Mane Aerospace October 2018 - Page 11

As of this year, the U.K. Ministry of Defence opted to re-join the Boxer Programme with the intention to equip the British Army with the 8x8 starting 2023. The U.K Ministry of Defence has done this in the hope of modernising its vehicle fleet and also to meet the Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle requirement.

The UK was an original partner in the Boxer development from 1999 to 2003 before they withdrew due to wanting to concentrate on the now-failed Future Rapid Effect System project. They claimed the Boxer was too heavy for transport by Royal Air Force C-130s. The Ministry of Defence said in a statement it had conducted a comprehensive market analysis of mechanized infantry vehicles in-service, entering service and in development. “The Boxer delivered on protected mobility, capacity, flexibility, utility and agility,” it said.

Britain has agreed to a £4bn acquisition of armoured vehicles for the Army. It is said to be fully funded in the defence budget with MP‘s told that the price tag covers the cost of buying the vehicles and the first ten years of service. The UK played a major role in the original design, development and testing of the Boxer, thus meaning they would regain the rights it had previously allowing for the vehicle to be built and exported from the UK. The deal could see the Boxer fully assembled in the UK with at least 60% of the manufacturing with British industry, sustaining and developing UK industrial capabilities, facilities and skills. The deal also has the potential to support at least 1,000 British jobs based across the country including locations such as Glasgow and Newcastle.

The Ministry of Defence are currently going through the assessment phase which considers the benefits of manufacturing locations and different supply chains for the Boxer, this phase will conclude in 2019 with the hope of the Army having the Boxer vehicles in service by 2023. The potential to create 1000 new jobs with Brexit impending, this seems like a successful venture for the UK, but only time will tell.