Home Europe Rheinmetall starts construction of first Boxer vehicle prototypes for British Army

Rheinmetall starts construction of first Boxer vehicle prototypes for British Army

Boxer armored vehicle
Photo: British Army

German military vehicle specialist Rheinmetall has started building first prototypes for the British Army’s Boxer armored vehicle program.

While most of the 500 vehicles the UK has committed to buying will be built in the UK, Rheinmetall will develop and fabricate first prototypes at its plant in Kassel, Germany where the first series vehicles will also be produced.

In the UK, main contractors Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and WFEL will be responsible for delivering the vehicles. Workers at the German plant will share technical knowledge, particularly their specialist welding expertise, with British colleagues at RBSL.

The British Army’s 500-strong fleet is worth £2.8 billion and will be made up of four variants: an infantry carrier, a specialist carrier, a command vehicle and an ambulance.

Delivery of the highly protected 8×8 armored vehicles is due to begin at the end of 2022 with the first vehicles scheduled to be ready for service in 2023.

Photo: British Army

The Boxer program is part of comprehensive modernization projects for the British Army, including the roll-out of the Challenger 3 tank and the introduction of the Ajax armored fighting vehicle.

Ajax is being built in Wales, Boxer will be built in Telford and Stockport, while Challenger 3 will be built in Telford. All these factories depend on dozens of other British companies, from all four corners of the nation, to build the new fleets and deliver the Army’s ‘Future Soldier’ transformation.

The Boxer’s modular architecture enables many variants, with new variants and upgrades already in the works. So far, some 700 vehicles in twelve different configurations have been ordered by NATO partners Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania. Moreover, Australia – a close NATO ally – has ordered 211 Boxer vehicles in several different versions, the first of which have already been delivered.