The ‘gun-car’ variant of the Australian Army’s Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRV) has been fired for the first time in Australia by soldiers who will man it in the field.
CAPTION: A Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle at the Wide Bay Training Area, Queensland, fires its 30mm canon. Story by Captain Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Leading Aircraftman John Solomon.
The accuracy and lethality of the Boxer impressed the soldiers from 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) (2/14LHR(QMI)) on their turret conversion course.
After several weeks of theory, the soldiers the travelled to the Wide Bay Training Area in late June for the live-fire component of the conversion course, where they fired the main 30mm armament of the Boxer.
Lieutenant Stefano Rankin was on the course to convert from the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) to the Boxer CRV and said he was immediately impressed with the turret.
“To fire the turret, it’s quite different to what we are used to. It’s very digitised, as opposed to the ASLAV,” Lieutenant Rankin said.
“It is a very capable piece of equipment.
“The fire-control system on the Boxer is much more advanced than the ASLAV – it’s a more modern vehicle.
“I managed to hit targets in excess of 2500m.”
The Boxer CRV will replace the ASLAV, the current reconnaissance platform, which has been in service with the Army since the 1990s.
Members of 2/14LHR(QMI) said the advanced sights on the Boxer CRV sped up target identification and engagement.
Lieutenant Rankin said the most impressive part of the Boxer was the accuracy of the weapon system.
“From the start – from zeroing straight through to engaging targets – you are almost guaranteed a first-round hit,” he said.
“It’s a significant advantage to the ASLAVs.
“The accuracy of the weapon system is phenomenal compared to the ASLAV, and you are just able to see targets more clearly through the advanced sighting system.”
Trooper Brett Ward said firing the main 30mm armament after several weeks of theory with the new turret was exhilarating.
“It was extremely satisfying firing it after being in the classroom for weeks, so to get out here and live-fire it, to get rounds on targets, mostly first time, it’s extremely impressive,” he said.
“Just the incredible accuracy, even from the zeroing of the weapon, getting first-rounds hits with pinpoint accuracy, compared to the ASLAV, was really impressive.”
The bulk of the live-fire event was conducted from a static position at the Wide Bay Training Area.
However, Lieutenant Rankin said he believed firing on the move won’t be an issue with the Boxer.
“The stabilisation system on the Boxer is very advanced,” he said.
“It has technology that calculates the movement of the vehicle to the target as well as the movement of the target to the vehicle.
“This enables us to get first-round hits almost all the time, even when on a battle run.”
The Boxer CRV is due to achieve initial operational capability in the second quarter of next year.