Germany has airlifted five of its new Boxer multirole armored vehicles to Afghanistan for what will be the vehicles' first operational deployment. The five Boxers sent to the Afghan theater are of the armored personnel carrier variant and will be used by the Bundeswehr training and protection battalion operating in the area of Mazar-e-Sharif.
The Boxer is a bi-national vehicle project undertaken by Germany and the Netherlands. It is produced by ARTEC, a joint venture between Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall Defense. Germany aims for the 8x8 Boxer to partially or fully replace the Fuchs 6x6 and M113 series of tracked vehicles currently in service.
The German Boxers have been ordered in three configurations: 135 armored personnel carriers (APCs), 65 command post variants, and 72 heavy-armored ambulances. Some of the vehicles already ordered may also be converted to training variants.
The 33-tonne Boxer is designed to meet the requirements of the German IdZ (infantryman of the future) that is being integrated with the German Army FuInfoSys command and information system.
The five German Boxers have been upgraded to the A1 level, a standard that provides for additional mine protection. Germany had hoped the delivery of the command post and ambulance variants would commence in 2010, but reports indicate that the command post variant will not arrive until the first quarter of 2012, along with further armored personnel carrier types.