The German-Dutch Boxer 8×8 armored fighting vehicle manufacturer has agreed to secure a significant local workshare and final assembly of hundreds of vehicles if Britain selects the Boxer for use with the British army. ARTEC has recently signed BAE Systems, Pearson Engineering and Thales UK, to become partners for the production of BOXER. Rolls Royce, Parker-Hannifin, WFEL and British subsidiaries of the ARTEC parent companies will also supply British content. ARTEC’s investment in the UK value chain is estimated to secure or create at least 1,000 jobs all across the country.
The agreement paves the way for significant local manufacturing of the vehicle and its systems in the UK, should the BOXER be selected by the Ministry of Defense as the British Army’s next generation Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV). MOD plans to invest about £2 billion to equip parts of the British Army’s new ‘Strike Brigades’ with up to 700 MIVs, to be fielded in a number of variants. All MIV candidates evaluated for the program are foreign – The Boxer, considered one of the leading candidates, is produced by Krauss Maffei (KMW) and Rheinmetall in Germany and the Netherlands. The French VBCI made by Nexter, KMW’s French partner in the joint KMW-Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS) corporation. The AMV-XP is designed and produced by Patria in Finland. The Piranha V, from GDLS-Europe, is based on a Swiss design. and Terrex, a Singaporean vehicle is produced by Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics.
The recent agreement sets a minimum 60% of BOXER’s value creation to be provided by those British companies which will also be responsible for the final assembly in the UK. “To ensure the best value to the British tax payer, ARTEC has defined a competitive process for the main partners and their supply chains to follow,” the company said in a statement published today. The UK partnership approach will ensure that British companies are fully embedded in the MIV supply chain.
In addition to providing workshare to UK companies, one of ARTEC’s founders – Rheinmetall – intends to establish a modern production and integration centre for armoured vehicles in the UK as part of the programme.
The UK played a major role in the design, development and testing of BOXER from 1999 to 2004. Since London wethdrew from the program, it also lost its position as a project partner. According to ARTEC, if Boxer is selected and procured, the UK would reassume the rights which it had as the original project partner. This would allow BOXER to be exported from the UK.