Thales UK has secured a contract to supply surveillance and protection systems for the British Army’s new Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicles.

The £180m ($251m) contract is part of the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme for the British Army. It was jointly awarded by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and Rheinmetall Landsysteme.

UK Defence Minister Baroness Goldie said: “This £180m contract with Thales UK will deliver pioneering surveillance and protection for our front line soldiers and our new Boxer fleet. We depend on skills and technology from across the United Kingdom and this order will secure 700 Scottish jobs.

“Our troops face a myriad of new and emerging threats so it is imperative we invest in critical detect and destroy technology such as this.”

As part of this, Thales UK will fully assemble and integrate 500 units of the Protector RS4 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) onto the vehicles over the next ten years.

In addition, it will supply 500 Acusonic shot detection systems.

The PROTECTOR RS4 RWS features a wide variety of new sensor technologies and offers a 360˚ ‘observation and engagement capability’.

Acusonic systems are designed to precisely ‘sense and report the direction of incoming enemy fire’.

Work will be carried out at Thales’ Glasgow Vehicle Integration Centre in Scotland.

Scotland Minister Iain Stewart said: “Protecting hundreds of jobs and supporting 30 apprenticeships, this £180m UK Government investment further demonstrates our commitment to supporting the defence sector in Scotland and underscores the many opportunities available within the United Kingdom economy.”

In 2019, a £2.3bn MIV contract was awarded to a joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Artec.

The MIV programme seeks to deliver more than 500 Boxer armoured vehicles in different versions to the British Army. Production has been subcontracted equally between two companies, RBSL and WFEL.