A Year of Testing Lies Ahead
Rheinmetall has unveiled the first of three LYNX KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) designed, developed and manufactured for Australia’s A$18.1 billion (€11.1 billion) Land 400 Phase 3 programme, the company announced on 10 November.
LYNX is a next-generation tracked, digitised and highly protected IFV, built to meet the stringent Australian Army requirements for a new vehicle for close combat. The three vehicles are being delivered for test and evaluation as part of the risk mitigation trials to be conducted around Australia over the next 12 months. If successful, the LYNX fleet will be manufactured at the company’s new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank in Queensland. The trials will incorporate a range of tests, including lethality, mobility and protection; this first vehicle will be the focus of blast testing in the coming months.
Each LYNX to be delivered for the trials will incorporate a significant level of Australian industry content; local partners to the Rheinmetall offer for Land 400 Phase 3 will be announced shortly.
“Rheinmetall looks forward to demonstrating the capability of this next generation infantry fighting vehicle,” commented Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director, Gary Stewart. “We believe LYNX is the best vehicle in its class and sets a new standard in protection and the lethality needed to survive and defeat any adversary […] LYNX has been developed so it is positioned at an ideal level of maturity when Australia needs it to enter service – and it will have a growth path to extend these capabilities through its 40-year life.”
The launch order for LYNX came recently from the Hungarian armed forces, which ordered over 200 examples. Rheinmetall Defence Australia will export turrets to the value of $150 million manufactured by Australians – and will soon announce further export orders for the Hungarian programme that will include orders for Australian companies.
Rheinmetall is delivering 211 BOXER 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) to the Australian Army, which was selected after a 12-month series of trials conducted by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in 2016-2017. The company is establishing a local industrial capability in Australia for the design, development and manufacture of military vehicles, creating high technology enduring jobs for hundreds of Australians by localising design and manufacturing expertise in electro-optics, weapon systems, fire control and sensor systems, turret manufacturing, variant design and manufacture, integration, armour systems, simulation, training and fleet sustainment. “Design, development and manufacture of the LYNX in Australia for the ADF will build on the advanced manufacturing jobs at our new MILVEHCOE, as well as a strong industrial network of SMEs across Australia,” Stewart explained.
Both BOXER and LYNX are modular, meaning they can be split in two, with a mission module sitting on a common drive module. This allows for swap-out of mission modules for operational needs, reducing through-life costs for the introduction of new technology and ongoing fleet management.
“Rheinmetall has taken all of the significant benefits of the BOXER and ensured they are part of the LYNX KF41 package […] Our partnership with Army and the Commonwealth to deliver the BOXER for Land 400 Phase 2 presents the opportunity to deliver develop a complete armoured vehicle fighting force for the ADF,” Stewart concluded.