During the past several decades, wheeled armored vehicles have become much more common in Western armed forces. The Dutch-German Boxer “Multi Role Armored Vehicle” (MRAV) stands out from the crowd, however. Utilizing a single chassis and snap-in modules, the Boxer can be for purposes ranging from infantry carrier to command, cargo, ambulance, and other roles.
The base vehicle has a maximum road speed of 100 kmh (60 mph) and an operational range of 1,000 km (600 miles). A crew of two operates the troop-carrying configuration that can carry 10 fully equipped troops. It has a load capacity to 9 tons and internal capacity of more than 14 square meters. The mission modules fit into the base vehicle’s steel shell, incorporating a primary safety cell with a triple floor and shaped sides to deflect mine blasts. Ceramic modular armor is sandwiched between the vehicle cell and the steel coat, and all three elements are secured by fastening bolts. The shaped sides of the modules also work to deflect mine blasts away from the soldiers inside, while a double-lined hull soaks up critical blast deformation.
The Royal Netherlands Army is purchasing 200 Boxer vehicles for transport, engineering, command, and transportation of wounded, replacing some of their YP-408s and all of their M577s (command post version of the M113). The 200 Boxer MRAVs will be delivered in 5 versions – 58 ambulances, 55 Command Post variants, 41 engineer group (pioneer) vehicles, 27 cargo vehicles, and 19 cargo/command-and-control vehicles to replace the current YPR 765 tracked vehicles. Note that this figure is down from initial estimates of 384 vehicles.
The German Army is due to take delivery of 272 Boxer vehicles in 3 baseline versions: 135 armored personnel carriers (APCs), 65 command post (CP) variants, and 72 heavy armored ambulances. The Boxers will replace some Fuchs 6 x 6 and tracked M113-series APCs currently in service.
British Army officials have concluded a deal to fulfill the Army’s mechanized infantry vehicle requirement by 2023. Recently Australia, contracted to have 200 vehicles delivered at a total cost of $2.48 billion.
The Boxer program is being managed by the European OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) Armaments Agency. The industrial contractor is ARTEC GmbH – acting on behalf of the consortium formed by Kraus-Maffei Wegmann (36%), Rheinmetall Landsysteme (14%) and Stork PWV (50%).