Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

The German army will purchase 148 Boxer RCT30 BMPs with a SPz Puma turret: protection against drones and hitting targets at 3 km

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May21,2024

The German army will purchase 148 Boxer RCT30 BMPs with a SPz Puma turret: protection against drones and defeating targets at 3 km

< p>According to Hartpunkt on May 13, 2024, the German army will purchase 148 Boxer RCT30 infantry fighting vehicles equipped with a turret already used on the SPz Puma, the successor to the Marder 1A3. The decision aims to provide the Bundeswehr's grenadier units with vehicles that offer a high level of protection and modern weaponry, including anti-drone equipment.

The German Army intends to acquire the Boxer RCT30, also known as PuBo (Puma Boxer), an 8×8 turreted infantry fighting vehicle derived from the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, for its new “Medium Force” category. This decision is confirmed by many sources and is aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the grenadier units of the Bundeswehr. An industry RFP is expected soon, focusing exclusively on the unmanned turret system, with the exception of Rheinmetall's manned Lance Block II 30mm turret, which was previously considered.

The choice of the Boxer RCT30 turret, designed by KNDS Deutschland, means the vehicle will incorporate the sophisticated turret system used in the SPz Puma tracked infantry fighting vehicle, the successor to the Marder 1A3. This choice is due to strategic considerations. Unlike the Puma SPz, which is non-demountable and used for direct tactical fire support with a smaller combat space, the Boxer RCT30 offers the larger combat space needed to accommodate fully equipped grenadier squads. This capability is consistent with the operational requirements of grenadier units, which require a vehicle that can serve as both a mobile base and a highly protected combat platform.

The urgency of rapid deployment and the need to mitigate technical risks also played an important role in this decision. Smooth integration of PuBo with "Infantry of the future— improved system» (IdZ-ES), based on extensive integration knowledge gained from the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. This approach minimizes the risks and complexities associated with operational readiness of the vehicle, in which the Australian Boxer sWaTrgInf heavy weapons carrier could pose significant problems due to its lack of compatibility with the IdZ-ES system.

According to Hartpunkt, the procurement process will be carried out through the European Armaments Agency OCCAR, aiming for cost-effectiveness and improved interoperability through increased order volumes. The German army has identified a need for 148 wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, and potential orders from other countries could increase the scale of the project. The project is scheduled for parliamentary approval later this year and the contract is expected to be awarded in 2024, ensuring timely implementation in line with the German Army's medium force build-up schedule.

Other countries, particularly the Netherlands, have expressed interest in the Boxer RCT30/PuBo. The Netherlands, which announced its intention to join OCCAR in November 2023, faces criticism from NATO over the firepower of its current infantry brigade. Modernization of Boxer units with a 30 mm gun system to meet NATO requirements became a priority. Close cooperation between the Dutch and German militaries continues to define the operational requirements for a compatible Boxer turret system in order to increase equipment interchangeability.

While the specific launcher for the Bundeswehr procurement has not been confirmed, KNDS Deutschland presented a narrower-profile variant during defense exhibition Eurosatory 2022. It is optimized for PuBo and minimizes protrusion beyond the mission module. In addition, the RCT30 turret has been improved to combat the growing drone threat, positioning it as an important asset for both the Bundeswehr's medium forces and its eventual Drone Army.

The Boxer RCT30, or PuBo (Puma Boxer), developed by the ARTEC consortium (a collaboration between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann), is an infantry fighting vehicle (IPV) based on the Boxer GTK platform. Thanks to the remote-controlled turret of the Puma RCT30 BMP, the PuBo is armed with a stabilized automatic anti-missile system MK30-2/30mm, which is capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 3000 meters, both stationary and moving. With a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute, it also has a twin MG 5 machine gun and the ability to launch SPIKE LR anti-tank guided missiles while on the move, increasing its effectiveness on the battlefield.

Based on the Boxer GTK 8×8 platform , the PuBo can reach speeds of over 100 km/h on roads and has a range of over 750 km, powered by an MTU 8V199 TE21 engine with up to 815 hp. Like any other modern vehicle, it can negotiate steep slopes and obstacles such as trenches and stairs, and with a turning radius of 21 meters, the PuBo offers remarkable maneuverability in tight spaces. Its modular design facilitates adaptation and maintenance, increasing its effectiveness for various missions.

In terms of technical characteristics, the Boxer RCT30 has a combat weight of 38.5 tons and a ground clearance of 0.5 meters. It is 7.9 meters long, 2.99 meters wide and 3.5 meters high, with a crew compartment that can accommodate up to 10 people. Basic protection includes armor against antipersonnel mines, heavy machine guns, and artillery shrapnel, with additional protection available against medium-caliber projectiles and bombs.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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