Military Technology 05/2021

for the respective industries to be included. We took full advantage of this: Dutch and German suppliers were often commissioned for the entire run, not just for the respective national portion. MILTECH: Britain decided in 2004 not to procure the vehicle with the Germans and Dutch, although NATO experience in Afghanistan had already proven the efficacy of highly-protected vehicles with modular equipment. Why did the UK consider re-joining the programme in 2018? SL: In spring 2018, shortly after opting for BOXER, the MoD provided the reasons for re-joining the programme: performance (the best-protected vehicle on the market); growth potential (in both power and weight); mobility (the best power-to-weight ratio); proven mission reliability (in service with Germany and the Netherlands, and proven performance in Afghanistan); modularity (very adaptable, flexibility in acquisition and sus- tainment is quite unique); best value for money (taking both performance and cost into consideration); and certainty in the data received from the nations and OCCAR. In 2004, the UK left the programme due to new demands being made on the vehicle. These mainly concerned strategic transport in aircraft smaller than the Airbus A400M previously planned. Operational experi- ence in Iraq, and later in Afghanistan, with partially novel threats [IEDs] and without clearly-defined front lines, showed many of the nations in- volved in these missions the importance of highly protected vehicles which also featured high mobility and long operational ranges. When the FRES SV programme, which began in 2007 for the procure- ment of a modern 8x8 vehicle, first began to show signs it might be dis- continued in 2009, there was still a need for such a vehicle for the British Army. Based on the experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, transportability in aircraft smaller than the A400M was no longer seen as a required cri- terion. To this end, protection and growth potential were prioritised again. In addition, the Bundeswehr‘s operational experience with BOXER in Afghanistan was very likely another major reason for its selection. In the meantime, Lithuania became the third nation to opt for BOXER, in 2016. With initial orders received from Germany and the Netherlands, the BOXER Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) programme has now evolved into an international success story, with Australia, Lithuania and Britain opting for different variants of the vehicle in significant numbers. Produced by the ARTEC GmbH joint venture (Krauss- Maffei Wegmann, Rheinmetall Military Vehicles and Rheinmetall Defence Nederland BV), headquartered in Munich, the programme is being managed by the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). Stefan Lischka, the company’s Managing Director, discussed BOXER’s history, technological achievements and recent international success in a July interview. MILTECH: BOXER’s origins date back to a requirement for a four-wheel drive 8x8 vehicle from three nations – Germany, France and Great Britain. After the two latter nations withdrew, the Netherlands joined the pro- gramme. What prompted the Dutch to opt for five variants of BOXER? Stefan Lischka: Despite the development of BOXER together with Germany since 2002, the Netherlands conducted a market survey of 8x8 vehicles in 2006. After completing this screening, the nation decided de- finitively on BOXER. Participation with Germany in development certainly spoke in favour of the BOXER. In addition, the vehicle had already proven capabilities in terms of protection, modularity, mobility, growth potential and, last but not least, anticipated life-cycle costs. Another argument in favour of the decision was very likely the in- volvement of the Dutch company Stork PWV [now Rheinmetall Defence Nederland]: all 200 Dutch vehicles were not only to be developed but also entirely manufactured in-country. Cooperation between German and Dutch industry certainly had a pos- itive influence – it enabled a total of 472 vehicles to be commissioned efficiently for the first joint lot. The rare opportunity to commission a sub- stantive lot from two nations simultaneously offered a unique opportunity International Success for BOXER Interview With Stefan Lischka, Managing Director, ARTEC 12 · MT 5/2021 THEME: Land Warfare (Photo: Stefan Nitschke)