Boxer (armoured fighting vehicle)

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Boxer
Boxer Land 400.jpg
Boxer configured for Australian Land 400 Phase 2
Type Armoured fighting vehicle
Place of origin Germany/Netherlands
Service history
In service 2008–present
Used by See Operators
Specifications
Weight 24,000 kg (standard); 36,500 kg (combat)[1]
Length 7.93 m (26 ft 0 in)
Width 2.99 m (9 ft 10 in)
Height 2.37 m (7 ft 9 in) (baseline vehicle)
Crew 3 (+8)

Armor AMAP composite armour
Main
armament
40mm automatic grenade launcher (Heckler & Koch GMG) or 12.7 mm heavy machine gun (M3M)
Engine MTU 8V 199 TE20 Diesel[2]
530 kW (711 hp)
Power/weight 16.1 kW/t (max weight)
Suspension independent double wishbone coil (8x8)
Operational
range
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,[3] and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Nederland B.V. for the Netherlands.[4]

Other names are GTK (Gepanzertes Transport Kraftfahrzeug; armoured transport vehicle) Boxer and MRAV for Multirole Armoured Vehicle.

Production history[edit]

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,[5] 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).

Prototype of Lithuanian Army Vilkas (Boxer) IFV.

Boxer was considered for the abandoned British Boxer Multi Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) and FRES programmes. The latest evolution of these programmes (which has ordered the Ajax - formerly Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV)) is the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement, this requiring an (8x8) platform.[6][7]

In spring 2011 first German production vehicles with FLW 200 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.

In November 2014, the German Army ordered another batch of 131 Boxers.[8]

In August 2016, Lithuania placed an order for 88 Boxer in infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration.[9]

Design[edit]

HK GMG onboard the Boxer
GTK Boxer Detail.jpg

The Boxer is an eight-wheeled multirole vehicle, which at the time of its development easily dwarfed most contemporary vehicles with its size. With a combat weight of 33 tonnes,[10] it was also about 10 tonnes heavier than many of its then contemporaries. In recent years the size/weight differences between Boxer and its contemporaries has reduced considerably, Boxer now quoted to have a combat weight of 36,500 kg,[1] while vehicles such as STK's Terrex 3 now has a quoted combat weight of 35 tonnes, while Nexter's VBCI, Patria's AMV and GD's Piranha 5 are all around the 32 to 33 tonne mark.[11][12][13] Boxer 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.

Armament[edit]

FLW 200 RWS with 40 mm GMW

Most Boxers are equipped with a remote weapon station for self-defense. The German vehicles are usually fitted with the FLW-200 from KMW, which can be fitted with either a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun, a 12.7 mm M3M HMG or a 40 mm GMW automatic grenade launcher. The FLW-200 has dual-axis stabilization and incorporates a laser rangefinder and a thermal imager. Dutch vehicles are fitted with the Protector M151 RWS from Kongsberg.

As possible firepower upgrade KMW has developed the FLW-200+ and presented it mounted on top of a Boxer APC at Eurosatory 2012.[14] The FLW-200+ allows the usage of a 20 mm autocannon like the Rheinmetall Rh 202 with 100 rounds loaded at the gun. The RWS is two-axis stabilized and is fitted with a CCTV camera, thermal imager and laser rangefinder.[14]

A number of different turrets has been offered for the IFV mission modules. Variants fitted with the turret of the German SPz Puma, the Lance modular turret system from Rheinmetall or the Lance RC turret have been shown. These turrets are usually fitted with a 30 mm autocannon, a modern fire control system with hunter-killer capabilities and provide provisions for the adoption of anti-tank missiles.

Lithuanian Boxers will be fitted with the Israeli-made RAFAEL Samson Mk II enhanced survivability multiple weapon station with a 30 mm gun and Spike-LR anti-tank missiles capable of destroying targets out to 4 km (2.5 mi).[15]

Protection[edit]

The Boxer is constructed from rolled steel plates. On top of the steel, AMAP composite armour is fitted with shock-proof mounting bolts.[16] At some places the armour is fitted in a spaced armour configuration. The armour consists of ceramic tiles, composite materials and different types of metal alloys. According to the manufacturer the AMAP-B ballistic protection, AMAP-IED anti-IED armour and the AMAP-M mine protection are installed on the Boxer.[17] The Boxer's armour is all-round resistant to 14.5 mm armour-piercing ammunition in accordance with STANAG 4569 Level 4. The frontal arc of the vehicle has increased armour protection against medium caliber ammunition at least in accordance with STANAG 4569 Level 5.[18] The roof armour of the Boxer is designed to withstand artillery fragments and bomblets.

To increase the survivability in case of armour penetration, the crew compartment is completely covered by an AMAP-L spall liner. The spall liner stops most of the fragments of the armour and projectile. The Boxer's design has improved acoustic stealth and reduced thermal and radar signature.

The Boxer is protected against anti-vehicle mines and large improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with heavy blast even at short distances. The floor of the Boxer is multi-layered.[19] This allows the Boxer to meet at least the STANAG 4569 Level 4a requirements of mine-protections.[18] The seats in the Boxer are decoupled from the floor, which prevents the shock of a mine-detonation to be directly directed onto the crew. Provisions to mount additional passive or reactive armour have been incorporated into the Boxer's design. The design of the Boxer allows also to integrate an active protection system.[19]

Mobility[edit]

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 Airbus A400M tactical airlifter.

Variants[edit]

German GTK Boxer prototype
German Army Boxers at Camp Marmal in Afghanistan, 2011.
Boxer chassis
Boxer personnel carrier mission module

The German and Dutch base vehicles are identical, only the mission modules differ.

Known mission modules[edit]

Dutch variants[21][edit]

  • 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.[22] 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: 24[23]
    • 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.[24] 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.[25]
    • Amount ordered: 92
    • 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 (max. load 2,5 t[26]). 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.[27]
    • Amount ordered: 12
    • 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.[28]
    • Amount ordered: 8
    • Crew: 1 trainee driver, 1 instructor, 2 additional trainee passengers

Operators[edit]

Map of Boxer operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

  • Germany German Army - 403 vehicles, deliveries until 2018
  • Netherlands Royal Netherlands Army - 200, deliveries started 2013 until 2017.
  • Lithuania Lithuanian Land Force - On December 11, 2015 Lithuania decided to buy 88 Boxer armored vehicles armed with Israeli RAFAEL Samson Mk II enhanced survivability multiple weapon stations.[29] The order, worth €385.6 million, was placed on 22 August 2016 and will run from 2017 to 2021. In Lithuanian service these vehciles will be known as IFV Vilkas (Vilkas being Lithuanian for wolf).[9][30]

Potential future operators[edit]

  • Australia Australian Army — On 28 July 2016 it was announced the Boxer IFV variant was one of two vehicle types (from four) down-selected to take part in the 12-month Risk Mitigation Activity for the Australian Army's Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability, also known as the Land 400 Phase 2 programme. The CRVs are being sought to replace the army's ageing fleet of 250 Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) that reach their life-of-type around 2021. Contract award is expected in early 2018.[31]
  • Romania Romanian Army — In November 2016, Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș announced a deal with Rheinmetall to build armored personnel carriers to replace the Soviet-era BTR-70-based TAB vehicles currently in service with the Romanian Armed Forces. The deal includes no direct reference to the Boxer vehicle, but does include a joint venture structure with a local manufacturing clause, meant to generate jobs in Romania. Although not confirmed, it is possible that the Boxer vehicle could form the basis of this new program.[32]
  • United Kingdom British Army — In October 2016, it was reported that the British Ministry of Defence took its first formal step, a preliminary market engagement, for government-to-government acquisition of up to 900 Boxer vehicles.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "GTK/MRAV/PWV (Boxer) Wheeled Armoured Vehicle Programme". IHS Jane's Christopher F Foss. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  2. ^ "MTU Shop". Mtu-online-shop.de. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH". Rheinmetall Defence. Retrieved 2015-09-10. 
  4. ^ "Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Nederland B.V.". Rheinmetall Defence. Retrieved 2015-09-10. 
  5. ^ "German Parliament Approves Boxer Acquisition". Defense-update.com. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  6. ^ "On the mend: British Army looks to refreshed AFVs". www.janes.ihs.com. janes.ihs.com (IDR). Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "IHS Jane's Navigating the International Markets". www.janes.ihs.com. janes.ihs.com. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  8. ^ http://augengeradeaus.net/2014/11/mehr-boxer-radpanzer-fuer-die-bundeswehr-geplant/
  9. ^ a b "Lithuania joins Boxer programme". www.yourindustrynews.com. OCCAR. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "GTK/MRAV/PWV (Boxer) Wheeled Armoured Vehicle Programme". IHS Jane's Christopher F Foss. 2006-07-24. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  11. ^ "Eurosatory 2016: ST Kinetics launches Terrex 3 IFV". IHS Jane's Peter Felstead. 2016-06-15. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  12. ^ "Patria awaits first contract for latest AMV XP". IHS Jane's Christopher F Foss. 2016-01-01. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  13. ^ "VBCI: France's Wheeled APC". Defense Industry Daily (DID). 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  14. ^ a b Elbertzhagen, Hauptmann Timo. "GTK Boxer im Einsatz in Afghanistan - erste Erfahrungen" (PDF). Wehrtechnik (IV/2012). Mönch Publishing Group. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  15. ^ Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicles For Lithuania's Iron Wolves - Aviationweek.com, 22 August 2016
  16. ^ Nitschke, Stefan. "Schutz bei Rad- und Kettenfahrzeugen - Teil 1" (PDF). Wehrtechnik (Wehrtechnik I 2011 page 52-57). Mönch Publishing Group. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  17. ^ Rosenthal, Jürgen K. G. "Das Gepanzerte Transportkraftfahrzeug (GTK) BOXER" (PDF). Hardthöhenkurier (HHK 1/2012). K&K Medienverlag-Hardthöhe GmbH. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Geschützte Fahrzeuge (GeschFzg) (Bw)". panzerbaer.de (in German). Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  19. ^ a b "Protection - Survivability without compromise". www.artec-boxer.com. Artec GmbH. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  20. ^ KMW unveils AGM-mounted Boxer - Shephardmedia.com, 20 June 2014
  21. ^ "Boxer". Defensie.nl. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "artec-boxer.com: Command Post Vehicles". Artec-boxer.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  23. ^ http://www.army-technology.com/news/newsdutch-army-to-procure-additional-boxer-engineering-vehicles-4910954
  24. ^ "artec-boxer.com: Armoured Engineer Group Vehicle". Artec-boxer.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "artec-boxer.com: Battle Damage Repair Vehicle". Artec-boxer.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  26. ^ Gerhard Heiming: Erster Boxer in Transportversion, Europäische Sicherheit & Technik, Ausgabe 5/2016, S. 7.
  27. ^ "artec-boxer.com: Cargo Vehicle". Artec-boxer.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "artec-boxer.com: Driver Training Vehicle". Artec-boxer.com. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "Lithuania to proceed with Germany's Boxer in armoured vehicle purchase". Reuters. December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Minister J. Olekas: "The Contract of 88 IFV is the signal that Lithuania takes care of its security and investments into it seriously". Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania. August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  31. ^ Kerr, Julian (28 July 2016). "Australia shortlists AMV35, Boxer for future combat reconnaissance vehicle". Jane's IHS. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  32. ^ Adamowski, Jaroslaw (18 November 2016). "Romania to Award Armored Vehicles Deal to Germany's Rheinmetall". Defense News. Warsaw, Poland. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  33. ^ Chuter, Andrew (26 October 2016). "Britain's Soft Spot for Germany's Boxer Vehicle Raises Eyebrows in Industry". Defense News. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 

External links[edit]