The governments of the UK and Germany signed a contract in November 1999 for the collaborative development and initial production of a family of next-generation armoured utility vehicles.
The programme was known as the MRAV Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) in the UK, and as the Gepanzertes Transport-Kraftfahrzeug (GTK) in Germany.
In February 2001, the Netherlands signed a memorandum of understanding to join the programme. The Dutch programme is called the Pantser Wiel Voertuig (PWV). In December 2002, it was announced that the vehicle would be called the Boxer.
An industrial group, ARTEC GmbH, consisting of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall Landsysteme from Germany, and Stork of the Netherlands, is the prime contractor for the programme.
The programme is being managed by the European Armaments Agency, OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Stork PWV became part of Rheinmetall in March 2008.
In July 2003, the UK Ministry of Defence announced it would withdraw from the programme to pursue a new national programme, the future rapid effect system (FRES). The MoD requires a lighter more easily deployable vehicle.
The UK, Germany and Netherlands were each to receive four prototypes and a first batch of 200 vehicles. The first prototype, in German APC configuration, was rolled-out to representatives of OCCAR and participating nations in December 2002 and the first Dutch prototype, a command post version, was completed in October 2003.
A contract was signed in November 2004, between OCCAR (for Germany and the Netherlands) and ARTEC, for the bilateral continuation of the development programme. 12 prototype vehicles have been built and are undergoing industry trials.
ARTEC presented a bid to OCCAR for the first production batch of 400 vehicles in November 2005, which was rejected on grounds of cost.
The Dutch announced in February 2006 it would launch a new competition for the requirement. However, in May 2006, ARTEC submitted a revised bid for the Boxer.
Requirements and variants of the internationally-built military vehicle
In June 2006, the Dutch Parliament approved procurement of 200 Boxer vehicles (58 ambulance, 55 command post, 41 engineer, 27 cargo and 19 cargo / command versions). In December 2006, Germany approved the procurement of 272 vehicles (135 armoured personnel carrier, 65 command post and 72 ambulance variants). A production contract was signed with ARTEC on 19 December 2006.
Boxer successfully completed user trials with the German Army in January 2008. In September 2009, the first deliveries of series production Boxer vehicles were made to the German and Dutch Armies. Deliveries of Boxer vehicles to the Dutch Army were completed between 2011 and end of 2016.
In August 2011, Germany deployed five Boxer MRAVs to Afghanistan. In December 2012, Germany deployed six BOXER Ambulance vehicles to Afghanistan. German Army received 65 BOXER Command Post vehicles by December 2012.
The 200th BOXER series vehicle was delivered to OCCAR and the Royal Netherlands Army received the first BOXER vehicle in August 2013.
In June 2014, the Royal Netherlands Army received the first of 52 BOXER Ambulance vehicles ordered by the Defence Material Organisation.
The Royal Netherlands Army received the first BOXER Command Post vehicle in July 2015.
In December 2015, OCCAR (for Germany) and ARTEC signed a contract for delivery of 131 BOXER vehicles to the German Army during 2016-20..ARTEC was awarded a contract by OCCAR for delivery of 88 BOXER vehicles to the Lithuanian Army, in August 2016. The first BOXER vehicle is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2017.
Boxer replaces M113 and Fuchs Tpz 1 vehicles in the Germany Army and YPR and M577 vehicles in the Royal Netherlands Army.
The Boxer design provides 8×8 armoured personnel carrier and command vehicle versions and also allows for the development of other variation models using the same base vehicle. The ambulance version can accommodate six seated or three stretcher casualties. Boxer provides the capability to operate in both high-intensity conflict and in relief and humanitarian operations.
In July 2007, Boxer was one of three vehicles which took part in trials (the ‘Trials of Truth’) for the utility variant of the UK Army’s future rapid effect system (FRES).
The General Dynamics Piranha V was provisionally selected for the requirement in May 2008, although in December 2008 this preferred bidder status was withdrawn.