Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) a member of the ARTEC consortium that holds design authority for the BOXER 8x8 armoured vehicle, has contracted WFEL for production of BOXER drive module fabricated hulls over a ten-year period. In addition, WFEL will conduct assembly, integration and test (AIT) for approximately half the 500-plus BOXER Mechanised Infantry Vehicles (MIV) to be supplied to the British Army under the £2.3 billion (€2.6 billion) contract signed with ARTEC last year.
The contract marks a significant milestone for the MIV programme and for the UK’s military vehicle capability, manufacturing a new class of armoured vehicle. This next phase of the programme embeds within WFEL the welding practices specific to the manufacture of armoured steel hulls for highly protected vehicles. Company personnel have been in Germany several months, learning the intricate details of this specialist skill from KMW’s experienced technicians.
The signing of these contracts now allows further mobilisation of WFEL’s UK supply chain, including placement of firm orders to procure a variety of the machined and fabricated sub-assemblies necessary for manufacture of the BOXER hulls. Following extensive technology transfer and close collaborations with ARTEC, WFEL continues to develop a robust UK supply chain with technically capable suppliers. Detailed discussions with UK fabrication and machining SMEs are now going ahead for the provision of specific BOXER drive module hull components, in a move expected to both create and sustain jobs around the UK. Additionally, WFEL will further increase its recruitment of more specialist personnel and expects to create around 120 new long-term jobs at its Stockport site.
“The BOXER vehicles are amongst the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world and WFEL’s new state-of-the-art BOXER production hall, currently nearing completion, will be one of the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facilities of its type. We have already contracted with a number of UK suppliers for the construction, site infrastructure and security facilities for this new production facility […] The signing of these latest contracts with KMW means that WFEL can confidently move forward to implement the next stages of the UK BOXER manufacturing programme. In doing so, we are offering a significant number of long-term career opportunities for highly skilled personnel to work on producing these advanced military vehicles, which will provide key defence capabilities for the British Army as part of its Strike Brigade. We look forward to engaging with yet more supply chain partners as we move another step closer to the first of these uniquely modular military vehicles rolling off our production lines and being delivered to the British Army,” stated WFEL Managing Director, Ian Anderton.