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Boxer / Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV)

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
benny14
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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby benny14 » 14 Mar 2018, 20:47

Australia now plans to purchase 211 "Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles"

Program cost is AU$5 billion/US$3.3 billion. Converted and rounded to pounds £2.82b / £2.36b

Boxer CRV will be delivered in several variants, these are the reported types when the plan was to buy 225 vehicles, it is now 211. Reconnaissance (129), Command & Control (26), Joint Fire (8), Surveillance (17), Ambulance (15), Repair (20) and Recovery (10). The Recon variant been equipped with a two-person LANCE turret 30mm cannon.

Given Australia plans to buy 211 vehicles for £2.82b / £2.36b, how does that match up to the UK apparently wanting to buy up to 800 vehicles for £3b, does not seem viable.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 14 Mar 2018, 20:56

benny14 wrote:Given Australia plans to buy 211 vehicles for £2.82b / £2.36b, how does that match up to the UK apparently wanting to buy up to 800 vehicles for £3b


That's how you always get these astronomical budget overruns:
what is initially specced is not the MVP (the Minimum Viable Product);
then, having first kidded yourself, then the winner of the "competition"
... you start to add on things
And once you've started, there is no knowing where to stop.

It is called Gold Plating, and produces
- late prgrms
- prgrms with half the number of units initially planned
- or, prgrms altogether cancelled. And guess what comes next: A new competition... a taste of India :crazy:

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby benny14 » 14 Mar 2018, 21:08

What is the needed amount of Boxer vehicles for 2 strike brigades?

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Gabriele
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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Gabriele » 14 Mar 2018, 21:58

For four battalions, 250 to 300. Let's say 300 since ambition is to have MIV mortar carriers as well, while Warrior (245 for 4 battalions) is not used in the mortar role (FV432 does that).

When they talk of 500 to 800 vehicles they are either including a lot more support variants (to help replace FV432? Even though they would then be used within otherwise tracked formations...?) or long term ambitions for more battalions.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

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Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby benny14 » 14 Mar 2018, 23:03

Gabriele wrote:For four battalions, 250 to 300
So it might be possible to get enough to fill strike for £3b-£4b. Seems a bit steep considering AJAX is £3.5bn for 589 vehicles.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Gabriele » 14 Mar 2018, 23:09

Ajax is currently 6.2 billion including support, actually...
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby benny14 » 14 Mar 2018, 23:42

Gabriele wrote:Ajax is currently 6.2 billion including support, actually

That certainly expanded alot... I thought the original was with supports. The Boxer cost certainly includes supports, so that brings them a little closer together. Still a decent gap though.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Mar 2018, 05:35

Has anyone been able to keep up with the unit prices (without spares, training and support)? More than 5 yrs ago
- an AMV, no bells or whistles, as a straight battlefield taxi replacement for XA-180 $2 mln
- a Kevlar coffin as ordered by the US (filled with electronics) $ 4 mln
-- benefiting from economies of scale, but has needed upgrading twice since (against mine threats first and improving lethality next) so each such unit must be well in excess of $10m by now
- the Italian one that they got right from word "Go" (but the price of which has suffered from an artificially slow production run) $5 mln
...
a box standard Boxer? The Ozzie spec is for fighting on their own, should the heavier support not be there where recce has got to (... which is sort of implied, more often than not?)

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby benny14 » 15 Mar 2018, 06:10

ArmChairCivvy wrote:so each such unit must be well in excess of $10m by now

$14.21m / £10.17m per Boxer vehicle.

If £6.2b is correct for AJAX then that is £10.52m per vehicle...

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Mar 2018, 06:57

That is probably about right, but the support and running costs for the Boxer should be lower. Of course it also depends on what variants of the Boxer the British Army intends to buy. If the programme still end up with simply APCs with 12.7mm HMG plus command, with no other specialist versions the what we are paying is too much. I am really hoping that by the time a firm order is placed, what we are buying and which versions is sorted out.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Luke jones » 15 Mar 2018, 07:35

So 3 Billion or so for the two strike Brigades on Boxer???
Will the money get found to do them properly?
Im saying no.
No direct fire version, no turreted version, no ATGW.
The whole Strike Briade thing is The Emperers New Clothes anyway.

How much to upgrade a Warrior? 2mil? 4mil?
The only sensible option is to keep the 3AI brigades and convert nine battalions worth on to Warrior 2 and ABSV, theres 700 of the things kicking around all told.
Theres plenty of 8x8 capacity over in Europe anyway.
Converting what you have is always sensible if theres no money
That is unless theres a decent budget increase on the way

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby benny14 » 15 Mar 2018, 07:45

Luke jones wrote:So 3 Billion or so for the two strike Brigades on Boxer

More like £6.2b for AJAX and about £4b for Boxer to create 2 strike brigades. Looking at £10b at least for those two vehicles, not including any extras.
Luke jones wrote:Will the money get found to do them properly?Im saying no. No direct fire version, no turreted version, no ATGW.

It stopped been realistic years ago when they massively cut back the AJAX order from the original planned order. Which included the direct fire variants to actually make the strike formations "medium armour". Also back when the PMRS variants were supposed to carry eight soldiers, rather than the current 4.
Luke jones wrote:The only sensible option is to keep the 3AI brigades and convert nine battalions worth on to Warrior 2 and ABSV, theres 700 of the things kicking around all told.

We are not upgrading enough warriors and challengers to equip 3AI brigades. We need to either cut back on Boxer/AJAX or restructure the strike brigades. Personally, I would use AJAX to replace vehicles in the AI brigades and then use Boxer to upgrade 1-2 light role infantry brigades.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Mar 2018, 11:59

We are only upgrading enough Warriors for 4 Armoured Infantry battalions to equip 2 Armoured Infantry brigades. The current number of MIV planned will also only equip 4 battalions, but we will have a whole ton of Ajax with 4 regiments going to the "Strike" brigades and the remainder the Armoured Infantry, Armoured and other units. It would be good if we mechanised at least a brigade of what is currently Light Role Infantry using the MRV(P) 6x6 in the APC role but I won't hold my breath. The Army's whole AFV programmes is one great cluster F###, and the Army is going to be screwed for decades because of it. Wrong vehicles of the wrong type and variant in the wrong numbers. They are going to write books on how now to equip an Army from all this.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Luke jones » 15 Mar 2018, 12:44

Thats the point though isnt it. They arent doing either the AI right or the Strike. Can Strike and get the three AI brigades properly up to strenght with Chally upgrade, Warrior 2, ABSV, Ajax.
Theres zero point in trying to do everything and doing it badly.
The 4 billion mooted cost of Boxer would convert a hell of a lot of Warrior/ABSV and do a decent number of Battalions. Theres so many different fleets in the army at the moment and they are adding more. Its bonkers and a total mess

All the UOR gear could then go unto 1 or 2 mech brigades for the lighter infantry

Putins lads wont give a shit about some 8x8's pitching up with afew 50 cal on the roof.
Just go heavy and keep an AI Brigade in Germany. If they need to move it about organise plenty of HET's.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Mar 2018, 13:35

Luke jones wrote:How much to upgrade a Warrior? 2mil? 4mil?

With the originally planned numbers it was £1m per piece, but that did not include the gun for the turreted ones ("government supplied eq. meaning bought under a separate deal). The numbers have shrunk and the turreted (most expensive) version dominates, so that figure must be badly out of date.
benny14 wrote:Also back when the PMRS variants were supposed to carry eight soldiers, rather than the current 4.

- when did that happen? Loadsa Javelins carried, then :D

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby RetroSicotte » 15 Mar 2018, 13:43

If one looks inside the PMRS, it becomes clear why the number dropped. They've got massive racks on one side of the vehicle to carry heavy specialised kit. Four extra dudes isn't much worth it if you can't carry the equipment they need to carry out that specific role, and the equipment carried by infantry has grown significantly. Javelins, Starstreak, Firestorm Targeters, EW backpacks, Deployable Satellite Units, ASMs...

A lot of these "We can carry 8-11 soldiers!" vehicles are actually a bit of a white lie. Sure if you want 8+ guys with a rifle and their own pack, no problem. But start loading anti-tank/anti-air/recce observation teams into those vehicles, and suddenly the PMRS' quantity isn't so unusual.

What I'm more interested in is whether those racks are modular, and can be exchanged for additional seating, should it be wished in a given theatre.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Zealot » 15 Mar 2018, 14:10

Would it not make more sense to swap Warrior and Ajax? Send ajax to the Armoured brigades and warrior to the Strike Brigades?

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Mar 2018, 15:42

I made the argument a few months ago that the British Army could only afford to go down one route with the infantry, MIV or Warrior and to a certain extent Ajax. With this I mean the MIV would replace the Warrior by being deployed in the version displayed with a turret housing a 40mm CTA "Coke Can" gun in the Armoured Infantry Battalions(6) and a APC with a RWS with either a .50 Cal HMG or 40mm AGL in the Mechanised battalions (6) and finally an APC variant of the MRV(P) to equip four Motorised Infantry battalions. If the tracked path is chosen then the MIV is cancelled and money redistributed to equip the 6 Armoured Infantry battalions with the Warrior II forming three brigades also containing an Armoured Regiment and a Recce regiment, the latter equipped with Ajax. In both cases I pointed out that additional variants of the chosen platform(s) would be needed to produce truly effective and balanced formations.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby mr.fred » 15 Mar 2018, 16:00

Is it necessary to point out that neither Ajax, nor any of the related family, are IFVs and consequently cannot be substituted for Warrior (1 or 2)?

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Mar 2018, 16:07

Not really, I was putting the Ajax in the Recce Regiments, organising them along the lines of the existing CVR(T) units with ATGW over watch and so on and in the Recce sub units in the Armoured Infantry and Armoured formations. If we wanted a Warrior replacement though there is a ready made option available in the ASCOD II, we would just need to add the automotive modifications and a few other changes to the design to maximise commonality with the Ajax family.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby mr.fred » 15 Mar 2018, 19:11

“Ready made option available”
As in prototype at best and not even that AFAIK.

“Just need to add the automotive modifications and a few other changes”
Which of course has a proven track record of being cheap and easy...

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Mar 2018, 04:26

mr.fred wrote:
“Just need to add the automotive modifications and a few other changes”
Which of course has a proven track record of being cheap and easy...


While I share the above skepticism as for ease/ speed/ cost, there is a possibility that the 30 years of disbanding formations that can go head-to-head, heavy on heavy will become to be seen as a mistake that needs rectifying. Then this
Lord Jim wrote:a ready made option available in the ASCOD II, we would just need to add the automotive modifications and a few other changes to the design to maximise commonality with the Ajax family.
could emerge as the quickest way to reconstitute the in-country manufacturing of the kit required.

Having said that, the in-country aspect of the remake of Chally2s will be "optical" - done with a German lead :shock:

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Mar 2018, 08:01

Well it is pretty safe to say the automotive parts etc. are far from being simply a prototype, its called Ajax. We have a choice of two turrets, that developed for the Warrior improvement programme and that developed for Ajax. The ASCOD hull has been around for decades. I am not saying it is simply a case of cut and paste, but the ASCOD is a pretty good start IF we wanted to replace Warrior. My preference though is to convert the Armoured Infantry to Mechanised Infantry using the MIV with a 40mm CTA.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby benny14 » 16 Mar 2018, 08:52

Lord Jim wrote:Well it is pretty safe to say the automotive parts etc. are far from being simply a prototype, its called Ajax. We have a choice of two turrets, that developed for the Warrior improvement programme and that developed for Ajax. The ASCOD hull has been around for decades. I am not saying it is simply a case of cut and paste, but the ASCOD is a pretty good start IF we wanted to replace Warrior. My preference though is to convert the Armoured Infantry to Mechanised Infantry using the MIV with a 40mm CTA.

I thought both the AJAX and Warrior were using the same 40mm CTA turret?

I dont think we should be getting rid of armoured infantry. My plan would be to use AJAX to replace a bunch of the old vehicles in the armoured brigades and then use MIV to re-roll some light infantry in to mechanized infantry.

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Re: British Army Future Wheeled APC

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Mar 2018, 19:30

The two vehicles use different turrets though they look similar. Regarding the Ajax, well as has been discussed the current plan is to use the surplus Warriors hulls to replace many of the FV430 series currently in service. I agree using some of the multitude of Ajax we have on order, appropriately converted, instead is an option. We are only planning to purchase enough MIVs for 4 Infantry battalions to be converted to Mechanised Infantry, so 2 previously Light role battalions will gain.

My Issue is that with current funding, the current planned are half arsed. We are neither doing "Heavy", properly or "Medium", just a little of both, oh and two thirds of our infantry remain "Light" role which limits their usefullness in many though not all senarios. This last issue could be improved is a number of battalions were equipped with the planned MRV(P) turninghtem into effectively Motorised Infantry. The UK dies need to decide whether it is to go down the "Heavy" or "Medium" paths as we cannot afford to do both effectively.

Saying that, units equipped with a IFV variant of the MIV would be able to preform the same role to the same standard, as those "Heavy" formations currently equipped with tracked IFVs. The MIV is definitely on the upper end of what we would call "Medium", if the Army decides on a platform like the Boxer for example. One scenario I like going forward is to go for the MIV full bore, replacing the Warrior as well as forming the "Strike" brigades, though not all at once. In my books infantry units equipped with an IFV, either tracked or wheeled should be classed as Armoured Infantry and those with wheeled platforms gain additional capabilities. But this is fantasy land and the Army needs to pick one area and stick to it.


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