Rheinmetall has completed the delivery of the first 25 of 211 Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs) for the Australian Army.

Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) is procuring the vehicles under the $4.03bn (A$5.2bn) LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability programme.

Rheinmetall’s Boxer 8×8 CRV was chosen after 12 months of trials by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in 2016-17.

According to the company, 131 of the total 211 vehicles will be the CRV variant.

Under the project, Rheinmetall assembled the first 25 vehicles in Germany and delivered the vehicles to Australia to enable technology transfer.

The remaining 186 will be assembled at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) facility in Australia.

The MILVEHCOE facility is the ‘focal point’ of the Boxer Australian Industry Capability (AIC) programme where the company will undertake Australian design, manufacture, testing, training and support of the Boxer vehicles.

In a press statement, Rheinmetall said that the initial delivery of the first 25 CRVs will enable the army to ‘continue towards initial operating capability on schedule’.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said: “Boxer is now enabling the capabilities that allow army to fight, survive and win on the modern, complex battlefields of today and tomorrow.

“And Rheinmetall is simultaneously delivering early combat vehicle capability to the Australian Defence Force while creating a sovereign industrial capability in combat vehicle design and manufacture.”

The new CRVs will offer enhanced protection, firepower and mobility to the Australian Army and replace the army’s Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs).

Boxer is an 8×8 multirole armoured vehicle (MRAV) managed by the European Armaments Agency, Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR).

The vehicles have the capability to operate in high-intensity conflicts, as well as relief and humanitarian operations.

In September 2019, Rheinmetall Defence Australia delivered the first Boxer CRV to the Australian Government.