The Australian Army has declared initial operational capability for its fleet of Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles.
The service achieved the milestone under the LAND 400 Phase 2 program after receiving the first batch of 25 production vehicles from Rheinmetall in June last year. The country earlier received six vehicles for trials and training.
The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Simon Stuart said the Boxer was tested during exercise Sea Raider and is now employed within the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade.
“Exercise Sea Raider demonstrated the important capability boost provided by the Boxer, and its place as part of the land force and joint operations,” Lieutenant General Stuart said.
“The Boxer will protect our soldiers in high-threat environments as they seek information about an adversary. This information will then help direct our combined arms fighting system for best combat effectiveness.
“The Boxer can fight its way out of trouble using its 30mm cannon, and as we have just seen during exercise Sea Raider, can be deployed from amphibious ships.
“The Boxer improves our ability to succeed on operations and survive in battle,” said Lieutenant General Stuart.
Australia is buying 211 Boxers in five different variants from Rheinmetall under the Phase 2 of the A$5.2 billion LAND 400 project. The Boxer is replacing the light armored vehicles currently in service.
While the early vehicles are being assembled in Germany, Rheinmetall Defence Australia established its Australia-New Zealand headquarters and military vehicle center of excellence in Ipswich, Queensland, from where the Boxer CRVs will be delivered.
The company is expected to deliver all of the vehicles on order by 2027 and will continue to deliver upgrades and conduct repairs at the Redbank facility.
“Australia has a reputation for building high-quality military vehicles. The Boxer will build on this established national industrial expertise.
“This project is a great example of the way defense and industry work together to deliver large-scale and complex capabilities,” said Lieutenant General Stuart.
“This combination of variants and ability to upgrade them here in Australia makes the Boxer an incredibly adaptable vehicle that our modern Army needs,” said Lieutenant General Stuart.
Australian Boxers will be equipped with the Rafael-developed Spike LR anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system, Kongsberg-delivered remote weapon stations for Block I vehicles and EOS-developed remote weapon stations for Block II.