Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL – a joint venture in which Rheinmetall owns 55% and BAE Systems 45%) will be one of the primary vehicle manufacturers in the UK undertaking fabrication of structures for the BOXER armoured vehicle, in support of the recently announced contract for over 500 vehicles placed on behalf of the British Army.
RBSL will manufacture, assemble, integrate and test the complete vehicles at its Telford facility in the West Midlands. The BOXER will fulfil the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement, for which a contract was awarded to Artec – a joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann – by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, or OCCAR – an international organisation dedicated to efficient and effective management of existing and future joint armament programmes.
The MIV contract award will sustain jobs at RBSL sites in and around Telford, Washington (UK), Bristol and Dorset. The company will also double its apprentice intake for 2019 and maintain this level over the next five years to grow RBSL’s Early Careers community.
The complete programme will also create and sustain a vibrant national supply chain, with substantial investment across the industrial base in training and capital equipment. The programme aims to source more than 60%, by value, of the vehicle content from UK suppliers, ensuring that the UK maintains sovereign manufacturing and engineering expertise to support the vehicles. The value of the contract has been announced as £2.3 billion (€2.6 billion).
“Not only will the delivery of BOXER provide the British Army with a complete step-change in capability to meet their MIV requirement, it will also protect vital engineering and manufacturing skills as a sovereign capability to the UK […] RBSL has a proud heritage of working with the British Army and remains the Design Authority for almost all of the UK’s in-service armoured vehicle fleet. This programme builds on that relationship and marks a new chapter in vehicle manufacture for the UK defence industry,” stated RBSL Managing Director, Peter Hardisty.
The British Army will receive four BOXER variants: Infantry Carrier, Specialist Carrier, Command, and Ambulance. BOXER has a service life of over 30 years and will play a major role in the British Army’s Strike concept, as well as ensuring compatibility with NATO allies.