With British DNA, proven combat experience, and exceptional protection levels, the Boxer 8×8 offered by ARTEC is the smart choice for the UK’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme (MIV). In October 2016, it was reported that the British Ministry of Defence took its first formal step, a preliminary market engagement, for government-to-government acquisition of up to 900 Boxer vehicles. At DSEI 2017, a Boxer in a Union Jack paint scheme was shown by Rheinmetall to promote the vehicle for the UK’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement. The Boxer is a German-Dutch multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. It is produced by the ARTEC GmbH (ARmoured vehicle TEChnology) industrial group, and the programme is being managed by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). ARTEC GmbH is seated in Munich, its parent companies are Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV) on the German side, and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Nederland B.V. for the Netherlands. Overall, Rheinmetall has a 64% stake in the joint venture. Other names in use or previously used are GTK (Gepanzertes Transport Kraftfahrzeug; armoured transport vehicle) Boxer and MRAV for Multirole Armoured Vehicle.
The Boxer is an eight-wheeled multirole vehicle, which at the time of its development easily dwarfed most contemporary vehicles with its size. With a combat weight of 33 tonnes, it was also about 10 tonnes heavier than many of its contemporaries. In recent years the size/weight differences between Boxer and its contemporaries has reduced considerably, with Boxer quoted to have a combat weight of 36,500 kg in 2016, while vehicles such as ST Kinetics’ Terrex 3 had a quoted combat weight of 35 tonnes, and Nexter’s VBCI, Patria’s AMV and General Dynamics’ Piranha V all weighing in around the 32 to 33 tonne mark.
Boxer consists of two key elements, the platform/drive-line and the removable mission module.
The platform has the driver located front right, with the power pack to the left. The MTU/Allison powerpack can be replaced under field conditions in about 20 minutes and can, if required, can be run outside of the vehicle for test purposes. The mission module is a key (and unique) feature of Boxer, it allowing the vehicle to be rapidly changed to meet different operational requirements. Mission modules are attached by four points and can be swapped within an hour under field conditions.
Most Boxers are equipped with a remote weapon station for self-defense. Dutch vehicles are fitted with the Protector M151 RWS from Kongsberg fitted with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun. German vehicles are usually fitted with the FLW-200 from KMW, which can be fitted with either a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun, a 12.7 mm M3M HMG or a 40 mm GMW automatic grenade launcher. The FLW-200 has dual-axis stabilization and incorporates a laser rangefinder and a thermal imager. As possible firepower upgrade KMW has developed the FLW-200+ and presented it mounted on top of a Boxer APC at Eurosatory 2012. The FLW-200+ allows the usage of a 20 mm autocannon like the Rheinmetall Rh 202 with 100 rounds loaded at the gun. The RWS is two-axis stabilized and is fitted with a CCTV camera, thermal imager and laser rangefinder.
Lithuanian Boxers will be fitted with the Israeli-made RAFAEL Samson Mk II enhanced survivability multiple weapon station with a 30 mm gun and Spike-LR anti-tank missiles capable of destroying targets out to 4 km (2.5 mi).
The Boxer is constructed from rolled all-welded steel armour. On top of the steel, passive AMAP composite armour is fitted with shock-proof mounting bolts. It has previously been stated that Boxer’s baseline armour is all-round resistant to 14.5 mm armour-piercing ammunition in accordance with STANAG 4569 Level 4. To increase survivability in case of armour penetration, the crew compartment is completely covered by an AMAP-L spall liner. The spall liner stops most of the fragments of the armour and projectile brought about by hull penetration. To further enhance crew protection, the seats are decoupled from the floor, this preventing the shock of a mine-detonation being directly transmitted to the crew. The roof armour of the Boxer is designed to withstand artillery fragments and top attack weapons such as bomblets fitted with a High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead. The power pack of Boxer consists of a MTU 8V199 TE20 diesel developing 720 hp and coupled to an Allison HD4070 fully automatic transmission with seven forward and three reverse gears. Boxer has full time 8 × 8 drive with differential locks on all axles.