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Australia contracts local company for Boxer remote weapon station deliveries

An Australian Army Boxer CRV on display during exercise Chong Ju at Puckapunyal training area, Victoria, in May 2018. Photo: Australian defense ministry

An Australian company has been awarded an AU$45 million contract to supply remote weapon stations (RWS) for the Australian Army’s Boxer vehicles.

The New South Wales-based Electro Optic Systems (EOS) will deliver 82 advanced RWS for the Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles under the second phase of the LAND 400 program.

Defense minister Linda Reynolds said the signing of the contract brought Army a step closer to having world-class combat reconnaissance capability.

“These cutting edge remote weapon stations will provide a superior self-protection capability for our Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicle crews,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The LAND 400 Phase 2 program will not only deliver Australia a brand new, cutting edge capability, but will also ensure we are well placed to work together with industry.”

The phase 2 of the LAND 400 program will see Australia buy 211 combat reconnaissance vehicles as replacement for its light armored vehicle fleet. Subsequent phases envision the acquisition of up to 450 infantry fighting vehicles (as replacement for the M113 armored personnel carrier) and up to 17 maneuver support vehicles.

Boxer manufacturer Rheinmetall is assembling early vehicles in Germany but will base its Australian and New Zealand headquarters as well as its manufacturing hub in South East Queensland as part of technology transfer activities. A resident project office has been established in Hamburg, Germany, to support the initial delivery of the capability. These vehicles will be shipped to Australia for final assembly. After this initial phase, vehicles will be fully assembled in Australia.

The Boxer 8×8 CRV will be equipped with the Rafael-developed Spike LR anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system, Kongsberg-delivered RWS for Block I vehicles and EOS-developed RWS for Block II.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia delivered the first Boxer 8×8 CRV on September 24, 2019. Final vehicle deliveries are expected in 2026.