Hanwha REDBACK and Rheinmetall LYNX Compete for 450-Vehicle Order
Two contenders for the largest acquisition project in the history of the Australian Army were officially unveiled in Canberra on 12 March.
The new Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) prototypes are currently under evaluation and, once delivered, the project will provide the Army with an advanced, cutting-edge mounted close combat capability. The two shortlisted bidders for the A$18-27 billion (€11.7-17.5 billion) LAND 400 Phase 3 project are Rheinmetall Defence Australia, offering its KF-41 LYNX, and Hanwha Defense Australia, with its REDBACK. Both companies have proposed building the vehicles in Australia, with substantial investment in local industrial capability, supporting Australian jobs, talent and technology.
Senator Marise Payne, Acting Minister for Defence, confirmed the government intends to buy 450 vehicles. “These next-generation [IFVs] will provide Australian soldiers with higher levels of protection, mobility, firepower and connectivity […] They will give our troops the best possible opportunity to successfully complete their mission safely.”
“Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia have each delivered three prototype vehicles which will be tested over the course of this year, as part of a two-year risk mitigation activity,” Senator Jim Molan, a former general officer, stated at the Canberra event. “These activities include Australian soldiers participating in user evaluation and testing, with a particular focus on the armour, firepower and mobility of the platforms.”
A decision on the preferred tenderer will be presented to Government for consideration in 2022. The IFVs will replace the current M113 APCs, which have been in service since the mid-1960s.