The Boxer CRV and AMV-35 armored vehicles pass evaluation tests as part of the LAND 400 program.
Currently, in Asia and Europe there are many programs for the purchase and adoption of modern 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles in various options, including ambulance, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, mortar transporters and a number of others. While Australia and perhaps Japan are in search of the new 8x8, Germany is upgrading its Boxer MRAV and adopting additional options. The British Army needs the largest number of new machines in the 8x8 configuration, but many Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, are also interested in new wheeled combat vehicles. This means that vehicles such as, for example, the Advanced Modular Vehicle (AMV) of the Finnish company Patria, the Boxer MRAV (multipurpose armored vehicle) from Artec, the Pandur II and the Piranha V from General Dynamics European Land Systems, and the less successful international competitors in the face For example, the Singaporean Teggeh 3 and the French VBCI, in the near future may be taken in large quantities by the armies of different countries. The American company Textron and the Turkish FNNS also applied for in several tenders.
The main driver of the development of the global 8x8 configuration machine market can be the decision of the Australian military under the LAND 400 program, which should be made at the beginning of 2018. In the second stage of the LAND 400 program, four of the most modern 8x8 vehicles — the Boxer, Patria AMV, LAV 6.0 and Sentinel (Teggeh 3) variants — that is, vehicles that meet the needs of any military who are considering buying a new armored personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicle or combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV). Initially, other vehicles were also offered for the Australian military, such as the VBCI 2, but their applications were withdrawn when it became clear that a solution based on ready-to-use military-execution modules was preferred.
Currently there are two platforms left in the competition, the Boxer CRV and AMV-35. Judging by the prototypes being tested in Australia, it seems that both consortia have relied on completely different strategies. While Rheinmetall introduced Boxer CRV as a high-end offer that is easily adaptable to customer requirements, including all the latest gadgets (active protection complex, remotely controlled weapon module [DUMV], anti-tank missile launcher, acoustic detection system snipers, warning systems laser exposure, situational awareness system, etc.), the BAE-Patria joint venture with the AMV-35 platform focused on a more affordable pricing proposal, emphasizing reimuschestvenno at a higher cost-effectiveness of its platform in comparison to rival Boxer.
In the framework of the FRES project, the VBCI armored vehicle has been tested in the UK
Over the past year, only the lazy one did not report that the British military are considering buying a Boxer MRAV under the program MIV (Mechanized Infantry Vehicle - a machine for mechanized infantry). The number of machines purchased for a project worth three billion dollars varies according to different sources from 300 to 900 pieces. Although there are several options offered by the UK defense industry, the British army has not yet decided whether it wants to hold an open tender or prefers a direct intergovernmental deal with Germany to buy Boxer armored vehicles. The advantage of an open competition is that the process can find the best solution, whether it is the cheapest solution, the most combat-ready machine, or the “jack of all trades”. On the other hand, the budget of the British army was sharply reduced and, according to some estimates, thanks to Brexit, it will be further reduced. In this regard, British newspapers conclude that an open assessment of several applicants may be too expensive (Brexit can also lead to additional costs and time delay). The decision to purchase a Boxer MRAV armored vehicle or open competition is expected at the end of 2017.
Having painted the Boxer car in the colors of the British flag, Rheinmetall reminds the UK of its participation in this project.
If the Australian army prefers the Boxer CRV platform, rather than the AMV-35, then, according to German analysts, this may have a positive impact on its chances in the UK. First of all, the level of interaction between the ground forces of the two countries of the Commonwealth may increase, which seems desirable for bilateral relations. In addition, the British army could then, with a clear conscience, assert that the Australian trials have already proved the superiority of this vehicle and, therefore, an open competition is no longer required for the adoption of the vehicle. Although the opposite is possible (Australians will choose Patria AMV), there is no hint that the British Department of Defense is considering buying an AMV platform instead of an open tender.
On the Boxer RCH 155, instead of the functional module, an AGM gun mount is installed
It is possible that Britain is also looking for a version of a self-propelled artillery installation based on the platform purchased under the MIV program. The Boxer MRAV is the only modern wheeled platform 8x8 that was shown with the 155-mm cannon. The gun module AGM (artillery gun module) developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) was installed instead of the regular functional module of this machine. The combination of the AGM gun of the 52 caliber length and the Boxer base chassis with a high level of protection allows for some positions to bypass the current AS-90 tracked SAU.
At DSEI 2017, several manufacturers presented potential proposals for the MIV program, including Piranha 5 from General Dynamics, AMV XP from Patria, VBCI from Nexter, and two different Boxer variants from Artec. The Rheinmetall company for this exhibition painted the Boxer armored vehicle in the colors of the British flag, while KMW focused on demonstrating the modularity of the car using the example of the BMP. Pointing to the advantages of the modular design, German companies also claim that the UK may have full intellectual property on the Boxer because of its origin (created as part of a multi-national project in which Britain participated), which will allow them to design and sell their own versions of this machine without any interaction with Germany.
The Japanese military presented a prototype of the BNR 8x8, developed by local companies.
It is possible that Japan is also interested in a more modern machine 8x8, which could replace the outdated and poorly protected armored personnel carrier Tour 96. Mitsubishi has already developed and demonstrated a prototype of a vehicle based on the components of the 16 MCV (Maneuver Combat Vehicle) combat vehicle. However, Japan, as is known, has close military ties with Australia and therefore closely watches the outcome of the LAND 400 program. Some experts believe that the Japanese self-defense forces may be interested in a certain level of interaction with the Australian army.
According to the German website hartpunkt.de, sources in the defense industry claim that the Japanese military have requested information about the characteristics of the Boxer MRAV, especially interested in armor protection and modularity. It is worth noting that in July 2017, Germany and Japan signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of defense technologies. At the same time, it was reported that Japan was primarily interested in German protection technologies, especially in technologies of special armor and possibly active protection systems. The Japanese news agency Asahi Shimbun directly pointed out that these technologies are intended for an "infantry carrier" (BTR or BMP). Negotiations on the agreement began in 2015 year, following the results of which both companies agreed not to disclose the details of the contract. In September, the German-Japanese military technology forum was held in Tokyo, 2017, in which more than 30 German defense companies took part.
Armored car Boxer A1 took part in the hostilities in Afghanistan
The Bundeswehr recently decided to upgrade all Boxer machines to the new A2 configuration. In accordance with it, the changes will affect both the base module and the functional module; for example, it is planned to install a new satellite communication system, improved driver vision systems, change the layout of storage locations, change cooling and exhaust systems, increase protection levels and add an additional control panel to the FLW 200 DUMV. The contract for the modernization of 124 armored personnel carriers, 72 ambulances, 38 control centers and 12 driving instruction machines was announced in July 2017. All new Boxer machines that are ordered or will be ordered by the German army will be supplied in the Boxer A2 configuration or in a subsequent configuration.
According to the military news portal hartpunkt.de, the German army preferred the Boxer armored vehicle to a solution based on the G5 RMMS platform, planning to use it as a heavy vehicle in fire support coordination units (JFST). This version of the Boxer JFST will be equipped with a high-level sensor set, possibly a Hensoldt Optronics BAA II opto-electronic touch sensor kit, which is already installed on a lightweight Fennek 4x4 JFST machine. Rheinmetall, as a member of the Artec consortium, also offers several sensory platforms for ground vehicles, for example, Vingtaqs II, which is in service with the Norwegian and Malaysian armies. Since the Boxer machine has a bоgreater payload and internal volume, a more advanced sensor package could be integrated, which theoretically could include a larger radar. A standard Fennek armored vehicle can accept either ground-based fire coordination equipment or anti-aircraft fire coordination, that is, each Fennek JFST vehicle only specializes in one of these two functions. The Boxer machine theoretically has enough internal space to install equipment to perform both of these tasks, although it has not yet been decided whether one Boxer machine will perform both tasks. Unlike the current JSFT solutions from the UK and the USA, the Boxer is not supposed to be equipped with a cannon or ATGM. The German army has a need for roughly 20-30 heavy machines in the Boxer JFST variant.
JFST Fennek 4x4 based fire support machine
According to the chief inspector of the German army, at the moment there are also plans for the Boxer fire support option for the Jager light mechanized infantry units. The plans stipulate that the fifth (heavy) companies in each battalion will receive Boxer machines with automatic cannons.
The exact type of weapons was not determined, but judging by the available information, the military are more interested in the caliber 30x173 mm; for example, the same gun MK 30-2 / AVM armed with a new German BMP Puma. The machine can also be equipped with a Spike-LR ATGM launcher.
The so-called “PuBo” variant - Boxer with RCT 30 tower (Puma tower)
Currently, the German military are considering various versions of the towers, both habitable and uninhabited. It is clear that the choice — if the information on the 30 caliber is correct — is limited to the Remote Controlled Turret 30 tower (RCT 30; essentially the Puma BMP tower) from KMW and the Lance Modular Turret System tower from Rheinmetall. Both of these towers have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The RCT 30 tower is already in service with the German army and thus has advantages in terms of training, logistics and spare parts. In addition, compared with the Lance tower, it has more powerful weapons, and the roof can be equipped with additional armor from cumulative damage elements (although Rheinmetall makes such armor, the prototypes of the Lance tower were not equipped with it). Uninhabited tower is by definition smaller and lighter. However, uninhabited towers have a lower level of situational awareness compared to their crew counterparts.
The Boxer armored vehicle with the Lance tower is on display at the Rheinmetall training ground in Germany.
On the other hand, the Lance tower is available in uninhabited and habitable versions, but, apparently, only the last option is considered, since it was installed on several Boxer prototypes, including the Boxer CRV. This tower is larger and heavier than the Puma tower when installing the same set of armor protection. However, in theory, it can also accept larger-caliber guns, for example, a chain-driven cannon 35 caliber 35x228 mm. Another small flaw, but rather a flaw: the modular construction of the Lance tower allowed it to install several components of the Rheinmetall development, which have not yet been adopted by the German army. For example, one or two stabilized opto-electronic sighting systems of the SEOSS can be integrated in the turret, one for the gunner and the other for the commander, but the German army is counting on the optics of Hensoldt Optronics for the Puma BMP and several other combat vehicles.
The Belgian Army operates several Piranha DF90 fire support vehicles with an 90-mm cannon.
Theoretically, the German military can choose light or heavy combat modules from different manufacturers. Looking at the proposals of the two companies involved in the production of Boxer MRAV, we see a wide variety of possible alternative options. A few years ago, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann showed the FLW 200 + module on a Boxer machine, an upgraded version of the current FLW 200 combat module, which can accept an 20-mm automatic cannon Rh 202 with 100 rounds of ammunition. A heavy FLW500 DUMV with a mass of 500 kg can accept 30 mm caliber guns, for example, M230LF from ATK, a twin machine gun and an optional rocket launcher. Rheinmetall developed the Oerlikon Fieldranger 7,62 RWS DUMM, armed with the 20-mm Oerlikon KAE automatic cannon. However, this gun, unlike the Rh 20 gun, is not intended for firing 202x20 mm caliber shells, which the German army still has large stocks, it is “sharpened” under a slightly less powerful 139XXNNXX mm projectile.
If the new version of the Boxer will perform fire support tasks, it is surprising why the emphasis was placed on the caliber 30 mm, when other machines of the same type are often equipped with guns of a larger caliber. For example, the Belgian army adopted several Piranha NIC armored vehicles with a Cockerill 90-mm cannon for direct fire support, while the Rosomak prototype was equipped with a Cockerill 3105 turret. A boxer with a much larger gross weight - the latest 38,5 ton mass version has an 800 horsepower engine. - should not have problems installing a low-profile turret with an 120-mm smooth-bore gun, for example, L / 47 LLR from Rheinmetall.
In addition to choosing a suitable tower, there are a number of other questions. The main question revolves around Jager tasks (light mechanized infantry} and Panzergenadiere tasks (mechanized infantry). Traditionally, only Panzergrenadiere exploit infantry fighting vehicles, while Jager units are limited to fighting taxi type machines, which affects the doctrines of both these branches of service. However, Installing a cannon on an armored personnel carrier does not mean that it should be operated as a BMP. Another decision that needs to be made is whether the Boxer’s fire support option will carry an infantry unit or not. t, then the number of offices should be less, because you need a place for ammunition, gunner-operator and basket baskets (in case of choosing a manned tower). Regardless of the decisions, the contract will not be issued before 2019 of the year. As a result, the Boxer fire support machine can be accepted into service no earlier than 2021 of the year.Based on the current number of German BTR Boxer, approximately 100 of such vehicles are needed.
Vilkas - option BMP Boxer with DUMV Samson Mk 2
The Bulgarian military are planning to buy about 600 new 8x8 machines in several versions for the three newly formed battle groups. Among the necessary options are also a mortar conveyor complex and an infantry fighting vehicle. Most likely, the application process for this program began in May 2017; proposed six platforms that will compete for a contract worth 500 million euros. Artec offers Boxer, despite the fact that not a single operator is armed with a mortar conveyor at its base and it is not known whether there is a single such prototype. However, the modular design allows you to quickly develop a similar option. It is also unknown which tower will be offered for the BMP variant.
Although the Boxer MRAV is significantly more expensive than the other competitors - the initial offer for Boxer for Lithuania was more than twice the price for the Stryker ICV car from General Dynamics - the excellent characteristics of this car (especially the levels of protection) did their job and the Lithuanian army chose this model . The military prefer the Boxer MRAV, and politicians want low-cost solutions. As a compromise, a variant of the Boxer platform was chosen, named Vilkas, on which, instead of the RCT 30 tower from Puma, a cheaper Samsun Mk 2 DUMV with less firepower was installed. General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) offers the Piranha V family of vehicles. A variant of the Piranha V platform’s BMP, equipped with the Rafael Samson Mk 2 DUMV, was demonstrated in April this year at the Tilbleto military range in Bulgaria. The demonstration lasted three days and included live firing of the Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30x173 mm cannon. The Samson Mk 2 has two separate sights, an 30-mm automatic cannon, a paired 7,62-mm machine gun and a retractable launcher of two Spike-LR missiles. This module was also installed on several BMP prototypes delivered to the Czech Republic.
Patria AMV armored vehicle with 120-mm NEMO mortar set
While KMW, part of the Artec joint venture, offers Bulgaria its Boxer platform, the French company Nexter, KMW's partner in the KNDS holding, offers an unknown configuration of VBCI or VBCI 2. Back in 2013, Nexter showed large-scale models of the VBCI mortar conveyor variant. These models featured a large double door hatch on the roof of the aft compartment. Inside it was installed a 120-mm semi-automatic mortar similar to a RUAG Cobra mortar or R2RM from TDA Armaments. To date, these models have not reached mass production. In the BMP version, the VBCI 2 platform can be equipped with a single turret with a 25-mm automatic cannon or a twin-turret armed with a CTAS 40-mm complex with telescopic ammunition. Theoretically, other uninhabited towers and calibers are available on the market, but they were not installed on the well-known VBCI 2 prototypes.
The Finnish company Patria offers options for a modular armored vehicle Armored Modular Vehicle (AMV), although the information on them is very scarce. The broad operational base of the AMV platform has led to the emergence of numerous options, often for similar tasks different versions of AMV are released. For example, there are variants of AMV-based infantry combat vehicles with a Leonardo Hitfist tower (formerly Oto-Melara), an LCT30 tower from Denel Land Systems, and a BMP-3 tower, while the prototypes were equipped with Kongsberg’s MST-30 tower, a tower Е35 from BAE Systems and the new turret with the CTAS 40-mm cannon from the modernization kit of the British BMP Warrior. Similarly, there are several options with an 120-mm mortar, such as the Polish Rak mortar, cars with a NEMO tower and an AMOS twin-barrel tower, and South Africa also ordered a 60-mm mortar-loading tower for some of its AMV machines.
According to some information, two more participants are interested in the contract for equipping new Bulgarian combat groups: Textron and an unnamed Turkish company. In the case of Textron, there is some inconsistency, because Textron is not known to the 8x8 configuration machines, although it is not directly stated that only 8xXNNXX machines will participate in the competition. The American company entered into a contract to supply 8 M17 Guardian armored vehicles to this country in 1117; In the middle of 2014, 2017 machines were also ordered. According to the Bulgarian media, Textron and Rheinmetall have teamed up to offer an unknown model 10x6 for local production in Bulgaria.
As for the applicant from Turkey, this is most likely the company FNNS with its option Pars or the company Otokar with the option of Arm. Due to recent political tensions between European countries and Turkey, it is unlikely that a Turkish company will be chosen. The Czech Republic, for example, abandoned all Turkish tracked infantry fighting vehicles because of unstable political relations.
Two years ago, the Slovak army ordered Rosomak machines (the Polish version of Patria AMV) with the Turra 30 module produced by a local company, EVPU, around 30 machines. Judging by the information available, that contract was canceled, and in May 2017, the Slovak government approved the purchase of an 81 armored vehicle with the 8x8 configuration. In addition, the army needs a total of 404 modern machines in the 4x4 configuration. The official requirements for the procurement program are not known, but the number of bidders here is more. All these machines will cost the Slovak treasury 1,2 billion euros. It is expected that the deliveries of the first cars will begin in the 2018 year and will go up to the 2029 year. However, it is possible that earlier periods are valid only for 4x4 armored vehicles.
BMP Corsac 8x8 based on the Pandur II
It is clear that the company General Dynamics European Land Systems will offer a variant of the Pandur II armored vehicle. The Pandur II is a further development of the Austrian Pandur I platform, which is currently being manufactured in several countries. Different versions of armored vehicles Pandur II are in service with the Czech Republic, Indonesia and Portugal. Because of its relatively small mass - at the moment the mass-produced vehicle has a combat mass of just 24 tons - the overall level of armor protection is limited. Although the installation of mounted armor made it possible to reach the fourth level of the ballistic security of the NATO standard STANAG 4569 (all-round protection against 14,5 mm caliber armor-piercing bullets fired from a short distance), mine protection is somewhat limited. Only in October of this year, the Czech military announced that the 20 new Pandur II cars in the mobile command station version after installing the new BOG-AMS-V seats were qualified for compliance with mine protection requirements in accordance with STANAG 4569 4b level.
Last year, GDELS introduced the Pandur II version of the joint development with the Slovak company MSM Group, named Corsac and equipped with the same Turra 30 turret as the Scipio armored vehicle armed with an 2X42 mm caliber automatic pistol and a two-piece man with a nine-piston man-machine-chunthe man-machine with a two-mm 30X165 mm caliber, a paired machine gun and two XTRM axes with a single mannerTMMMNUMX man with a two-piece. NATO AT-9 Spandrel). However, this weapon can be replaced by Western counterparts, for example, Aliant Techsystems MK 113 Bushmaster II 5x44 mm cannon and Rafael Spike-LR ATGM.
On the Corsac BMP, the Cummins ISLe HPCR diesel engine is rated for 450 horsepower, the combat weight is only 19,8 tons, which seems to depend on the reservation kit installed on the prototype. The stated maximum speed is 115 km / h, the car is floating, on the water it accelerates to 10 km / h. Ballistic protection corresponds only to the 2 STANAG 4569 Level; hinged armor is available, allowing you to reach the 3 and 4 Levels, but the machine has not yet been demonstrated with hinged protection kits. The Corsac has six paratroopers and two or three crew members. Most likely, GDELS will be able to offer the same improvements that were carried out on Czech Pandur II machines in order to achieve mine protection of the 4 STANAG 4569.
Also, Patria AMV is applying for the rearmament program of the Slovak army, possibly in the same configuration that was originally ordered for Scipio (with the Turra 30 module). Whether these machines will also be made in Poland (like Rosomak and Scipio) or in Finland is still unknown. Artec offers its Boxer MRAV platform for the Slovak army and again it is not known in which exact version.
Meanwhile, Slovenia reportedly intends to acquire an order of 50 BMP for its army. Slovenia previously ordered AMV 135 machines in various versions. These AMVs received the local designation Svarun. The contract, however, was terminated in 2012 due to funding problems, as well as some political issues; as a result, only a third of the delivered AMV vehicles are operated in the Slovenian army. Considering this and the fact that Croatia’s southern neighbor has a large number of AMV armored vehicles, most likely the platform Patria AMV has an advantage over potential competitors. Perhaps Artec, General Dynamics, Nexter and ST Kinetics will be interested in participating in the Slovenian competition.
Armored vehicle Piranha 5 adopted by the Denmark and Spain
The Romanian army decided to keep up with the richer countries and adopt the General Dynamics development of the Piranha 5 armored vehicle. In October, 2017, the company announced that the first batch of 227 machines will be manufactured by the local company Bucharest Mechanical Factory, which is owned by the state-owned Romarm Group. To organize the production of Piranha machines, GDELS will set up a joint venture in Romania. Eastern European countries ordered 2008 machines in the previous version of the Piranha IIIС in five small batches in 43.
It is not known what consequences the decision of the Romanian army will have on the development of the Agilis 8x8 armored vehicle, which should have been produced in Romania. The machine was developed by a joint Romanian-German company. A total of 7 variants should have been manufactured; 80% of the scope of work should have been done in Romania, only the engine and chassis components would be imported. Intellectual property on the Agilis platform was fully transferred to the state, which would allow Romania to export vehicles and modernize them. The plan calls for a total production of 628 machines Agilis: 161 floating BTR, non-floating 192 heavily armored APCs, 24 evacuation and ambulances, 90 RHB-intelligence machines, mobile command posts 40, 75 46 mobile mortars and recovery vehicles. Production was scheduled for 2020-2035 years with the possible manufacture of options 4x4 and 6x6.
BTR-4МВХNUMX with additional armor modules and lattice screens
The Ukrainian state-owned company Ukroboronprom presented a new version of the wheeled armored personnel carrier BTR-4, developed under NATO standards and designated as BTR-4МВХNUMX. The machine is designed Kharkiv KBM them. Morozov. Differs from its predecessor a high level of armor protection. Bolted hinged armor allowed to achieve security that corresponds to the fourth and fifth (if desired) level STANAG 1. This means that the BTR-4569MB4 has all-round protection from 1 mm armor-piercing bullets and frontal projection protection from 14,5-mm projectiles. The new system also allows you to install elements of dynamic protection to protect against rocket launchers. The modular concept allows you to replace damaged modules of armor, which reduces time and reduces the cost of repairing a failed machine.
The BTR-4MB1 is armed with an 30-mm automatic cannon
According to the manufacturer, the mass of the BTR4-MB1 increased by just 2-3 tons. Thus, a machine weighing tons of 23-24 has more potential for future upgrades. Driving performance has not changed, the same suspension system is preserved on the machine, the diesel engine of the German company Deutz with the Allison transmission, as in the original version of the BTR-4. Thanks to the installation of hollow protective modules in some parts of the machine, the BTR4-MB1 retained its amphibious qualities; water speed is 10 km / h, while on the 110 highway km / h. The main differences from the BTR-4 are noticeable in front of the car. Large bulletproof glass and side doors of the commander and driver (landing through separate hatches) were removed in order to increase the level of security. The commander and the driver can now conduct a review only through viewing devices. However, several video cameras installed around the perimeter of the car provide the crew with a circular view. The BTR-4MB1 retained the same combat module that was installed on previous versions, including the 20-mm cannon, dual ATGM launcher and machine gun. Only one sighting system is installed in the combat module and, accordingly, the crew cannot work in search and strike mode.
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