UPDATED 02 December with video:
The Australian Army’s new Rheinmetall Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV) has successfully completed a series of amphibious trials aboard the Navy’s LHD, HMAS Adelaide.
Being procured under Project LAND 400 Phase 2, the Boxer 8×8 embarked upon HMAS Adelaide in late October along with two Thales Hawkei PMVs for Exercise Sea Wader to conduct amphibious landings at Cowley Beach training area south of Cairns in north Queensland.
The goals of the exercise were to test and evaluate the new vehicles in a real-world environment, and the landing force included combat, combat support, and logistics elements from across the 1st Division and Forces Command.
“The integration of new ADF land vehicles with…Adelaide provides a step-up in our amphibious force projection capabilities and our capacity to meet the challenges of increased strategic competition,” Exercise Director and Commander Landing Forces Colonel Kim Gilfillan said in a release.
“In addition to the integration of new capabilities, the joint training will ensure the AAF is well positioned to respond to a range of contingencies, and in particular to provide support to Australia and our regional partners ahead of the 2020-21 high-risk weather season,” he added. “We are aiming to validate that the vehicles can operate in their intended conditions.
“This also provides an opportunity for Navy and Army personnel to work together and test our interoperability in a variety of conditions. The relationship Army has with Navy is excellent and working with HMAS Adelaide is essential to our ability to provide safe and effective joint capabilities to the government.”
The vehicles were landed aboard Adelaide’s LHD landing craft (LLC), and were crewed by members of the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (2/14LHR). “The vehicle provides a real fighting capability that’s not only going to be the most capable cavalry vehicle in the world, but set the conditions for further modernisation projects,” Officer Commanding 2/14LHR’s A Squadron Major Ed Keating said.
“From what we’ve seen, I’m confident the Boxer CRV can be deployed just about anywhere in the world,” he added. “The way it was able to manoeuvre on the beach was impressive.”
The Boxer was selected for LAND 400 Phase 2 in March 2018, and a contract for 211 vehicles was signed in August 2018. The Army’s first Boxer CRV was delivered in September 2019, and training on the vehicle Boxer commenced in early October 2020.
A video of the Boxer CRV landings and beach manoeuvres can be seen here.