New variant of Boxer 8x8 armored fitted with RT60 turret for Middle East customer
According to a tweet published by Nicholas Drummond on May 19, 2021, German company ARTEC, a joint venture of Kraus-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Defense has developed a new variant of the Boxer 8x8 wheeled armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) for a Middle East customer fitted with a remote weapon station Protector RT60 from Norwegian company Kongsberg defense.
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The new variant of the Boxer 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with a Kongsberg IFV variant of the RT60 remote weapon station. (Picture source Twitter account Nicholas Drummond)
The Boxer is a wheeled multirole armored vehicle manufactured by the German consortium ARTEC under a program managed by OCCAR, the European Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation. The BOXER Program provides the German (DE), Netherlands (NL), Lithuanian, and the United Kingdom (UK) Armies, with a new generation of all-terrain armored utility vehicles on the basis of balanced capabilities of transport capacity, mobility, protection, survivability, growth potential and efficient Life Cycle Costs.
The Boxer 8x8 armored vehicle is now in service with Germany, the Netherlands. In 2016, Lithuania joined the Program with a contract to buy 91 BOXER vehicles, under the local name of Vilkas. On November 5, 2019, it was announced that a £2.3 billion deal for Boxer had been signed by the United Kingdom. There will be four variants, for a total of 528 units. Deliveries will start in 2023. In December 2019, the UK joined the BOXER program following integration activities and contract negotiations.
The Boxer is one of the latest generations of 8x8 armored featuring a unique design with two key elements including the driveline and powerpack and the removable combat mission module. The driver is located at the front right of the hull with the powerpack to its left. The combat module is fitted at the rear of the platform/drive module, it can be configured according to missions or customers' requirements and is attached by four points and can be swapped within an hour under field conditions.
The Protector KT60 is a remote weapon station that can be fitted with medium caliber weapons. It is the first remotely operated turret to be fielded within the U.S. Army, and as of today, the system is also selected for US Marine Corps and Robotic vehicle programs.
The RT60 is the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variant in the PROTECTOR turret family. For the Middle East customer, the RT60 turret will be armed with one XM813 30mm chain gun manufactured by the American company Northrop Grumman, one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The armament will also include the MMP anti-tank guided missile produce by MBDA. The turret will be also fitted with Catherine an ultra-compact thermal imaging camera from French company Thales.