Australia takes delivery of first new Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles

The first of the fleet of new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) Boxer for the Australian Defence Force has been unveiled at a ceremony on 24 September 2019, at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane. The 211 new Boxer 8x8 CRVs will be delivered by Rheinmetall Defence Australia under the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability program.

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Australian Minister for Defence Senator the Honourable Linda Reynolds CSC, at the acceptance ceremony for the Australian Army’s first Boxer vehicle at Enoggera Barracks, Brisbane. (Picture source Australia MoD)

Australian Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the new Boxer armored vehicles, with their high levels of protection, firepower and mobility, will provide a world-class capability to the Australian Army. Minister Price also announced an additional seven small businesses that have been contracted by Rheinmetall as suppliers for the first 25 Boxer vehicles.

This brings to a total of 12 small businesses across Australia who will contribute to the Boxer program, ensuring the delivery of these vehicles is a national enterprise. The first 25 vehicles will be assembled in Germany and delivered to Australia as part of technology transfer activities to familiarise Australian workers and suppliers on the specific manufacturing techniques of these vehicles.

The remaining vehicles will be assembled at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence facility in Redbank, near Ipswich, using companies located across Australia.

In August 2019, Germany’s Rheinmetall announced the signature of a €2.1 billion (Au$3.3 billion, $2.27 billion) contract to supply Australia with 211 Boxer wheeled armored vehicles. The Australian Defence Force will introduce several variants of the Boxer 8×8 vehicles including 133 of the reconnaissance variant with the Lance turret system and 30mm automatic cannon, according to Rheinmetall.

Delivery of the Boxer vehicles will take place between 2019 and 2026, with the first expected to be available for training in 2020. More than 40 Australian companies will be included in the program, the company added.

In March, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced the Au$5.2 billion (€3.3 billion, $4.1 billion) acquisition, the largest ever for the Australian Army.

The Australian Government will spend Au$5.2 billion to acquire 211 Boxer vehicles, which will replace the Army’s current aging Australian Light Armoured Vehicle fleet.

The Boxer is a German-Dutch multirole armored 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 program is being managed by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation).

The Lance turret was developed by the German Company Rheinmetall featuring a new modular design. Its main armament is normally a Rheinmetall MK30-2/ABM 30mm automatic cannon, though similar weapons of this type may also be used. Up to 200 rounds of two different types of ammunition can be loaded without leaving the safety of the fighting compartment. A 7.62 x 51mm or .50 cal. machinegun serves as secondary armament.

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