The green light for the start of series production combat vehicle wheels Boxer (8 × 8) Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) is given at the end of last year. The first customers are German and Dutch army that decided for different versions of Boxer. Boxer is the only armored vehicle that is being developed within the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), which together lead Germany and the Netherlands. The main job holder is a company ARTEC (ARrmoured tecnology), based in Munich. ARTEC founders are the company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (36 percent ownership), Rheinmetall Landsysteme (14 percent) and Stork (50 percent). Each of these companies has the right to produce Boxer in their plants.
ARTEC is responsible for the development, manufacture and sale Boxer MRAV and all versions or other vehicles that may be incurred on its basis. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is responsible for the production of the German version of the Boxer APC (armored personel carrier – APC), ambulance versions and versions for driver training. Rheinmetall is responsible for the production version of the command (command post vehicle – CPV) and medical and Strok Boxer intended for all the Dutch army, regardless of the version.
German Army currently plans to buy 272 Boxer, labeled Gepanzertes Transport Kraftfahrzeug (GTK). First delivery expected in late 2009. year. Intending to buy three versions: APC (135), CPV (65) and an armored ambulance (72).Ten Boxer APC will subsequently adapt driver training duties. German Boxer will replace part of Rheinmetall Landsysteme Fuchs 1 (6 × 6) vehicles and most M113 armored personnel carriers that are used for special tasks.Thus, a small number of planned Boxer consequence the decision to the German motorized and armored infantry combat vehicle equipment (armored infantry fighting vehicel – AIFV) tracked Puma that will equip remotely controlled turret with gun Mauser 30-mm coaxial machine gun 5.56 mm .
Although the German army in spite of the prevailing trends opted for AIFV tracked by Boxer expected to be the bearer of the most difficult task because of the large capacity and the volume of space, able to adapt to different tasks by changing modules and an excellent tactical mobility. The Dutch Army (Royal Netherlands Army – RNLA) is planning to buy 200 Boxer in five different versions. First delivery is scheduled for early 2011. year. Official RNLA-in label Boxer Pantser Wiel Voertuig (PWV).
The Dutch version of the Boxer armored vehicle
Dutch versions include CPV (ordered 55), medical (58), containers (27), the load / command vehicle (19) and engineering version (41). The Dutch will be replaced and PWV-tracked vehicle YPR-765 currently used in these tasks.The motorized and armored units of the Dutch Army Boxer will be used as vehicles for special support and will work together with IFV’s BAE Systems Hägglunds CV9035 that will soon enter service uprabu. This will produce a boxer in three separate production tapes. One will be in Dutch (in company Stork) and even two in Germany (in companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme). According to present plans for the delivery of the last German and Dutch Boxer should be no later than the 2016th, unless that state does not increase the order or in the meantime, not before another customer. So far there are no indications on the possible merger (rationalization) of production in one or two bands. Instead, contractors say that they already have signed contracts for the delivery of the system individually in three different drives. So each company individually to produce a basic vehicle, equip, ga equipment (governmetn furnished equipment – GFE), depending on the version, tested and delivered to the customer. Of course, besides basic vehicle, the German and Dutch versions of the same vehicle will get different weapons and communications equipment.
Although Boxer developed German and Dutch funds, during the long process of development and both countries have several times considered the possibility of choosing another IFV in configuration 8 × eighth At the end of the Ministries of Defence of both countries concluded that it was the only available Boxer IFV on wheels that meets their operational requirements, and also offers the possibility of industrial development. Although it is not officially mentioned in the account of the possibility of its sale to foreign buyers that will make the whole project more cost effective.
Despite mass Boxer has excellent mobility off roads during the past few years, Germany and the Netherlands cooperate closely in the development and production of AFV’s. So the Netherlands army modeled on the German Leopard tanks to modernize its second Jointly develop and reconnaissance vehicle on wheels Fennek (4 × 4). Fennek already in serial production and operational use in the armies of both countries, and most of the vehicles in use in Afghanistan. According ARTEC, the Boxer has strategic and tactical mobility, which has not been achieved at the expense of armor. With a maximum combat weight of 33 tons Boxer, according to the manufacturer, provides a high level of protection against a broad spectrum of threats, conventional and unconventional.
The possibility of modernizing armored vehicles Boxer
During the development process and final testing were frequently heard criticism of Boxer’s size and (too) large mass.Producer defends itself by saying that the default load parameters (eight tons) and volume of usable space does not allow for a smaller package. As a further argument cited that and other wheeled combat vehicles in the configuration of 8 × 8, which is the process of development took place along with Boxer, have almost the same size and mass. Ground is influenced by the level of protection required, with the possibility of adding new armor to respond to new threats and conditions of work. The designers had to take into account the possibilities of setting up of active and passive defense systems that are already developed or are still under development.
Besides the three-member crew of the transport version of the conveyor stops and seven soldiers Boxer maximum operating mass depends on the task performed and fixed equipment and the level of protection. Typical operating weight is approximately 31 tons. Built chassis ensures overall payload of 35 tons without modification of management and power transmission. Usable space within Boxer is a 14 m3.
The vehicle is designed for an operating life of 30 years. During operational use should have a high degree of reliability and the probability of survival in combat and low operating costs. As the development Boxer began in late 1999th clients and designers know that the vehicle will be used mostly outside the national territory client, especially in peacekeeping operations. Therefore, the Boxer is designed so that it can be easily maintained in the field conditions, far from home base. To the crew had better working conditions in warm regions of the serial is built air conditioning system, and was used for NBC protection under the principle of creating overpressure.
After intensive testing four prototypes are derived numerous minor changes but the basic design of the vehicle remained netkanut. The amendments, among other things, included the installation of a stronger system for air conditioning, renovated section of infantry assault in order to better adapt to conditions in the peacekeeping operations (installing new doors on the roof and new seats that provide better protection from the effects of the explosion of anti-tank mines and improvised).
In width, height and weight Boxer is adapted transport by rail and future A400M transport aircraft (one car), although the cheapest mode of transport, given the size and weight will be by boat.
Having successfully completed the development of version 8 × 8, the company ARTEC started a private development project version 6 × 6 This the vehicle, which is also modular design as the original Boxer, is designed as a backup option in the event that Germany and the Netherlands at the end of the variants give 8 × 8, but also to cover the increasing number of foreign buyers. Although developed on the basis Boxer 8 × 8 vehicle in the configuration of 6 × 6 designers have developed some new systems that are subsequently incorporated into the production version of the original 8 × eighth
Boxer maximum speed is 103 km / h is 12 Created prototypes Boxer and the same number of changeable modules for different tasks. All are currently involved in intensive testing at various ranges in Germany and the Dutch to gather as much information before creating serial vehicles.
Sometimes the German army had a rule that once a vehicle has received authorization to begin serial production, the more it does not perform the test until the arrival of serial copies in the unit. The British Army had a much different approach because of the continued testing of prototypes, and serial predserijskih copies before the first vehicles came to the end user (the crew in the unit). This rigorous testing called the Reliability Growth Trials (RGT) and their goal was to ensure the elimination of all identified deficiencies before the vehicle went into operational use.
On these experiences and the German Army adopted a new way of developing a Boxer. This will go through three prototypes RGT process which should be concluded by the end of this month. Vehicles during the RGT’s pass 60 650 miles on various terrains in the harshest weather and terrain conditions. Prototypes members manage the German army, but the maintenance is left to the experts ARTEC’s.
After that, he planned to perform Reliability Qualification Test that will involve the completed vehicle conforms to series production. Test simulation predicts 124 combat missions and covers 32 240 kilometers. Boxer is made up of two key elements. One drive module is the same for all versions, and the second mission module that is tailored to specific tasks. So the user gets a vehicle that is in less than one hour can fit another task, provided that it is available the appropriate mission module. Both modules are made of steel using the multilayer-wall structure deflektivnih forms in combination with an additional element of protection, such as an additional active or passive armor.
Drive module consists of driver position on the right front of the vehicle and the engine with the gearbox mounted to the left of the driver. The floor beneath the driver and the vehicle crew compartment made two layers in order to maximize resistance to mines. Free space in the flooring was used to accommodate the diesel fuel. Based on the experience of peacekeeping operations planners have enabled the driver out of the vehicle through its opening or through the crew compartment.
On opening the driver are three periscopes that provide a wide viewing angle. Middle periscope can be replaced by a passive infrared periscope for night driving. Periscopes are used only in the fight because in normal driving the driver can use a large glass that is integrated into the lid and opening the driver that protects it while driving. The driver has a monitor on which the image shows a camera in the rear of the vehicle and which substantially facilitates the movement backwards.
The drive system consists of MTU’s diesel engine power 530 kW 8V199TE20 and Allison HD4070 automatic transmission with seven speeds forward and three reverse. Compact drive system can be replaced for about twenty minutes. Boxer has a constant drive to all eight wheels, the driver directs the vehicle with the front four. Turning radius can be reduced wheel braking only one side. High mobility is achieved using independent suspension on groomed trails and beyond. Increased mobility off roads and secured using a central control system, tire pressure monitoring. In order to ensure mobility and after damage tires were used run flat inserts that provide for the possibility of a further 100 kilometers. Setting up new equipment and its networking system in vehicles enabled the CAN-Bus databus.
The level of protection of armored vehicles Boxer
Unlike most of the armored vehicles on wheels similar purposes Boxter was designed from the start to win protection from weapons that attack the upper side of the vehicle, such as cluster bomblets with a shaped charge warhead.
All key components Boxer underwent intensive testing for resistance to fire small arm, and various anti-tank mines, and on the impact of the explosion of improvised explosive devices. Although yet to start serial production of ARTEC Boxer has long been intensively working on improvements to armor. It has already completed the development of a new armor for the vehicle floor that protects the interior of the EFP (explosively forged penetrators), and the first orders expected to begin its serial production. During the development of reactive armor will increase the protection of vehicles from missiles with cumulative warheads, such as those fired from ubiquitous RPG. If the customer requests a Boxer can be fitted and active self-defense systems which would (at least theoretically) significantly increased the level of protection against a broad spectrum of threats. In case you hit will activate the automatic system for detecting and extinguishing fires in the engine compartment. We consider the possibility of a similar system in the crew compartment.
During testing the prototypes Boxer opremani various weapons, from heavy machine gun with manually run all the way to the dome with the crew. German and Dutch versions will get a different weapon. The German army currently selects new turret which will equip its armored vehicles (Geschoetzte Fuehtungs und Funktionsfahrweug – GFF). Selected will be installed on the dome of the German Boxer. Weapon selection will depend on the task, and will include heavy 12.7 mm machine gun or automatic grenade launcher 40 mm. German army seeks a remotely controlled weapons station which must have stabilizing weapons and targeting system equipped with a day / night sight and laser rangefinder.
Netherlands Army will equip their boxer remotely controlled weapons station armed with heavy machine guns M2 HB 12.7 mm. As part of the defense system Boxer will also get two pods 76 mm caliber to fire smoke grenades or similar.
We have already mentioned that the current procurement plans German army predict purchase three different versions: an armored personnel carrier, command and ambulance. APC will have a three-man crew (commander, gunner and driver) and be able to translate the infantry assault of seven soldiers plus additional weapons and equipment. The first shipment of serial specimens is expected in September 2009., And the first ten vehicles will immediately rearrange for driver training. Four soldiers will sit on the left and three on the right side of the vehicle. The commander will sit on the left side and will have five periscopes for observation, 360 degrees around the vehicle. The gunner would sit on the right side and manage the weapons station. And the commander and gunner prikaznik get to read a wide range of information about the vehicle and a combat situation.
command vehicle will be followed by the usual three-man crew have two staff officers, one side-officers or non-commissioned officer and a place to another crew member. Besides additional navigation equipment will also command system FIS Heer (F-InfoSysH). First deliveries are planned for 2010.
Specifications Boxer armored vehicle
Version will be medical missionary module with a higher roof and increased capacity in order to better adapt to the application. The crew will consist of a driver, commander / doctors and assistants. The vehicle will be equipped with seven seats or reception room for three stretchers, or a combination of the three seats and room for two stretchers.Delivery of the first Boxer in the ambulance version is planned for 2010. It is interesting that the production version of this split between the company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (52 cars) and Rheinmetall Landsysteme (20).
According to the original plans Netherlands Army should get five different versions of the Boxer: vehicle repair defects and damage, cargo, command, medical to engineering and vehicle. Plans for the development and procurement of vehicles for repair of defects and damage over time have been canceled in order to reduce procurement costs, although there is the possibility to re-activate. The basic version of Boxer for the Dutch army will transport and will have the two-member crew – commander / gunner and driver. Will get optional navigation system and will be able to carry a load of at least 2.5 tons.
Command vehicle will receive a two-member crew consisting of commander / weapons station operators and drivers.Command component will consist of two officers, one adjutant, and secured a place for another soldier. Will receive all the necessary navigation, communications (VHF / HF radios) and computer equipment designed to control the battlefield and command.
Ambulance will be the same module as the missionary and the German car but will be easier to medical equipment.
Engineering vehicle is actually intended for the carriage of members of engineers. With a crew of three (commander, gunner and driver) will have space for six additional engineers and indoor and outdoor space for equipment. Will receive a remote control weapons station armed with heavy machine gun 12.7 mm.
All the numbers on the vehicles of certain versions must be taken with a grain of salt because the modular principle enables users Boxer that each vehicle refit for another task, provided that the customer buys the appropriate mission modules. Although there is still no confirmation that there are buyers for other versions ARTEC Boxer began their development. Admittedly, most of the new version is still at the level of development studies.
These studies include anti-aircraft version, artillery command vehicle, command vehicle for the battalion level to engineering classic vehicle, self-propelled mortar, self-propelled launcher višecijevni, infantry fighting vehicle, reconnaissance vehicle and explosive ordnance disposal. Command vehicle for the level of battalion would get additional communications equipment and awning at the rear in order to obtain additional working space while the vehicle is stationary. Version samovoznog mortars can be fitted with a dome with two 120 mm mortar (as AMOS) or standard dome with one mortars 81 mm or 120 mm.