14 Aug 2012

The Boxer – modular, multifunctional, multinational

In scenarios ranging from high-intensity combat to nation building, modern armed forces face a whole host of symmetric and asymmetric threats in far-flung areas of operation across the globe. Accomplishing the mission today requires superior tactical, operational and strategic mobility, hard-hitting, scalable firepower as well as excellent command and control capabilities. Moreover, with the spectrum of contemporary threats extending from roadside bombs and radiological hazards to RPGs and artillery shells, the need for adequate force protection is more pressing than ever.

By the same token, there is no denying the need for full interoperability of ground, air and naval forces in current and future operations, as well as the ability to cooperate with the armed forces of other nations. Successful outcomes depend increasingly on taking a modular, multifunctional, multinational approach to military operations. This fact is reflected in numerous defence technology projects centring on a family of armoured vehicles variously configured for C4I, reconnaissance, combat, transport or medivac roles.

First delivery to Bundeswehr in September 2009

As leading suppliers of system and equipment for the world’s ground forces, Rheinmetall Defence and its partners in Germany and around the world can draw on a comprehensive array of products, enabling them to offer flexible, single-source concepts for equipping the modern military.

Jointly developed by Rheinmetall Defence and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and other leading defence contractors in the ARTEC consortium, the Boxer, a wheeled armoured transport and combat vehicle, is an outstanding example of a pioneering multinational defence project.

Mobility, survivability, modularity, flexibility, operational effectiveness and growth potential were from the outset key performance criteria for this ambitious multilateral project. The ARTEC consortium transferred the first serially produced Boxer to the Bundeswehr in September 2009.

Innovation from start to finish

From the very beginning, the Boxer project was predicated on innovation potential. For example, the initial catalogue of performance criteria already covered the full range of threats encountered in contemporary asymmetric conflicts – a very prescient document, considering it dates from the comparatively peaceful 1990s. Moreover, its designers were expected to take networked operations into account as well as the complexity of the current military operational spectrum, particularly the need to respond effectively to rapidly changing situations.

High mobility, combat effectiveness, superb protection

Weighing up to 33 tons (depending on the configuration), and measuring 7.93 metres in length, 2.99 metres in width and 2.37 meters in height, the Boxer has a top speed of 100 km/h thanks to its powerful 530 kW engine. It can travel over 1,000 kilometres without refuelling. However, the Boxer’s most salient feature may well be its extreme modularity. A variety of mission modules can be mounted on its chassis. Thus far, the Boxer’s designers have developed an infantry transport vehicle, a command vehicle, a cargo vehicle, an engineer vehicle, a heavy field ambulance, a combine command/cargo vehicle and a driver-training version.

Configured as an armoured personnel carrier, the Boxer can carry an 11-man section. This means it is able to function as a “mother ship”, in which infantrymen will be able to take along a full array of weapons and equipment tailored to the specific mission. The Boxer not only offers soldiers seated inside excellent protection from a variety of battlefield threats, it also serves as a power supply and data transmission platform. Rheinmetall, the lead contractor in Germany’s IdZ-ES Future Soldier programme, is integrating the necessary components and interfaces into the vehicle, thus ensuring that individual soldiers, whether mounted or dismounted, are fully integrated into network-enabled operations. Given the rapid pace of technological progress, growth potential has been engineered into the system from the outset.

The Boxer’s superb force protection features likewise set it apart. Its modular armour system enables continuous adaptation of the vehicle to changing threats and operational scenarios. The air-conditioned fighting compartment is equipped with an NBC filtration system and also serves as a safety cell. Combined with the basic chassis, the vehicle’s multi-walled design offers particularly good protection against landmines. Independent wheel suspension, permanent all-wheel drive and a powerful yet quiet engine ensure excellent mobility even in rough terrain. The Boxer can be airlifted in the future European A400M transport aircraft – a decisive advantage given the importance of force projection and strategic reach in current and future scenarios.

Official field trials of the infantry section transport version of the Boxer were successfully completed in January 2008, confirming the vehicle’s suitability for tactical operations. Scope for improvement identified during qualification has since flowed into the series vehicle, 272 of which will go to the German Bundeswehr and 200 to the Dutch armed forces. The Boxer also turned in an excellent performance at the “Trials of Truth” under Britain’s FRES programme.

In September 2010 the Boxer underwent testing in the United Arab Emirates, and will be taking part in forthcoming Summer Trials there in 2011. Rheinmetall is showcasing the vehicle at IDEX 2011 in Abu Dhabi, enabling visitors to gain their own impression of this innovative platform.

A flagship example of international defence cooperation

But it is not just the Boxer’s outstanding technological and tactical features that impress: it is also an outstanding example of international defence cooperation. The Boxer programme proved for the first time that a multinational European land system could be successfully completed by a number of cooperating contractors taking into account the requirements of the armed forces of several nations.

Rheinmetall: a competent partner at home and abroad

In recent years Rheinmetall Defence has emerged as Europe’s foremost supplier of systems and equipment for ground forces. One of the oldest and most trusted names in the industry, the Düsseldorf, Germany-based company offers its global client base an extensive range of products, systems and projects for equipping today’s deployment-oriented armed forces. Designed for maximum modularity, moreover, the Group’s many products are available at short notice. In an era when new security threats can arise virtually overnight, this is a welcome guarantee of strategic flexibility and peace of mind.

Rheinmetall AG

Head of Press and Public Relations
Oliver Hoffmann
Rheinmetall Platz 1
40476 Düsseldorf
Germany
Phone: +49 211 473-4748
Fax: +49 211 473-4157

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