Rheinmetall DSEI 2021: German defence giant Rheinmetall and its UK joint venture Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) displayed Boxer mechanised infantry vehicle, HX3 self-propelled howitzer and Mission Master land unmanned vehicles at the prestigious British defence exhibition DSEI held in capital London.
Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle
In November 2019, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) awarded the MIV contract via OCCAR to Artec GmbH – a joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).
The contract will deliver over 500 Boxer vehicles across four variants: troop transporters, command vehicles, field ambulances and specialist carriers.
Manufacture of the Boxer vehicles has been subcontracted between UK companies, RBSL and WFEL.
RBSL has placed a number of UK supplier contracts to support delivery of the vehicles and, in June 2021, welding on the first prototype began at Rheinmetall’s plant in Kassel.
RBSL and Rheinmetall are working closely together to ensure the transfer of knowledge and technology to deliver Boxer at the highest quality.
Delivery of Rheinmetall and RBSL’s portion of the vehicles is due from 2023. Rheinmetall and RBSL will showcase a Boxer vehicle at DSEI.
Several other innovative products will also be on display in London, including.
Rheinmetall HX3 10×10 wheeled self-propelled howitzer
The German defence said the vehicle offers improved crew protection, greater mobility, enhanced driving comfort and digital interface architecture, resulting in even greater operational flexibility as well as creating scope for future performance upgrades.
The HX3 builds on the highly-prized core strengths and family concept of its HX2 predecessor, to become an even more advanced mobile platform for complex weapon and radar systems, said the company.
These include truck-based artillery systems, which are likely to play an increasingly prominent role in coming years. On show at DSEI is the Rheinmetall wheeled self-propelled howitzer mounted on a high-mobility HX 10×10 chassis.
It is equipped with a highly protected cab and a fully automatic, remote-controlled artillery turret. The HX 10×10 will serve in future as a standard platform for a variety of artillery systems and similar military hardware.
Rheinmetall Mission Master Unmanned Vehicles
The German defence giant said Robotics is already changing the face of the modern battlefield. Cargo and fire support versions of Rheinmetall’s unmanned Mission Master SP (“Silent Partner”) are already being evaluated under the British Army’s Robotic Platoon Vehicle programme.
As recently as June 2021, Rheinmetall unveiled a new member of its growing family of unmanned vehicles: the Mission Master XT. Designed to carry heavy payloads in extreme terrain, this AUGV will be on display for the first time in the United Kingdom.
Challenger 3 programme
In May 2021, RBSL announced that it would transform a total of 148 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks into the new Challenger 3 configuration.
The upgrade includes a new turret incorporating digital system architecture and Rheinmetall’s tried-and-tested 120mm smoothbore L55A1 tank gun and state-of-the-art Kinetic Energy tank rounds and the latest programmable High Explosive multipurpose ammunition.
The Challenger 3 will be a network-enabled digital MBT that combines maximum lethality with greatly improved battlefield survivability. Rheinmetall and RBSL will showcase the Challenger 3 demonstrator vehicle at DSEI.
Rheinmetall Skyranger Systems
High-mobility ground-based air defence systems are gaining fresh importance now that NATO armed forces are pivoting back to a national and alliance defence role.
Rheinmetall’s Skyranger systems, armed with 35mm or 30mm automatic cannon and other effectors, can be mounted on tracked or wheeled armoured vehicles such as the Boxer or Lynx.
“As a high-tech specialist for security and mobility, Rheinmetall actively supports the ongoing process of digitizing the armed forces. Rheinmetall sets an especially high standard, drawing on its extensive experience in sensors, effectors, networking, C4I and soldier systems,” said the German defence company.
Rheinmetall’s comprehensive expertise in force protection technology ranges from individual passive ballistic solutions, like hard ballistic inserts for bullet-resistant vests, to state-of-the art standoff active protection systems.
At DSEI 2021, Rheinmetall is presenting the StrikeShield, an integrated module for vehicles that combines active and passive force protection technologies.
At DSEI 2021 Rheinmetall is also displaying its Osiris constructive simulation for staff exercises and operational research as well as the Legatus live training system.
Rheinmetall is also exhibiting its wide-ranging expertise in almost all capability categories.
These include weapon and ammunition systems that enable scalable, threat-commensurate engagement of targets, plus innovative, network-capable sensor systems for applications on land, at sea and in the air.