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Germany advances development of a new air defense system based on Boxer IFV

Photo: Rheinmetall

The German Parliament greenlit 1.23 billion euros for the development of prototypes of an air defense system designed for close and immediate area protection, utilizing the Boxer IFV as its foundation.

The approval represents a new step in addressing existing gaps in ground-based air defense capabilities, allowing for the initiation of a project focused on safeguarding troop formations against aerial threats and providing drone detection and defense capabilities.

The envisioned system includes essential components such as a command post, fire control tanks, radar devices, and anti-aircraft missile tanks, all of which will be based on the GTK Boxer platform. The selected anti-aircraft defense system integrates the ground-to-air variant of the IRIS-T SLS missile.

The allocated funds, initially sourced from the Bundeswehr special fund, will finance the development of crucial components, paving the way for the prototype’s expected completion in 2028, as confirmed by the German MOD.

Notably, this move comes against the backdrop of the dismantling of the Gepard anti-aircraft gunner, a previous stalwart in air defense, underlining the urgency and significance of modern, mobile, and protected air defense systems in light of recent geopolitical events, such as Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression.