John Cockerill offers new fire support vehicle based on Boxer 8x8 armored vehicle with 105mm weapon station


According to a Tweet and picture released on Twitter by Nicholas Drummond, a British Defence industry consultant, and commentator, the Belgian company John Cockerill has shown a project that integrates its 105mm 3000 Series Weapon System on Boxer 8x8 armored vehicle during the International Armored Vehicle Conference that was held in London in January 2020.
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Drawing of Boxer 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with John Cockerill 105mm weapon station (Picture source: Twitter account of Nicholas Drummond)


The Boxer is a multirole 8x8 armored vehicle designed by an international consortium and produced by the ARTEC GmbH (armored vehicle technology) industrial group, and the program is being managed by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). The vehicle is in service with The Netherlands and Germany. In April 2018, the British Government joined the Boxer program for its Mechanized Infantry Vehicle (MIV) program. On 10 September 2019, it was revealed that the target date for UK's MIV program to receive its main gate approval was 22 October 2019. It was reported that the business case for the purchase of an initial batch of 508 vehicles, valued at about GBP1.2 billion (US$1.48 billion), was under scrutiny by financial, commercial, and technical experts before receiving the final approval by the ministers. UK MoD (Ministry of Defense) officials submitted their final business case for the purchase of the Boxer MIVs on 9 September 2019 to meet the British Army's target of getting its first Boxer in service by 2023

The Boxer is based on a modular design offering the possibility to easily remove the rear part of the vehicle to integrate different types of mission’s modules or weapon stations. The modules incorporate a primary safety cell with a triple floor. The base vehicle operates independently from the modules. Units are air transportable. The modules are interchangeable in less than one hour.

With this modularity, the Boxer can be easily adapted to be fitted with different types of weapon systems including manned and unmanned turret armed with light and medium caliber weapons as well as a cannon of up to 120mm. The weapon station is reconfigurable to suit the specific customer requirements and the module for mission-specific equipment is replaceable within one hour.

The concept of a wheeled armored vehicle armed with a 105 or 120mm cannon is not new: the Italian company IVECO-Oto Melara developed in 1996 the Centauro tank destroyer based on an 8x8 vehicle chassis. Today, many armies in the world try to find new fire support vehicles offering the firepower of a tank with the mobility of a wheeled armored vehicle that can be easily deployed by a military transport aircraft.

The Boxer 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with the Belgian-made John Cockerill 105mm 3000 Series Weapon System will represent a new generation of fire support combat vehicles offering high mobility, protection and firepower. One of the key features of the Boxer is its mobility. Chassis, suspension, and powerpack of the vehicle operate independently from the rear module. A permanent eight-wheel-drive and an automatic transmission with selectable differential locks let the Boxer overcome even the most difficult terrain. The tires are equipped with run-flat elements and through the central tire inflation system, the tire pressure can be adjusted according to the terrain type. The two front axles are steerable. The independent suspension allows for both high speed on roads and excellent off-road handling characteristics. Through the use of lateral wheel brakes, the Boxer can be turned even within very small spaces.

The John Cockerill 3000 Series weapon station is a single platform accepting guns of different calibers and their corresponding technological modules to be integrated onto the same turret: automatic 25 mm, 30 mm, 30/40 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm caliber guns, along with direct fire guns of 90 and 105 mm, which are also able to fire anti-tank missiles.

The "standard" form of the Cockerill 3000 Series provides full digital weapon stabilization and digitalized fire control system to deliver a very high target-hit chance. The turret also boasts thermal and day sights to provide 24-hour operation weather the vehicle is moving or static. The Cockerill 3000 Series can be protected with ballistic protection up to STANAG Level 5.


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