Boxer (armoured fighting vehicle)
German GTK Boxer prototype
|Type||Armoured fighting vehicle|
|Place of origin||Germany/Netherlands|
|Weight||25.2 t (24.8 long tons; 27.8 short tons) (vehicle);
33 t (32 long tons; 36 short tons) (gross)
|Length||7.88 m (25 ft 10 in)|
|Width||2.99 m (9 ft 10 in)|
|Height||2.37 m (7 ft 9 in) (baseline vehicle)|
|Armor||AMAP composite armour|
|40mm automatic grenade launcher (Heckler & Koch GMG) or 12.7 mm heavy machine gun (M3M)|
|Engine||MTU 8V 199 TE20 Diesel
530 kW (711 hp)
|Power/weight||16.1 kW/t (max weight)|
|1,100 km (684 mi)|
|Speed||103 km/h (64 mph)|
The Boxer is a German-Dutch multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. It is produced by the ARTEC GmbH (ARmoured vehicle TEChnology) industrial group, and the programme is being managed by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). ARTEC GmbH is seated in Munich, its parent companies are Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV) on the German side, and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehciles Nederland B.V. for the Netherlands. Other names are GTK (Gepanzertes Transport Kraftfahrzeug; armoured transport vehicle) Boxer and MRAV for Multirole Armoured Vehicle.
The Boxer is a cooperative European design project aimed at producing the next generation of armoured utility vehicle. The project was originally started as a joint venture between Germany, Britain and France, but France left the programme in 1999, later to pursue their own design, the Véhicule Blindé de Combat d'Infanterie (VBCI). However, in early 2001 the Netherlands signed a Memorandum of Understanding and joined the project. In July 2003, shortly after the start of the Iraq war, the UK Ministry of Defence announced its intention to withdraw from the Boxer programme and focus on the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES). Each partner in the programme (including the UK) was to receive four prototypes by July 2004. The first prototype was delivered to Germany in 2002 and was subject to evaluation trials in Germany. The first Dutch prototype was delivered in October 2003. Production deliveries were scheduled to commence in 2004, but the numerous design changes and political problems delayed production until 2008.
The Netherlands requires around 400 Boxers, to replace the M577 and the support variants of the YPR-765 in the Royal Netherlands Army, with the Netherlands having already confirmed the procurement of 200 vehicles in autumn of 2006. The fighting versions of the YPR-765 will be replaced by the CV90 IFV.
On December 13, 2006 the German parliament approved the procurement of 272 Boxers for the German Army, to replace shares of its M113 and Fuchs TPz 1 vehicles. When the high numbers of Fuchs´ become obsolete by 2020, more Boxers are likely to follow.
So far, about 600 Boxers are planned for the German Army. On September 23, 2009, the first Boxer was officially handed over to the German Federal Office of Defence, Technology and Procurement (BWB).
In June 2007, the Boxer was being considered for the British FRES programme.
In spring 2011 first German production vehicles with FLW200 remote weapon stations (equipped with M2QCB machine guns and H&K 40mm GMGs) were handed over to Infantry Battalion 292 and Mountain Infantry Battalion 231 for training and deployment to Afghanistan in the second half of 2011.
The Boxer is an eight-wheeled MRAV, easily dwarfing most contemporary vehicles with its size. At 33 ton combat weight, it is also about 10 tons heavier than many other contemporary vehicles within the same role. It is designed to carry out a variety of utility missions with maximum flexibility; this is achieved via several different "mission modules" specialized for various tasks which are available separately from the vehicle. The base vehicle is independent of the modules, and modules can be interchanged within an hour. Each module incorporates a primary safety cell with a triple floor.
The Boxer is built with a high degree of standardization, and designed to be maintained easily and efficiently. It is capable of being air transported in the future A400M tactical airlifter.
Most German Boxer variants feature the remote-controlled light remote weapon station 200 (FLW 200) produced by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Dutch variants of the Boxer feature the Protector M151 Remote weapon station.
The basic vehicle shell is composed of hard steel, and "modular armour" is sandwiched between it and the vehicle cell. The three elements are held together by fastening bolts. The modular armour, currently, is a specialized ceramic mix, but future versions of the armour can be easily fitted to the vehicle by slab replacement. The hull protects against top attack bomblets and anti-personnel mines, including suspended seats to improve crew protection from explosions below the vehicle. The vehicle is outfitted with advanced thermal, radar, and acoustic stealth technology.
The German and Dutch base vehicles are identical, only the mission modules differ.
Known mission modules
- Armoured personnel carrier
- Infantry Fighting Vehicle featuring the Rheinmetall Lance turret.
- Command Post
- Engineer group carrier
- Battle damage repair
- Probable platform of the German army's future SysFla anti aircraft system, incorporating the LFK NG missile and the MANTIS gun system
- Artillery Gun Module
- Boxer CP (Boxer Command Post) — The Boxer CP is set up as a command-vehicle and is meant for deployment amongst different combat battalions. The Command Post variants of BOXER are used for command and control in theatre by acting as a centre for communication and control while being protected to a high level. Secured communication, displays for situation awareness and instruments for network enabled warfare are key characteristics of this variant. In the configurations of the German and the Dutch Armies the vehicles provide a variety of radio transmitters for secured communication and data exchange. Further features include: Mine protection (AT blast, AP), 360° ballistic protection up to 14.5 mm also at 30° elevation, Protection against bomblets and artillery fragments. The vehicle offers room for 4 workstations connected via local area network to the Battlefield Management System (BMS) and the Theater Independent Army and Air Force Network (Titaan)
- Amount ordered: 60
- Crew: 1 commander/staff-assistant, 1 gunner, 1 driver, 3 staff-officers, 1 passenger
- Boxer AMB (Boxer Ambulance) — The Boxer AMB replaced the YPR-765 prgwt variant of the AIFV (Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle) casualty transport. It can accommodate 7 casualties that are seated, or 3 lying down on stretchers. Or one of the following combinations: 3 seated and 2 lying down, or 4 seated and 1 lying down.
- Amount ordered: 52
- Crew: 1 driver, 1 commander, 1 medic
- Boxer GNGP (Boxer Geniegroep) - The Boxer GNPR is an engineering and logistics support vehicle and will be deployed for the transport of troops and engineer group equipment. This variant enables the armoured engineer group to carry out the tactical military and other tasks assigned to them properly, under protection and over a sustained period of time. It provides seating for six dismounts with space available for their personal equipment and an additional separate stowage section for munitions. It may be deployed as a support vehicle with other units or used for independent assignments such as route clearance, or as a protected work location during mine clearance or demolition operations. The Boxer GNGP replaces the YPR-765 prgm/PRCO-C3 variant of the AIFV (Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle). The Royal Netherlands Army will convert 12 Boxer vehicles to the Boxer Battle Damage Repair. (BDR) variant. The BDR variant is able to accommodate the special equipment, tools, expendable and non-expendable supplies needed to carry out diagnoses, maintenance and minor repairs if required.
- Amount ordered: 53
- Crew: 1 engineer commander, 1 driver, 1 observing commander, 1 gunner, 5 engineers
- Boxer Cargo (Boxer Cargo) — The Boxer Cargo replaces the YPR-765 prv variant of the AIFV (Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle). It is equipped with a special loading floor to secure cargo during transport and can transport a maximum of two standard one tonne army pallets. The interior design of the vehicle allows adaptation as necessary for different kinds of missions. For conducting peace keeping missions or other peace time operations the set of vehicle equipment can be changed and tailored to suit as required.
- Amount ordered: 27
- Crew: 1 commander/gunner, 1 driver
- Boxer DTV (Boxer Driver Training Vehicle) — This variant is equipped with a special training module. The vehicle is operated by a 5-men crew, with the driver sitting in the driver’s station in the Drive Module. The instructor and one crew member (possibly the driving test examiner) are seated in an elevated position in the driver training cabin. Two other crew members are accommodated in the rear of the Driver Training Module. Active occupant protection is an entirely new feature designed to protect the crew sitting exposed in the driver training cabin. In the event of a roll-over accident, the instructor and upper occupant seats are electronically sensed and are then retracted into the Driver Training Module in a controlled manner. The instructor can monitor the trainee driver via a duplicated control and display unit and override gear selector, brake and accelerator pedal of the driver’s station. Steering override is available as an option.
- Amount ordered: 8
- Crew: 1 trainee driver, 1 instructor, 2 additional trainee passengers
Potential future operators
- Lithuanian Land Force (Decision pending; a Lithuanian MoD report has recommended the Boxer for the country's M113 replacement competition, but the State Defence Council has yet to take a final decision) 
- Australian Army The Boxer IFV version is being offered for the LAND 400 program.
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