitzer”) but is marketed on both Artec and KNDS (KMW re-branded name after merging with Nexus) websites.

Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle

Developed for the Australian Army Land 300 Project, the Boxer CRV features the 2 man lance turret. The German Army intends to purchase 100 vehicle under the designation “schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie” (sWaTrInf, for short) to replace their tracked Wiesel’s in 2025. READ MORE

Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)

The Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicle transports x8 infantry and features a modular turret armed commonly with a 30mm auto-cannon. This provides the infantry with potent fire support to engage enemy fighting vehicles, low flying attack helicopters or entrenched infantry. The Boxer IFV has been seen with x4 different remote turret systems (Puma aka Boxer RCT30, Lancer, Sansom and Kongsberg RT60).

The vehicle features an advanced command, control, communications, & intelligence (C3I) systems. Each infantryman has an interface providing information from the C31 systems. He also has his own electrical power supply.

The basic armor offers complete 360 degree protection against 14.5mm AP ammunition and mine protection as well as unspecified protection against air-launched bomb-lets. READ MORE

Boxer Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The Boxer APC has a x3 crew and transports x8 fully equipped infantry. 125 were initially ordered by the German Army and has been deployed with German Forces as part of ISAF in the Afghanistan War. The APC version has a FLW-200 Remote Weapon Station, which is commonly fitted with either a 7.62mm MG3 machine gun or 12.7mm M3M HMG or 40mm GMW automatic grenade launcher.

The Boxer APC as standard is fitted with advanced command, control, communications, & intelligence (C3I) systems. Each infantryman has an interface relaying information from the C3I and commander.

The Boxer APC as standard, offers 360 degree protection against 14.5mm AP ammunition, mine protection and protection from air-born bomblets. This can be increased with more effective modular armor. The Boxer APC level of protection is the same for the other Boxer variants listed below.

Boxer Brimstone

The Boxer/Brimstone mission module is a joint development between MBDA (Brimstone manufacturer) and RBSL UK (Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land at Telford where UK Boxers will be built).

Unveiled in September 2022, it has been developed as a proposed variant for the British Army and offers their Armoured Brigade Combat Teams a highly affective, multi-target engaging Anti-Tank Guided Missile destroyer. READ MORE

Boxer Fire Support

A joint project between Artec and Belgian Cockerill Defense, this new variant was unveiled in 2020. Cockerill Defense have developed a series of module turrets systems over the last decade, including their 3000 turret, capable of being fitted with medium calibre (30mm etc) and large calibre (90mm and 105mm) main guns. The Boxer Fire Support uses the 3105 model and is armed with a 105mm main gun capable of firing a barrel launched ATGM. READ MORE

Boxer Skyranger

Rheinmetalls Oerlikon Skyranger® is a modular short range air-defence system. The modular design allows the potential operator the choice of either a 30mm or 35mm revolver cannon (complete with air-burst ammunition) as well as optional short range SAM launcher and finally a choice of different radar/sensor technology. READ MORE

Protection

The Boxer is designed to offer the maximum levels of protection against conventional and unconventional threats through its modular components. The use of a Drive Module and Mission Module in the Boxers design, creates a multi-layer floor and safety cell, for improved protection against IED/Mine attacks.

Just like the Patra AMV, the Boxer is a welded steel construction with sections of modular armor along the hull sides and front. The turret can be fitted with modular armor for enhanced protection if and when required.

These modular sections consist of external mounting points where ceramic passive armored plates are attached. These can be easily removed and replaced quickly on the battlefield if damaged.

The modular armor enables the Boxers protection to be upgraded (mission dependant) from Level 1 (7.62mm) to Level 6? (30mm AP) of STANAG 4569. The passive armor is normally mounted a few centimeters away from the hulls surface.

Additional safety features include; the ready-to-fire 200 rounds of 30x173mm ammunition are kept outside of the turret’s crew compartment and all flammable liquid tanks are externally mounted of the main hull.

The crew are protected with internal spall liners and safety cells. The Boxer also features stealth-like technology for reducing Infa-Red and radar signatures. This was achieved through the use of decoupled and actively cooled plates on the front of the vehicle and the careful consideration of engine cooling.

Optional Rheinmetall systems include: Situational Awareness Systems (SAS), Laser Warning and the Rheinmetall “Rosy” smoke/obscurant protection system, which renders the vehicle invisible in the event of an attack (Soft-Kill Active Protection). None of these optional equipment are in service with the German Army, nor the Royal Netherlands Army (Dutch).

Mobility

The Boxer was designed to keep pace with the Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank (Leopard 2A6) off-road, which is in service with both Germany and the Netherlands. This requirement is met when at full combat weight and whilst in extreme environments.

The  Boxer is powered by a V8, 720hp diesel engine and features independent suspension, offering future growth potential in the vehicles payload capability without loss of mobility.

The Boxer has a permanent 8×8 drive, central tyre inflation system and 27 inch run flat tyres.

Variants and Marks

Listed below are the known support Mission Models marketed by Artec:

Boxer Command Post

The Command Post Mission Module features x3 command crew seats facing a large work station. The vehicle is packed with the latest networking and secured C4I command systems, providing an effective, mobile and protected environment for commanders on the battlefield.

Germany has ordered 65 vehicles under the designation “FuFz”. These will be fit for the IdZ-System (Infantry Soldier Of The Future) and will feature a new modern large monitor in the rear. This will be used by commanders to give other officers and dismounted infantry a real-time and accurate mission brief on a digital map.

The Netherlands have ordered 55 vehicles, which will feature a state-of-the-art C4I architecture. The Boxer Command Post has the same mobility and protection levels as the Boxer APC as well as the FLW-200 Remote Weapon Station. The vehicles crew, is Driver and Commander (who operates the RWS) bringing the total number of crew to x5.

Boxer Ambulance

The Ambulance Mission Module is a high-roofed structure providing 17.5m3 internal space and a floor-to-roof height of 1.85m. It can be used to transport: x7 seated casualties or x3 stretchers casualties or 2 stretcher and x3 seated casualties or 1 stretcher with working space on either side for medics.

72 have been ordered by Germany and 58 by the Netherlands.

Boxer Driver Training

The vehicle has a x5 man crew. The driver trainee sits in the normal driver station, with the Instructor and Examiner sitting in the training cabin. 2 other trainee drivers sit in the rear of the vehicle. The training cabin has 360 degree windows and in event of a rollover, the seating is designed to retract into the vehicle to avoid injury’s. Germany ordered 10 vehicles.

Boxer Battle Damage Repair

A specialist Mission Module used to provide diagnostic and field repairs to the Boxer family. It has a x2 man crew, Driver, Commander and x2 Technicians. Storage is provided for all the technicians diagnostic and repair tools.

Boxer Cargo

The Cargo mission module is designed to transport over 2 tonnes of supplies (cargo) across the battlefield to support the Boxer Family. The Netherlands have ordered 27 vehicles. The vehicle has the same mobility and protection levels as the Boxer APC.

Boxer Cargo/C2

The Boxer Cargo/C2 has only been ordered by the Netherlands. The crew is Driver, RWS Gunner, vehicle Commander and x3 Command crew. It serves mainly as a Command Vehicle, but has the flexibility to move the Command crews equipment, to clear a space for the transportation of either 1.5 tonnes of supplies (cargo) or transport stretchered casualties. A total of 19 have been ordered for the Dutch Army.

Boxer Armored Engineer Vehicle

Used to transport x6 combat engineers and their equipment, 41 vehicles have been ordered by the Netherlands. Demolition charges are stored in a separated stowage section for munitions. The vehicle has a x3 crew, Driver, Commander and RWS Gunner.

Operators

Australia

The Australian Defence Force have operated the 8×8 wheeled ASLAV since the 1990’s and is a second generation of the Canadian LAV series. Australia in recent years has been running a project called “Land 400” with different phases, each developing a replacement to existing vehicle types. Land 400 Phase 2 has sought to replace the ASLAV with a new 8×8 to full fill the principal role of Reconnaissance and other support roles. Vehicles started delivery in 2020. READ MORE

Germany

First Batch Order

A total of x125 APC (GTFz), x65 Command Post (FuFz), x72 Ambulance (sgSanKfz) and x10 Driver Training Vehicle Boxer variants have been ordered for the German Army (totaling 272 vehicles). This order and productions is referred to as the “First Batch”.

In May 2011, the first GTFz were handed over from the German BWB (Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement) to the Heeresamt (Federal German Army Agency). All vehicle deliveries are complete.

Second Batch Order

An order for x131 GTFz was signed on the 18th of December 2015. These vehicles were modified following feedback from their usage in the Afghanistan War. These batch 2 APC are designated GTFz A2. Finally deliveries were completed  in June 2021.

Third Batch Order

In February 2024 Germany ordered 19 Skyranger 30 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft systems which will be using the Boxer.

Delivery of the new “schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie” is scheduled to begin in 2025. Based on the Australian Army’s Boxer CRV, the new vehicle will replace the Wiesel in the fire support role for the infantry. It will feature the same 2-man Lance turret of the CRV and will utilise the capability to integrate a Spike-LR ATGM launcher. Its expected that the new 100 vehicles will be manufactured at MILVEHCOE.

Lithuania

On the 11th of December 2015, the Boxer was declared the preferred bidder by the Lithuanian State Defence Council for the Lithuanian Infantry Fighting Vehicle Programme. On the 22nd of August 2016, OCCAR on behalf of the Republic of Lithuania and ARTEC signed a contract for the procurement of BOXER Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

The contract comprises the delivery of 88 BOXER vehicles in four Infantry Fighting Vehicle versions developed for Lithuania which will be called “VILKAS” within the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

The Infantry Fighting Vehicles will be equipped with the SAMSON II Remote Turret by Israeli company Rafael. It features a 30mm auto-cannon and an anti-tank missile launcher.

First Lithuanian Boxer vehicles will be delivered by the end of 2017. The BOXER vehicle will provide the Lithuanian Army with a state of the art, mechanised infantry capability. READ MORE

The Netherlands

A total of 200 Boxer vehicles were ordered in five variants – Driver Trainer, Ambulance (Medevac), Command Post, Cargo and Pioneer. Deliveries started in 2013 and were completed in 2018.

Ukraine

A total of 36 Boxer RCH 155 have been supplied to Ukraine under Germany’s arms to Ukraine program since 2022.

United Kingdom

One of the original project contributors, the UK pulled out of the Boxer program in 2003 due to the vehicles inability to be deployed in a C130 aircraft. It’s procurement fell under the project “The Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) Utility Variant (FRES UV)”. The program ultimately ended and matured into the new MIV Programme.

In March 2018 the UK rejoined the Boxer project and the following month the vehicle was selected as the winner of their MIV Programme. READ MORE

 

Combat History

Afghanistan War

In July 2011, x5 Boxer GTFz were deployed with German Forces as part of ISAF in the Afghanistan War. In December 2012, the first 6 German Ambulance BOXER (sgSanKfz) were also deployed and by January 2013, 38 Boxer’s in all German variants were in operation in Northern Afghanistan until 2014.

Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

A total of 36 Boxer RCH 155 have been ordered with an expected delivery in early 2024 and will be pressed straight into service.

Specifications

characteristic
Result
Main Gun
Mission Module Specific
ATGM Capability
Optional
Secondary Weapons
optional-remote-weapons-station-with-mg
Ammunition Storage
N/A
Engine
V8, 720hp, MTU 8V199 TE20 Diesel (Multi-Fuelled)
Transmission
Allison HD4070 x7 speed Automatic
Top Road Speed
103 km/h
Road Range
1,050 km
Fuel Capacity
unknown
Vertical Obstacle
0.8m
Water Capability
Fording ?m
Trench Crossing
2m
Gradient
60%
Side Slope
30%
Length Gun Forward
N/A
Length Hull
7.93m
Width
2.99m
Height
2.37m (hull roof)
Ground Clearance
0.5m
Weight
Upto 35 tonne combat weight
NBC Protected
yes
Standard Armor(s) Type
steel, composite, modular
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
composite, modular
Active Protection Systems
no
Crew
commander, driver
Infantry
8