Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and Rheinmetall Landsysteme have jointly awarded a contract, worth $252.3 million (£180 million), to Thales UK to supply PROTECTOR RS4 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) and Acusonic Shot Detection System – for the British Army’s new Boxer vehicles. Thales UK, as a strategic partner to Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, will fully assemble and integrate 500 RWS and deliver 500 Acusonic systems onto Boxer vehicles over the next 10 years, as part of the UK MOD’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme. As such, RBSL and Rheinmetall Landsysteme are part of a MIV Joint Procurement Team, which has engaged suppliers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and has begun awarding a series of supplier contracts for the MIV programme.
The PROTECTOR RS4 uses a 360 degree high definition long range cameras attached to the outside of the vehicle to scan for enemy threats, even when Boxer is moving at speed. The system is modular, however all variants of the PROTECTOR Family. share the same baseline technology. The RWS then alerts soldiers inside the armoured Boxer through a digital display – so they can keep a permanent watch outside while remaining safely inside the vehicle. The system also offers key defensive capabilities, including a multi-barrel smoke grenade launcher, thermal imaging, and infra-red pointers.
Another Thales product, Acusonic, was first supplied in 2018 to the British Army’s AJAX Armoured Vehicle Programme and now, under this contract, will be fitted to Boxer as well. Designed to accurately sense and report the direction of incoming enemy fire, the Acusonic system gives the vehicle’s crew the critical situational awareness to react to the threat. The Acusonic Shot Detection System is designed to accurately sense and report the direction of incoming enemy fire. The system will give the Boxer vehicle’s crew the critical situational awareness to react to threats. Its innovative sensing system is based on Thales’s world class sonar technology that provides the ‘ears’ for ships and submarines around the world.
As part of the contract Thales, as a strategic partner to Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, will fully assemble and integrate around 500 RWS and deliver and integrate circa 500 Thales Acusonic® systems onto the Boxer vehicles over the next 10 years, as part of the UK MOD’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme. Not only will Thales integrate Kongsberg’s RWS onto these new armoured vehicles but as an additional bonus Thales also supplies several of the components used in the PROTECTOR RS4 creating a double win for Thales. The Catherine EZ Thermal Imaging Module as well as the CELT3 Laser Range Finder, both products that are made at the Glasgow site and form crucial elements for the completed RWS, giving them their cutting edge ‘situational awareness’ capability. The British Army’s new Boxer armoured vehicles are scheduled to be ready for service in 2023.