The 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) recently pushed their Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRV) to the limit and live-fired the 30mm main turrets. Having completed their transition training from the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV), this was the first activity where Boxer crews could fully test what they had learned, exercising a combination of old and new armoured fighting vehicle tactics. The training was held in the Townsville Field Training Area, with the personnel honing their skills with the vehicle through rugged terrain, and fighting a notional enemy across the landscape.
“The training has allowed drivers to conduct a variety of tactical tasks, allowing soldiers to start understanding the full capability of the vehicle, pushing it to its limits, testing it in a rugged environment, and developing valuable experience and knowledge of the platform. The progression of our training has been quite rapid. The soldiers have responded well and managed to transition from the ASLAV over the past 12 months through their conversion courses. We used the vehicles over a mixture of open and complex terrain, allowing the soldiers to throw the vehicle around, understand how safe and capable it is, letting them practise their camouflage, concealment and vehicle craft,” Officer Commanding A Squadron Major Dan Solomon said.
Trooper Michael O’Brien has spent the past few months completing his ASLAV conversion courses and is now part of a Boxer CRV crew and explained how impressed he was with the new platform. “What I love about the Boxer is the digital capability it provides. That gives the ability for the gunner to scan his sector while the crew commander scans a completely different sector, identifying targets by slewing onto new enemies for the gunner to engage. The crew commander can use the hunter-killer system to find more targets, allowing the gunner to re-engage, then re-engage again. The digital systems give the Boxer crew far greater situational awareness,” Trooper O’Brien said.
The Australian Army Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle’s enhanced armoured fighting vehicle capability when compared to existing and previous in-service platforms. The Boxer CRV is far more capable, protected, lethal and enabled. The armoured protection is better, the cross-country mobility is greater, and the turret, main gun and optic systems are also much more advanced. With the increased range of the gun and greater optics package in the turret, the lethality is far greater. In Australian service the Boxer will replace the army’s ageing fleet of 257 Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) that reach their life-of-type around 2021. Under Rheinmetall’s offering, the first batch of 20 to 25 vehicles will be built in Germany with Australians embedded into teams to learn the necessary skills before transferring back to Australia for the build of the remaining vehicles.