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19. June 2015

Delivery of 300th BOXER vehicle

On 19 June 2015, the 300th BOXER vehicle was delivered by the manufacturer ARTEC to the Netherland’s Army. The event shows the good progress of the BOXER production towards the total number of 472 vehicles currently under contract, with another 131 BOXER vehicles to be contracted soon. The BOXER Programme is a major co- operation between Germany and the Netherlands, managed by OCCAR. The BOXER vehicle is a heavy 8x8 all terrain armoured utility vehicle with a modular design, produced in several vehicle versions for both Armies. The BOXER has proven its extraordinary combat readiness on operations in Afghanistan.

The OCCAR-EA BOXER Programme Division was anxiously waiting for the 300th vehicle and followed the deliveries closely. Due to production running at three different facilities in parallel, it was for some time unclear which vehicle would be the 300th BOXER: A Netherland’s Ambulance vehicle from RMMV-NL in Ede or a German Ambulance vehicle (the first sgSanKfz A2 from KMW in Munich or a sgSanKfz A1 from RMMV in Kassel). Finally it turned out that the 46th Netherland’s Ambulance vehicle became the 300th vehicle, which was delivered on 19 June 2015 by RMMV-NL (Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Netherlands) in Ede to the Netherlands.

Way ahead:

Over the last half year, a lot of new activities have developed. Germany has tasked OCCAR with the procurement of a second batch of 131 BOXER Armoured Personnel Carrier vehicles (Gruppentransportfahrzeug / GTFz) in the A2 configuration to be delivered in the 2017-2020 timeframe. In addition, OCCAR was also tasked to manage the upgrade of all German BOXER vehicles to the A2 configuration. 

In the first half of 2015, some other Nations also showed serious interest in the BOXER vehicle. In this respect, OCCAR-EA, Industry and the BOXER Participating States have informed the interested Nations in detail about the BOXER vehicle and potential ways of procurement including entry into the OCCAR Programme. 

All in all it can be stated that the OCCAR-EA BOXER Programme Division is in the middle of a very interesting and challenging period in which the concept of the BOXER (Driver Module/Mission Module) has proven to be most successful.

Background:

The series delivery of the German BOXERs started in 2009 with the official ‘roll-out’ in September of that year. In August 2011 Germany operationally deployed the first five BOXERs GTFz A1 in Afghanistan. In 2012 up to 34 German BOXERs were deployed to the area of operations in various versions. Feedback from the users was positive and the vehicles were very well appreciated by their crews. 

The 100th BOXER was delivered in January 2012 by Krauss Maffei Wegman (KMW), one of the 2 manufacturers of the German BOXERs. They produce the Gruppentransportfahrzeug (GTFz; Armoured Personnel Carrier), Fahrschulfahrzeug (FahrSchFz; Driver Training Vehicle) and schwergepanzertes Sanitätskraftfahrzeug (sgSanKfz; Ambulance). Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) produces the Führungsfahrzeug (FüFz; Command Post Vehicle) and some of the sgSanKfz. The 200th BOXER was delivered on 21 August 2013 by RMMV-NL in Ede. This happened to be the first vehicle for The Netherlands in the Driver Training Vehicle (DTV) version. RMMV-NL is the manufacturer of the Netherlands BOXERs. They produce the Driver Training Vehicle (DTV), Ambulance (AMB), Command Post (CP), Cargo (CAR) and Geniegroep (GNGP; Engineers Group Vehicle). 

Several BOXER prototype vehicles went through years of extensive trials and tests. Performance, protection, mobility, communication, testability, ergonomics, logistics, armament, every aspect was thoroughly checked by teams under OCCAR-EA BOXER Programme Division leadership and in cooperation with industry, the Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) at the various test facilities of industry and the Bundeswehr. Performance of the BOXER under extreme climatic conditions was for example tested in the climate chamber to -46° C and in the hot desert in Australia to +56° C. Mobility testing resulted in a maximum combat weight of 36.5 tons with the vehicle capable of driving with its independent wheel suspension at a maximum speed of 103 km/h on roads (85 km/h licensed for use). It has a permanent 8 x 8 drive with lockable differentials on all axles and an off-road logic in the ABS, combined with a central tyre inflation system and run-flat tires. The powerful V8 530 KW (720 HP) gives the BOXER a maximum range of 1050 km, while the engine is even exchangeable in the field within 30 minutes.

The vehicle was designed with maximum survivability in mind and the concept chosen combines a multi-layer floor with a safety cell to minimise the risk of a catastrophic kill by mines or IEDs. Even after a mine blast the BOXER offers sufficient residual mobility. The driver in the drive module and the rest of the crew in the mission module are operating under full armour, with the driver area partially and the crew compartment fully covered with spall liner. AP and AT mines are countered by a specially shaped bottom and floor protection. A new generation of stealth design, with low acoustic and hardly any infrared or radar signatures, adds to the level of survivability and protection for the BOXER. It offers the highest protection in its class against ballistic threats such as heavy machine guns, automatic medium calibre cannons, bomblets and artillery fragments. For the deployment of the BOXER vehicle by Germany to Afghanistan, further improvements against IEDs were made by reinforcing the mission module and creating extra protection against mines, resulting in the BOXER A1 versions. The Netherlands versions were adjusted accordingly with the additional mine protection floor as an option. Based on experiences and new regulations, new requirements including a Fire Suppression System (FSS) and a Driver Vision System (DVS) will be implemented in the A2 versions for Germany. For some of the Netherlands’ (NL) vehicles types, a new lighter Ballistic Protection material will be used in order to reduce the total weight of the vehicle and related wheel loads. 

Some facts and figures:

The development of the common and the German specific part of the BOXER vehicles is finished while the development of the NL specific part is expected to be finalized by the end of 2015.

245 of the 300 vehicles are delivered to Germany and 55 to the Netherlands. For Germany it means that only 27 vehicles (SgSanKfz vehicles) are still to be delivered. The first sgSanKfz within the A2-configuration was delivered on 18 June 2015 by KMW and the last German vehicle of the ‘First Batch’ is expected to be delivered in March 2016.

So far 55 vehicles have been delivered to the Netherlands, 8 Driver Training Vehicles and 47 Ambulances. In total 50 NL Ambulances are expected to be delivered by the end of July 2015. The delivery of the first NL CP (Command Post) vehicle is expected in July 2015. The first CARGO vehicle is expected in March 2016 and the first GNGP vehicle is expected in May 2016. The last NL vehicle is expected to be delivered in the first Quarter of 2018.