German defense company Rheinmetall has developed a bridgelayer version of Boxer based on an idea of the Royal Netherlands Army (Koninklijke Landmacht) Engineer Regiment. This capability enables the armed forces to quickly launch and recover bridges up to Military Load Classification MLC 50 and/or 15 meters in length. The system launches the Cobra bridge in front of the vehicle and is modular which means it can be attached and removed when needed, maintaining Boxer’s full functionality and flexibility for other missions. The Cobra Bridgelayer is fitted to the front of the vehicle and allows an assault bridge to be stowed, launched and recovered using a single system.
The newly developed COBRA is a flexible and modern solution for medium weight wheeled and tracked armored vehicles. Based on its special design the bridge can be modified for the requirement of the customer and the designated vehicle. The COBRA is fully operable under armor. With the Bridge Launching Mechanism (BLM) by Pearson Engineering the COBRA can be easily deployed by various multipurpose vehicle platforms. The modular approach of the COBRA allows the operation of this bridge on a temporary as well as on a permanent base. Provided as a vehicle attachment, like any other equipment in Pearson Engineering’s range, the Bridge Launch Mechanism provides bridging capability without the host vehicle needing to be a dedicated bridge layer.
The Boxer Cobra Bridgelayer Wheeled Armored Vehicle is controlled from under armour and it can often be launched or recovered in less than two minutes (size dependent). The system is lightweight and it is specifically designed to minimise the impact on vehicle mobility by keeping the bridge and bridge launch mechanism low and close to the vehicle hull when in its transport configuration. Hydraulic cylinders are used to control the launch and recovery cycle as well as the stabilising clamps. During launch and recovery, the foot of the Bridgelayer remains in firm contact with the ground, reducing the load transfer onto the host vehicle and ensuring a stable launch platform.
The Boxer is a multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed by an international consortium to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. The governments participating in the Boxer program have changed as the program has developed. The Boxer vehicle 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 based in Munich; its parent companies are Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH and Rheinmetall Military Vehicles GmbH on the German side, and Rheinmetall Defence Nederland B.V. for the Netherlands. Overall, Rheinmetall has a 64% stake in the joint venture.