A £2.8 billion contract for more than 500 Boxer armored vehicles for the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle requirement has been “secured,” the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence said in a Tuesday, November 5 release.
The vehicles will be employed by the British Army’s new Strike brigades, which are set up to deploy rapidly over long distances across varied terrains, the release said.
Rheinmetall’s modular 8×8 Boxer vehicle system enables vehicle bases to be reconfigured for various roles for the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle.
“Initially the Army will buy a mixture of the troop-carrying variant, ambulances, command vehicles, and specialist designs to carry military equipment” the release said.
“The Boxer vehicle is a leader in its field and I look forward to it arriving in units from 2023,” Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.
Notably, the release said that after the U.K. General Election on December 12, it would be “possible for a new Government to take a different position.”
“The MOD Permanent Secretary, as the Accounting Officer, considered the value for money implications and, on this basis, determined the most appropriate course of action is to proceed with the contract award ahead of the election,” it said.
The British Army rejoined the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) Boxer program in March 2018, and Boxer was selected without holding a competition.
In April 2018, then-Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb told a parliamentary committee the full program would cost £4.4 billion for procurement and the first 10 years of support.
In July, Germany’s Rheinmetall and U.K-based BAE Systems launched a joint venture for the design, manufacture and support of land vehicles based at BAE’s facility in Telford, England.
Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land “intends to play a major role in manufacturing the Boxer 8×8 for the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) program,” Rheinmetall said at the time.