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UK Defence Minister opens New Armoured Vehicle Production Facility in Stockport

25 May 2021

Categories: Advanced Manufacturing

Related sector

Advanced Manufacturing

UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, has visited Stockport-based WFEL to formally open the new Boxer Armoured Vehicle Production Facility, in advance of first-stage production commencement.  This new facility in Stockport will play a significant role in the manufacture of the Boxer, the British Army’s latest armoured vehicle.

During his visit, the Minister saw first-hand the newly built production line and met with WFEL personnel who will be working directly on the state-of-the art vehicles.  He also met with WFEL Apprentices and heard about the latest developments in the roll-out of the UK supply chain for the Boxer programme.

Speaking at the event, Minister Quin said:

“Our Boxer programme is playing a significant role in boosting prosperity, supporting skills, protecting over 1,000 jobs across the North West, North East, West Midlands, central Scotland, Wales and throughout the UK wider supply chain.”

“This new production line is creating 120 new jobs at WFEL in Stockport, further cementing our investment in UK innovation and expertise.”

The Minister also had the opportunity to see a live demonstration of the latest Boxer variant - the Boxer Bridge-layer - which incorporates bridge sections manufactured by WFEL personnel in Stockport. 

Ian Anderton, WFEL's Managing Director, commented,

“We were honoured that the UK Defence Minister was able to visit us, to see the progress already made in this significant, new, armoured vehicle programme for the British Army.  In spite of the restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic, our teams have succeeded in keeping us on schedule and we are now poised to begin production.  We look forward to delivering the first vehicles to the Army in due course”

A number of significant supply chain contract awards for the UK Boxer Programme have recently been announced by WFEL, including agreements with Horstman and David Brown Santasalo.

WFEL continues its recruitment campaign for the Boxer Programme, offering long-term employment opportunities in a variety of roles across the new manufacturing site.

The UK decided to re-join the Boxer programme in 2018 and since then has committed £2.3bn to deliver over 500 vehicles to the British Army. They will be made up of four variants: Infantry Carrier, Specialist Carrier, Command Vehicle and Ambulance.

About WFEL

With over a century of engineering expertise and innovation - and renowned as an established world leader in rapidly deployable military bridging, having supplied 43 armed forces around the globe for over four decades - WFEL offers concept design, prototype manufacture and full-scale production of a range of military-grade engineering solutions across the complete spectrum of the defence sector, including vehicle integration and aviation products. 

WFEL also has a significant involvement in the production of the Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles for the British Army, as part of the £2.3bn contract signed in November 2019 with ARTEC.

WFEL’s range of mobile bridging systems -  Medium Girder Bridge and the Dry Support Bridge - provide unrestricted manoeuvre capability and interoperability, can be deployed in minutes and have been used by coalition forces on operations worldwide and in civilian aid operations in disaster zones around the world, being in service with the British ArmyU.S. Army and many other NATO forces. 

Manually built and semi-automated bridge variants are available, offering up to 120 MLC and integrated onto a variety of both tracked and wheeled military vehicle platforms.  WFEL is a long-established Prime Contractor to both the UK Ministry of Defence and U.S Department of Defense. 

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