Mechanised Infantry Vehicle

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The Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) is the British Army's concept of an 8x8 wheeled vehicle. On 31 March 2018 the United Kingdom rejoined the Boxer (armoured fighting vehicle) programme in order to move to an assessment phase, which may see the Boxer selected.[1]

On 19 July 2018 via a voluntary transparency notice the UK MoD disclosed its intent to order between 400 and 600 Boxers in four variants plus driver training vehicles, reference vehicles and support. The contract will contain options to increase the quantity of vehicles by up to an additional 900.[2]

On 19 September 2018, UK Defence Minister Stuart Andrew announced that Artec had been given the go-ahead to invite industry to bring forward actual contractible proposals for work on Boxer, allowing Artec to complete their supplier selection process before returning to the MOD with a formal proposal in 2019. Figures remain as 'over 500' and with the first vehicles to be in-service by 2023.[3]


The concept of MIV arose through the failed Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) programme, which was to deliver vehicles that would replace the British Army's reconnaissance and Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) fleet. The FRES Utility Vehicle (UV) was that specific programme to create armoured personnel carriers to replace vehicles such as the FV432 and CVR(T) variants such as the Spartan.

The winning design provisionally selected for the FRES Utility Vehicle contract was the Piranha V, manufactured by General Dynamics.[4] However, no production order was announced, and the programmes was later restructured and then failed to restart. FRES was cancelled and split into two vehicle programmes: SCOUT which would later be the Ajax (Scout SV) and the Utility Vehicle.[5]

Army 2020 plan[edit]

After the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010, then Lieutenant General Nick Carter formed the Army 2020 concept to shape the British Army. That plan envisioned three "Armoured Infantry Brigades" each with a Heavy Protected Mobility battalion. This unit would have Mastiff vehicles and later, "Utility Vehicle[s]" or UV, the concept from FRES UV.[6]

Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV)[edit]

The UV programme later transformed into the MIV programme. In September 2015, Chief of the General Staff General Sir Nick Carter mentioned to reporters that the British Army wished to revive the UV through a MIV programme.[7] This was further confirmed in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review fact sheets. The MIV vehicles, along with the Ajax (Scout SV) vehicles, will form two new Strike Brigades.[8]

Design and characteristics[edit]

Several news articles had speculated that it might be based on the design of the French VBCI infantry fighting vehicle. In February 2014, France agreed to lend a few VBCIs to the British Army for testing. French military sources also reported that the British Army is interested in purchasing the vehicle.[9] General Dynamics Land Systems also offered a model while ST Kinetics offered its Terrex as a variant.[10][11] The Boxer and Patria AMV X were favourites, as well.[12]

On 31 March 2018 the British Army rejoined the Boxer programme. The Boxer is an eight-wheeled multirole vehicle, consisting of two key elements: the platform/drive-line and the removable mission module. The mission module is a key feature of Boxer, it allowing the vehicle to be rapidly changed to meet different operational requirements. Mission modules are attached by four points and can be swapped within an hour under field conditions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "British Army re-joins Boxer programme in step towards new armoured vehicles". British Government. 31 March 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ "UK orders 400-600". 19 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  3. ^ "British Companies Get Green Light to Press Ahead with New Army Vehicle Plans, Defence Minister Announces". 19 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  4. ^ Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Design selected for future armoured vehicle for British Army (FRES) Archived 2009-09-03 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to procure a class of Future Rapid Effects System Utility vehicles as part of the Armoured Vehicles Programme". UK Hansard. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Army 2020 Brochure July 2013" (PDF). British Army. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  7. ^ Chuter, Andrew (19 September 2015). "UK Returns Sights to 8x8 Armored Vehicle". Defense News. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  8. ^ "SDSR 2015 Defence Fact Sheets" (PDF). British Government. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  9. ^ British Army could have been interested to purchase Nexter VBCI 8x8 armoured infantry fighting vehicle -, 2 February 2014
  10. ^ "General Dynamics UK targets UK MIV requirement". IHS Janes. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Terrex eyes up MIV". Shephard News. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Boxer Spars With Rivals Over British MIV Requirement". DefenseNews. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017.