The Australian Army is reportedly evaluating Elbit’s Iron Fist active protection system (APS) for its LAND 400 Phase 2 Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicles.
Defence Update reported on January 21 that Army Director General, Armoured Fighting Vehicles BRIG Greg McGlone told the International Armoured vehicles 2019 in London that Rheinmetall has been asked by Army to evaluate the integration of Iron Fist to the Boxer. It says if the evaluation is successful, Iron Fist would be integrated with 121 Boxer CRV Block IIs that are planned to be fitted with the Lance turret.
As part of the evaluation, it says Army will conduct live fire testing of the system as part of the Block II development. The report says two versions of Iron Fist could be evaluated; the Light Decoupled (IF-LD) APS which has been selected by the US Army for its Bradley AIFV upgrade, and the Light Compact (IF-LC) which has been selected by the Dutch for its CV-9035NL AIFVs. IF-LC had previously been proposed for LAND 400 Phase 2 on the unsuccessful BAE AMV-35 and the ST Kinetics Terrex III bids.
The Australian Army has ordered 211 Boxers in total. The first 25 Block I vehicles will be manufactured by Rheinmetall in Germany, while the remaining 186 (plus 11 options) will be assembled in Australia at Rheinmetall’s new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) facility currently under construction at Redbank near Ipswich in Queensland.