Bundeswehr Considering Purchasing Australian Built Boxer AFV

The German Armed Forces are considering purchasing Boxer Armoured Fighting Vehicles built in the Rheinmetall facility in Queensland Australia according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

Markus Ederer , the German ambassador to Australia, explained in an exclusive interview, “The German government has now shared its intention with the Australian government to buy Australian-made Boxer CRVs for the German army”.

The Boxer ARTEC consortium manufacturing lines at facilities in the Netherlands and Germany to meet contractual requirements for 500+ vehicles for the British Army. These are, thus, fully committed and unable to fill the German Army requirements for Boxer vehicles to support the Army’s plans to form three medium manoeuvre brigades equipped with wheeled combat vehicles.

Capitalizing on the new Rheinmetall Australia Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence factory and testing ground at Redbank near Ipswich in south-east Queensland supporting the 2018 Australian Defence Forces Boxer contract offers a logical solution. With manufacturing transition complete it is, in fact, preparing to deliver its first fully local production vehicle. A German Army order would extend active manufacturing well beyond the current Australian contract projected to be 2026.

The Boxer is an eight wheeled highly protected combat vehicle first introduced in 2002. It is offered in a range of mission variants including infantry carrier, reconnaissance, medical evacuation, command, maintenance, recovery, cargo and support. It has been fielded by Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Armament options range from machine guns to manned or remotely operated auto-cannon up to 155mm howitzers.

The majority of the Australian Army order are the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) with a Rheinmetall Lance CRVs mount the Rheinmetall Lance 30 mm two-man turret, fitted with the Rheinmetall Mauser MK30-2/ABM (air-bursting munition) dual-feed stabilised cannon and 7.62 mm coaxial MG.

The Bundeswehr requirement could be several hundred vehicles and is part of a proposed €100 billion ($157 billion) spending program by Germany on new weapons. If it comes through the German contract would significantly expand the Queensland work force and the level of cooperation and economic ties with Germany. A German MoD official explained that mechanized infantry battalions will receive 150 Boxer new vehicles with fielding continuing at least through 2030. A wheeled self-propelled artillery version is also in consideration.

The first delivery to the Bundeswehr from Australia be required in 2024.

by Stephen W. Miller