The UK Government is set to re-join the Boxer programme and explore the acquisition of the 8×8 troop carriers to modernise the British Army’s vehicle fleet.
The proposed acquisition will also allow the government to meet the army’s mechanised infantry vehicle requirement.
In case of finalisation of a deal, the UK will reassume the rights it had as a project partner in the programme and allow for the vehicle to be built and exported from the country. The country played a significant role in the vehicle’s original design, development and testing.
This would mean the Boxer would be fully assembled in the UK, with at least 60% of manufacturing from British businesses. The deal could see the creation of at least 1,000 jobs across the country.
The Artec consortium manufacturing the Boxer vehicle has already entered into partnership deals with BAE Systems, Pearson Engineering and Thales UK ahead of finalising the deal.
British companies are expected to compete for the manufacture and supply of the vehicle sub-systems, as well as for a full production and assembly line in the UK.
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Currently, Rolls-Royce supplies engines for the vehicle, while other British firms, including Parker-Hannifin and William Cook Engineering, supply sub-systems for the vehicle.
Sealing the deal will allow more UK companies to earn supply rights for Boxer.
The UK Ministry of Defence is currently holding discussions with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and Artec. OCCAR currently manages the Boxer programme.
Furthermore, Rheinmetall, one of Artec’s parent companies, is anticipated to invest in the UK to establish a production and integration centre for armoured vehicles as part of the deal.