19 June 2023

WFEL Ltd., rebranded as KNDS UK


KNDS, the merger of the German and French land defence systems providers Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Nexter harmonises its brand image so that from now on Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Nexter and all of their subsidiaries will appear exclusively under the single brand KNDS.

Their consolidation and joint strategic governance will make a significant contribution to the standardisation and interoperability of land forces in Europe and the other customers of Europe’s defence industry.

The future of European Land Systems is here - KNDS.

21 March 2023

Further UK MoD Boxer Sub-contract Award

WFEL has awarded a three-year contract to Chesterfield-based Wesco Anixter for the supply of components to be used in the assembly and integration of the Boxer Armoured Vehicles for UK MoD which are being manufactured at WFEL’s Stockport defence manufacturing facility.

This contract comprises a Vendor Managed Inventory agreement (VMI) to streamline WFEL’s inventory management, with Wesco Anixter replenishing WFEL’s stock levels based on data delivered by electronic data interchange (EDI).  This managed supply solution includes both direct parts such as Fasteners and Fixings and indirect production consumables, allowing Wesco Anixter to work in close collaboration with the WFEL team to drive continuous improvement and process efficiencies as part of the value-added supply chain services.

The awarding of this contact by WFEL means that a number of UK jobs at Wesco Anixter will be both created and sustained, in order to fulfil the three-year contract.

Commenting on this latest contract awarded as part of WFEL’s UK-wide Boxer vehicle supply chain roll-out, WFEL’s Managing Director, Ian Anderton, said:

“WFEL demands components of the highest quality from its sub-contractors, together with exceptional service levels – and Wesco Anixter meets our rigorous requirements in this respect.  We are, therefore, delighted to welcome Wesco Anixter to our ever-growing UK supply chain, as we move closer to delivering the Boxer armoured vehicles to the British Army.”

Following an extensive technology transfer programme from Germany, the UK Boxer Programme is creating 120 additional jobs at WFEL and sustaining a further number, in addition to creating a new, vibrant and robust UK supply chain to support the vehicles throughout their 30+ year life. WFEL is currently recruiting for a number of new roles at its North West site.

Further UK job creation and sustainment is already being seen within WFEL's growing UK-wide supply chain, which is set to further expand as the Boxer Programme progresses.

Photo: Copyright - Netherlands Ministry of Defence

8 February 2023


WFEL IS HIRING - more exciting new roles in Defence Manufacturing now available at our dedicated facility in the North West, working on Boxer Armoured Vehicles and Rapid-deploy Military Bridging Systems for our Military customers in the UK and overseas.  

We offer a variety of career-enhancing roles in a number of different disciplines, including:

  • Design Engineers
  • Supply Chain/Logistics
  • Purchasing
  • Welders
  • Fitters
  • Multi-skilled Engineers

Our Careers Page  https://www.wfel.com/careers  is regularly updated with fresh new roles available.

Take a look now https://www.wfel.com/careers

You can find out more about WFEL here:

18 January 2023

Expansion for WFEL’s Design Engineering Function

With increased defence spending amid ongoing instability, many militaries worldwide are enhancing their defence equipment capabilities as the war in Ukraine continues.  An increase in orders for military equipment manufactured by WFEL means that the company is now expanding its Mechanical Engineering Design Team and looking for talented and experienced professionals to join the company, to work on a variety of exciting, interesting and challenging projects for our Military customers, both in the UK and worldwide. 

WFEL is already renowned as a leading worldwide supplier of our rapidly deployed Military Bridging Systems and is also a key partner in the manufacture of new BOXER Armoured Vehicles for supply to the UK MoD.

The company offers great opportunities for self-motivated Design Engineers and those looking for a new challenge for 2023 can find out more on WFEL's dedicated Careers page:  https://www.wfel.com/careers which also details a range of our other current vacancies.

15 November 2022

WFEL Showcases Mobile Bridges at NIDV 2022, Rotterdam

WFEL is showcasing its military bridging systems at NIDV in Rotterdam on 18th November 2022.

As seen in Disaster Relief operations following severe flooding in Europe, WFEL's rapidly deployable military bridging systems are increasingly called upon for deployment to provide emergency temporary infrastructure during natural disasters.

WFEL is discussing its range of rapidly deployable bridging systems alongside colleagues from KMW during this year's NIDV event in Rotterdam.  WFEL's DSB Dry Support Bridge and the MGB Medium Girder Bridge are already held in inventory by many militaries worldwide.

At 120 Military Load Classification (MLC), the DSB can get traffic and supplies moving over a 46-metre gap in less than 90 minutes using just eight soldiers and a single launch vehicle: crucial in rapidly escalating combat, homeland defence or disaster relief scenarios - when every second counts.

Both DSB Dry Support Bridges and MGB Medium Girder Bridges have been proven on operations worldwide, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

7 September 2022

Irish Defence Forces Sign New Bridging Contract with WFEL

WFEL is delighted to announce that it has contracted with the Irish Defence Forces for supply of the MGB Medium Girder Bridging System.  The Irish Defence Forces have chosen the 31m double storey MGB variant, which can be erected in various configurations to cover the full range of military and emergency bridging requirements and will be supplied complete with handrails, making the system adaptable for use not only during military operations but also in Disaster Relief and Emergency scenarios, such as the severe flooding situations seen in Europe recently.

The Irish Military have been users of WFEL's MGB Medium Girder Bridging System since the late 1970s and are therefore already familiar with the many benefits of this versatile, modular bridging system.  The Corps of Engineers - military engineering branch of the Defence Forces of Ireland - will take delivery of the new MGB bridging.  The Corps is responsible for combat engineering and construction engineering services, providing engineering on the battlefield and has successfully leveraged its skill and expertise in several of the Irish Army's deployments on United Nations operations.

Colonel Damian McEvoy, Director of Engineering for the Irish Defence Forces, said, "As long-time users of the Medium Girder Bridge system, we are already familiar with its many benefits and, by updating our bridging assets with the latest version of the MGB, we will continue to be equipped with the most versatile, modular bridging system available, allowing our Engineering Division to rapidly react to situations both on and off the battlefield. 

"Of particular importance to us is the lightweight nature of the MGB system, not only for reducing transportation weight, but to enable the bridge components to be handled by our troops without the need for mechanical aids".   

With over 500 systems already supplied to militaries around the world, the MGB modular military bridging system provides interoperability with any other MGB of any age and is already adopted by many NATO members. WFEL's MGB has been deployed and proven on NATO operations worldwide.

A full support and training package is included in the contract and the Irish Defence Forces can expect delivery of their new bridging assets by the end of 2023.

Tom Winney, Business Development Director at WFEL, said, "We are delighted to be working closely with the Irish Defence Force once again and refreshing their military bridging stocks with the latest MGB systems, to provide vital engineer capabilities.  We are seeing increased interest in our MGB bridging systems worldwide, due to their modular and versatile nature, as forces worldwide recognise the need for rapid gap-crossing capability to ensure unrestricted manoeuvre for vehicles of up to 70 tonnes.”

3 August 2022


WFEL and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) have each selected Rolls Royce Solutions UK to supply their MTU engine for the British Army’s new Boxer Armoured vehicles.

The MTU 8v 199 TS21 engines are proven in military applications. With a power output of 600kw, the engines allow for enhanced operational mobility and agility and a higher electrical load.  The Boxers for the British Army will be the first versions of the vehicle equipped with this engine variant, delivering 70 KW more power than the MTU engines in previous versions of the Boxer.

523 units will be produced in Rolls Royce’s facility in East Grinstead, West Sussex, for the UK MOD’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme.
For the fulfilment of the contract with WFEL, the Rolls Royce engines will be delivered directly to Huddersfield-based David Brown Santasalo, another key UK partner in WFEL's Boxer programme, who will integrate the engines into the complete Boxer Powerpack Assemblies, prior to delivery to WFEL.  First delivery of the engines will take place later this year.

For RBSL, assembly and testing of the Boxer Powerpack (transmission, engine and cooling systems) will take place at its world-class manufacturing site in Telford.

The engines will then be integrated into Boxer vehicles as part of RBSL and WFEL’s vehicle production plans at their respective UK facilities in Telford and Stockport.

The Boxer programme aims to develop a resilient UK supply chain for Boxer.  As such, WFEL and RBSL are part of a Boxer Joint Procurement Team, which has engaged suppliers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Rolls Royce is the latest in a series of suppliers confirmed for the programme. 

Andrew Munt, Boxer Programme Director for WFEL, said: 
“Boxer vehicle hull production is now well under way here at WFEL in Stockport.  As we move into the vehicle assembly phase, we are delighted to contract with Rolls Royce for the supply of MTU engines.”

David Eaton, Director-Governmental at Rolls-Royce Solutions UK, said: 
“We have been working energetically with our industry partners for a number of years to reach this point and are very much looking forward to delivering our engines to power these state-of-the-art, British-built infantry vehicles.”

In April 2022, the British Army announced it had ordered an additional 100 Boxer armoured vehicles, bringing the total number on order to 623.

7 July 2022


Following the announcement last year by UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, of the creation of 120 jobs at Stockport-based WFEL as a result of contracts for the Ministry of Defence, the next round of vacancies is now available, covering a wide spectrum of roles at the precision engineering company's North West site.

The company is already well known for its manufacture of Military Bridging systems, supplied to over 40 Armies around the world, and is also a key partner in the manufacture of new 'Boxer' armoured military vehicles, following a £2.3 bn MoD contract.

New roles are immediately available in the areas of Training, Accounting, Manufacturing, Engineering, Quality Engineering/Control, Project Management and Welding/Fitters in both the Military Bridging and Military Vehicles divisions.

WFEL offers secure and long-term employment opportunities. 

More details on the individual vacancies can be found on the WFEL website: https://www.wfel.com/careers

7 June 2022


For the first time in WFEL's many appearances at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris, the Military Bridging Systems supplier will next week be exhibiting on the KNDS (KMW Nexter Defence Systems) booth, alongside parent company KMW. 

As the world-leading provider of rapidly deployed modular military bridging systems, WFEL will showcase its range of products, including the DSB Dry Support Bridge and also its newest collaboration with KMW, the Boxer Bridge-Layer system.             

WFEL’s Dry Support Bridge is the world’s most technically advanced, rapidly deployable military bridge of its type and a 46m bridge can be constructed by a crew of 8 in under 90 minutes. The user base for the Dry Support Bridge is constantly growing worldwide and the latest country to join the user base is the Philippines, which is acquiring a number of DSB systems under the Horizon II modernisation programme.

Strategic Importance

WFEL’s rapidly-deployable bridging systems – including the MGB Medium Girder Bridge as well as the DSB - provide temporary infrastructure and have the potential to be used both in combat situations and in the event of natural disasters, greatly enhancing an Army’s capability to quickly manoeuvre across physical terrain as complex as rivers, ravines and man-made gaps.

The current growing ‘state of readiness for battle’ for many militaries around the world, combined with the greater involvement of the military in support of natural disasters which have occurred in recent times, illustrates the strategic importance of the dual-role capabilities of WFEL’s bridging systems.

Both DSB and MGB Bridging Systems were deployed in 2021 during rescue and relief operations, following severe flooding in Europe, namely in Germany and Turkey.

11 April 2022


British Army Deputy Chief of General Staff Visits WFEL to Announce Additional 100 Boxer Armoured Vehicles Contract

WFEL was delighted to host in Stockport the British Army's Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Sir Christopher Tickell KBE, together with Chris Bushell, D.G. Land, Defence Equipment and Support and other senior industry colleagues from DE&S and RBSL, for the official announcement confirming a contractual extension with the ARTEC consortium worth several hundred million pounds, that will see the British Army receive an additional 100 Boxer Armoured vehicles.

The manufacture of wheeled Boxer vehicles for the British Army is already well underway at WFEL's new Boxer vehicle facility in Stockport. This contract extension will include extra Infantry Carrier vehicles, Command & Control vehicles and Ambulances which will be used by the British Army’s new Armoured Brigade Combat Teams, as a first uplift to increase the Force Structure, as planned in the 2021 Defence Command Paper.

This latest contract for 100 vehicles is in addition to the earlier £2.8bn contract signed between ARTEC and UK MoD for more than 500 Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles. The additional vehicles will be manufactured in both UK and Germany and will be delivered from 2024, whilst the original order for 523 Boxer vehicles will deliver from 2023.

Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said: “This order will accelerate the delivery of the Boxer fleet to the British Army and increase its numbers.

“The land equipment upgrade is a vital element of the Integrated Review, on which we continue to deliver. Doing so, alongside our German allies, creates opportunities for both our Armed Forces.”

Following an extensive technology transfer programme from Germany, the UK Boxer Programme is creating 120 additional jobs at WFEL and sustaining a further number, in addition to creating a new, vibrant and robust UK supply chain to support the vehicles throughout their 30+ year life. Further UK job creation and sustainment is already being seen within WFEL's growing UK-wide supply chain, which is set to further expand as the Boxer Programme progresses.

Chris Bushell, Director General Land, Defence Equipment and Support, the procurement arm of the Ministry of Defence, said: “This contract extension is great news for the Boxer programme and committing to buying an extra 100 vehicles demonstrates our confidence in the programme and the benefits of the capability.

Not only is this great news for the future of the British Army but it will also boost our commitment to investing in the UK’s defence industry and supply chains, meaning we can retain critical engineering and manufacturing skills in the UK.”

Image: Crown Copyright


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