Rheinmetall and BAE Systems to Start Manufacture the Boxer Multirole Fighting Vehicle in the UK
LONDON, COLOGNE, (BM) – Germany’s Rheinmetall and Britain’s BAE Systems on Monday launched their U.K.-based military vehicles joint venture, after British authorities approved the deal in mid-June, the companies announced, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Defense News.
The new outfit is named RBSL, short for Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land, and it’s based in Telford, West Midlands. Peter Hardisty, formerly of Rheinmetall UK, is the company’s managing director.
The joint venture sets out to “play a major role” in manufacturing the Boxer multirole fighting vehicle for the British Mechanised Infantry Vehicle program, according to a Rheinmetall statement. Official also have an eye on “other strategic combat vehicle programs” in addition to maintenance contracts for the British Army’s bridging- and armored-vehicle fleets, according to the company.
“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 was quoted as saying in the statement. “This exciting venture clearly demonstrates how Defence sits at the heart of the prosperity agenda. Its benefits will be felt in the West Midlands and across the UK defence supply chain, creating jobs, boosting exports and guaranteeing our technical skills base into the future.”
That’s because the news also means Britain has lost its only big-name, armored-vehicle company in a joint venture where BAE is the junior partner. As a result, the country no longer has a domestically controlled mainstream vehicle supplier — although some would argue BAE forfeited that role a while ago.
The British company retains significant armored-vehicle design and build activities in the United States and Sweden.
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Source: Defense News