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Army personnel complete Boxer turret conversion courses

Department of Defence | PTE Jacob Hilton

Armoured cavalry crew have secured new qualifications on Army’s next-generation combat vehicles.

Armoured cavalry crew have secured new qualifications on Army’s next-generation combat vehicles.

Thirty-five armoured cavalry crew are now qualified to operate new digital sensors, thermal sights and mission systems fixed to turrets on Army’s next-generation Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRV), after completing two conversion courses in Queensland.  

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The courses, which form part of the Commonwealth government’s LAND 400 Phase 2 project, aim to support the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Armoured Vehicle crew’s transition to the Boxer fleet.

The conversion courses were developed as part of a collaboration between the Australian Army, the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and LAND 400 Phase 2 prime contractor Rheinmetall Defence Australia.

“Together, we have trained the first generation of Boxer commanders and gunners in remarkably short timeframes, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Overall the vehicle performed above expectations,” Commanding Officer of 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Tom McDermott, said.

“The accuracy of the MK30 cannon and co-axial machine-gun is very impressive.”

The 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment has also conducted live fire exercises in the Townsville Field Training Area since the Boxer CRV’s introduction.

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The exercises have involved target practice with the MAG-58 Machine Gun, digitised 30mm turret training, and the firing of smoke canisters from the Boxer’s Grenade Launching System.

Since commencing the exercises, 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment is estimated to have fired over 7,800 rounds of 30mm ammunition and a further 35,000 rounds of 7.62mm through the coaxial machine gun.

Officer Commanding A Squadron, Major Dan Solomon, lauded the vehicle’s weapons systems.

“The Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle is far more capable, mobile, better protected and enabled than the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle it is replacing,” he said.

“With the increased range of the gun and greater optics package in the turret, the lethality is far greater, allowing us to achieve greater stand-off from our targets. 

“The Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle is on its way to being one of the greatest armoured fighting vehicles in the world, and it’s a privilege to be part of the journey of the Boxer’s introduction into use.”  

This latest development comes just a week after Rheinmetall Defence Australia subcontracted Thales Australia to manufacture critical weapons components for the fleet.   

Specifically, Thales is expected to leverage its Australian supplier base to deliver components for the Boxer’s MK 30-2 cannon, which will then be assembled at RDA’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Redbank, Queensland.

Thales has commenced production of the 30mm cannon components, leveraging the support of 16 current and new Australian SME suppliers, with approximately 50 per cent of the work to be completed by local SME.

[Related: Thales Australia wins Boxer CRV subcontract]

Army personnel complete Boxer turret conversion courses
Boxer-Combat-Reconnaissance-Vehicle_live-fire-training_dc.jpg
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