Production on the Boxer, the British Army's next-generation armoured fighting vehicle, has started in Germany.
Welding work has begun in the country, with the vehicles due to be delivered in 2022 and be ready for service the following year.
The United Kingdom re-joined the Boxer programme in 2018.
Since then, the country has committed £2.8bn to the delivery of more than 500 Boxer vehicles to the Army.
The Boxer is an 8x8 armoured vehicle, of which there are four variants:
- An infantry carrier
- A specialist carrier
- A command vehicle
- An ambulance
Most of the Boxer fleet will be built in the UK by main contractors Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and WFEL, supporting around 1,000 jobs.
The first prototypes will be developed at Rheinmetal's plant in Kassel, Germany where the first series vehicles will be produced.
Workers at the German plant will share technical knowledge, particularly their specialist welding expertise, with British colleagues at RBSL.
It is hoped the Boxer will able to be deployed around the world to deliver soldiers around the battlefield, travelling long distances quickly, while under enemy fire and in the most challenging environments.
Its design is modular, meaning that the vehicle base platform can be reconfigured with different modules to adapt it to best fill different roles.
While the number of overall soldiers will fall by 4,000 this decade, the service's future fleet will be centred around upgraded Challenger 2s, known as the 'Challenger 3', Ajax armoured vehicles and the Boxer personnel carriers.
Watch: A closer look at a Boxer, filmed in 2019.
Cover image: Boxer armoured vehicle (Picture: KMW).