A Framework Agreement that provides the legal mechanism for Australia’s participation in OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement) defence equipment programmes came into force on 25/01/2022. This Agreement will offer opportunities for Australia to collaborate on advanced defence technology with OCCAR’s Programme Participating States and will facilitate greater Australian defence industry integration with European-based primes.
The OCCAR Director, Admiral Matteo Bisceglia stated: “The Framework Agreement with Australia highlights one of the Baden-Baden founding principles of OCCAR, namely that OCCAR programmes are open to participation by non-OCCAR Nations on fair and open terms. The Agreement also confirms the belief of Nations in OCCAR’s capacities to manage complex cooperative programmes.”
The BOXER is an 8×8 all-terrain heavily armoured utility vehicle with a unique modular concept of a common drive module and an exchangeable mission module, making it a flexible military vehicle, thus ensuring maximum strategic and tactical mobility in a wide range of operational scenarios. BOXER can operate in high intensity conflict, in rapid reaction peace support and in humanitarian operations worldwide, offering improved capabilities and higher levels of performance and protection than other vehicles in its class.
n December 2006, OCCAR placed the contract for series production of 272 vehicles for DE and 200 vehicles for NL with ARTEC GmbH – a consortium formed by Krauss Maffei Wegmann, Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Rheinmetall Nederland. For DE, all vehicles have been delivered and are undergoing retrofit to the A2 variant. A new batch of 131 A2 vehicles are now in progress. For NL, the last deliveries of batch 1 is due in December 2020, and the responsibilities for the in-service NL fleet will be handed over from Defence Material Organisation to NL Army.
In 2016, Lithuania joined the Programme with a contract to buy 91 BOXER vehicles via OCCAR in five different variants on the basis of the DE vehicle design. The first vehicles were delivered in 2019, with production running until 2021. In Dec 2019, the UK joined the BOXER programme following integration activities and contract negotiations. The UK will see a delivery of over 500 vehicles in 4 Build Configurations, with first vehicle delivered expected in 2022 following a design and verification phase.
The Australian commitment is most welcome and a clear recognition of OCCAR’s capability in managing complex cooperative armaments programmes. It strengthens OCCAR in its beliefs that cooperation at all international levels is the most appropriate road towards successfully achieving strategic objectives in the most economical way. Australia is interested in a number of OCCAR Programmes including the Tiger Helicopter Programme, the Boxer Multi Role Armoured Vehicle Programme, and the Light Weight Torpedo Programme.