The UK chooses the Boxer

Finally, the call for tenders will not last long. Less than a week after the announcement of a competition to choose the model of infantry fighting vehicle to equip the British Army, the British Ministry of Defense announced that his choice fell on the Boxer program, which the British left 12 years ago. After the Australians, it is therefore a new success for the VCI resulting from a cooperation between German and Dutch industry, and a disappointment for Nexter and its VBCI 2 which had been positively assessed a few years ago by the forces. British.

Clearly, French defense companies are struggling to export to Europe and, more generally, to all Western countries. Apart from the CAESAR self-propelled gun, which has had several successes (and this is the least of things as it is so efficient), and a few helicopter contracts, if the French equipment succeeds in satisfying the tests, they do not pass. the course of political decision. In this, the choice of Belgium to join the SCORPION program is exceptional and should be much more valued by the French authorities.

The reasons for these failures are multiple: a lack of support or political investment (much less noticeable since JY Le Drian and Florence Parly), equipment lacking performance in European theaters because it was optimized for African theaters, or errors in regarding the management of offers.

But more than anything, these failures are linked to an excessive conservatism of French Defense industries, in their management of their image and in their communication. Consulting British blogs and sites since the announcement of the competition for 800 IFVs, we can see that all the opinion leaders were in favor of the Boxer. Not the majority, all of them. As they did with the Leopard 2, the Germans patiently rallied a significant number of public and semi-public figures, including many Defense journalists and bloggers, by presenting the Boxer as an IFV far superior to the others, so that no competition was necessary. Add to that a well-timed intervention from the German authorities, as they did in Norway for the submarine competition, and the fate of the competition was sealed. 

It should be noted that this method is not the prerogative of the Germans; the Swedes and especially the Americans have been using it successfully for many years, thus explaining the support given to the Gripen and especially the F35 in Europe. It is high time for the French Defense industry to move away from its paradigms which, although they were indeed effective in the 70s, are no longer able to cope with American or German pressure.

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