Düsseldorf, Germany-headquartered Rheinmetall AG has unveiled the first of three Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicles that have been designed, developed and manufactured for the Commonwealth of Australia for $AUD18.1 billion Land 400 Phase 3 program.
The Lynx KF41 is a next generation tracked, digitised heavily protected Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) built to meet the stringent military requirements of Australia’s Land 400 Phase 3 program.
The Phase 4 program requires the Australian Army to have an IFV that is capable of meeting adversaries head-on in the most lethal and dangerous environments.
Rheinmetall has begun delivery of the Lynx vehicles which will compete in evaluation trials and tests as part of the Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) which will be conducted in Australia over a 12 month period starting from November 2020.
If it is adopted by the Australian armed forces, the Lynx fleet will be manufactured in Queensland at Rheinmetall’s new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank, south-west of Brisbane.
During the RMA tests, the Lynx will have to go through a range of tests including protection, mobility and lethality; it will also be the target of bomb blasts at a dedicated Commonwealth facility in the coming months.
The Lynx KF41 was unveiled at a closed ceremony with selected Australian industry partners at the MILVEHCOE. Each of the Lynx vehicles that have been delivered into the RMA trials will incorporate a high level of local Australian industry content and include local partners.
“Rheinmetall looks forward to demonstrating the capability of this next generation infantry fighting vehicle,” said Gary Stewart, Managing Director, Rheinmetall Defence Australia. “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.”
He went on to add, “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 IFV has been selected by the Hungarian Armed Forces and they have placed an order for more than 200 vehicles during the global launch of the vehicle.
Incidentally, Rheinmetall Defence Australia is set to export turrets worth $150 million and in recent weeks it is set to announce further export orders for the Hungarian military as well.
Rheinmetall is also delivering 211 8×8 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) to the Australian Army following rigorous testing of 12 months of RMA trials by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in 2016-2017.
Here too, the company has established a local presence and created local industrial capabilities including designing, development and manufacturing of military vehicles using a wide gamut of high technologies. The company’s investment has created local jobs at various levels including fire control and sensor systems, electro-optics, turret manufacturing, weapon systems, integration, variant design and manufacture, armour systems, fleet sustainment, simulation and training.
“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,” said Mr Stewart.
Both vehicles, the Lynx and the Boxer have modular designs: they can be customized with a mission module sitting on a common drive module, allowing for a swap out of mission modules depending on operational requirements; this significantly reduces its cost of ownership and ensures lower cost for fleet management. “Rheinmetall has taken all of the significant benefits of the Boxer and ensured they are part of the Lynx KF41 package,” said Mr Stewart. “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.”