A significant portion of the manufacture of the 500 Boxer Armoured Vehicles ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence for the British Army’s new Strike Brigades will take place at Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's (KMW) UK subsidiary, WFEL.
Having rejoined the Boxer programme in 2018 after a long hiatus, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) recently signed a £2.3 billion 10-year contract with the ARTEC Consortium — KMW and Rheinmetall — which will supply the vehicle. The UK played an integral role in the original design, development and testing of the Boxer and reassumed these rights as a project partner when it rejoined the programme last year.
The UK's Boxer Mechanized Infantry Vehicle programme aims to source more than 60% by value of the vehicle's content from UK suppliers. The 8 x 8 wheeled vehicles will be supplied in different configurations, including an armoured personnel carrier, field ambulance, command vehicle and specialist carrier. Delivery of the vehicles is expected to commence from 2023.
Major General Simon Hamilton, Mechanised Infantry Vehicle Programme lead for the British Army said that Boxer completed the suite of platforms to equip the British Army's new STRIKE brigade, which also features the Ajax armoured IFV manufactured by General Dynamics-Land Systems UK. Maj. Gen. Hamilton said Boxer’s low logistic need, extended reach, high-mobility, and advanced digitisation will ensure STRIKE is ready for any global scenario.
In preparation for this significant contract, WFEL re-energised ts Apprenticeship Scheme, with the first of its new recruits recently joining the company to follow the path of Advanced Apprenticeships in Engineering Manufacture.
It is also actively recruiting for a substantial number of new roles to be based at its Stockport site, whilst engaging with both existing and new suppliers in anticipation of its contribution to both the North West economy and the Northern Powerhouse.
Ian Anderton, Managing Director of WFEL, said, “Our substantial involvement in the Boxer programme allows us to further develop our UK supply chain, in turn creating and protecting valuable UK engineering jobs and developing new skills for our staff and those of our supply chain partners. Working in close partnership with our KMW colleagues, we are both delighted and proud to be part of this transformational project for the British Army, with whom we have worked for many years.”
WFEL is a well-established prime contractor to both the UK Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defense. It offers concept design, prototype manufacture and full-scale production of a range of military-grade engineering solutions across the complete spectrum of the defence sector, including vehicle integration and aviation products.