Rheinmetall and BAE Systems have launched a new, independent UK-based joint venture for military vehicle design, manufacture and support – known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) - headquartered in Telford in the West Midlands.
RBSL intends to play a major role in manufacturing the Boxer vehicles for the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) program and other strategic combat vehicle programs, while also providing support to the British Army’s in-service bridging and armoured vehicle fleets.
“This announcement is a clear vote of confidence in the UK’s defence industry as a world-leader in designing, supplying and supporting military vehicles," Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said.
RBSL will draw on the capabilities and systems brought to the Joint Venture by BAE Systems’ Land UK business, such as Trojan, Terrier, Warrior, military bridging and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system.
“RBSL is a new business drawing on the significant strengths and expertise of both BAE Systems Land UK and Rheinmetall," Managing Director Peter Hardisty said.
Australia is procuring 211 Boxers from Rheinmetall under Land 400 Phase 2. The heavily-protected 38.5 tonne Boxer defeated the rival Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMG35) offered by BAE Systems in partnership with Finnish company Patria. The first vehicles are scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2019.
Once in Australia, the first Boxer vehicles will receive a number of modifications prior to final delivery, including installation of Army-specified communications and computing equipment, and a remote weapon station.