Australia has formally released the Request for Tender (RFT) for the multi-billion dollar LAND 400 Phase 3 armoured vehicle project to replace the Army’s M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC).
Marise Payne, the Australian Minister for Defence, said the project will see Army’s capability significantly enhanced with a fleet of up to 450 modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) and 17 Manoeuvre Support Vehicles (MSV). This acquisition of mounted close combat vehicle capability through the tender will be one of Army’s largest purchases.
The full tender can now be downloaded from the AusTender website at www.tenders.gov.au. Submissions will close at 5.00pm AEST on Friday 1 March 2019.
The Australian Government provided First Pass approval for LAND 400 Phase 3 Mounted Close Combat Capability project to acquire the IFV and MSV capabilities, on 13 March 2018. The new vehicles are expected to enter into service by the mid-2020s and will provide new levels of protection, firepower, mobility and enhanced communications to the Army that will enable sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.
Minister Pyne encouraged Australian industry to get behind the project.
“I actively encourage Australian small and medium sized enterprises to take advantage of the significant opportunities arising from this project,” he said. “Just as with the LAND 400 Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, Australian industry involvement and Australian workers will be critically important to this project.”
The LAND 400 Phase 2 CRV project saw the selection of Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8wheeled armoured vehicle over the Patria AMV35 offered by the BAE Systems. The selection was announced on March 14 this year by Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia.
This multi-billion dollar project will see Rheinmetall deliver at least 211 of the latest generation Boxer 8×8 vehicles, with Rheinmetall’s advanced Lance 30mm turret fitted to the reconnaissance variants. Rheinmetall will offer the recently unveiled Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle for the LAND 400 Phase 3 project.
Australian Defence Force (ADF) is placing greater emphasis on a coordinated and programmatic approach to Army’s biggest project ever. A new Armoured Vehicle Division will been created to consolidate large programs like LAND 400, LAND 907 – Main Battle Tank Replacement and LAND 8160 – Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability into a programmatic ‘mega project’.
When fully delivered, the LAND 400 Program will allow Army to successfully sustain mounted close combat operations against emerging and future threats as part of a joint force.
LAND 400 Phase 3 Project
By the project, Australia is seeking an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), with high levels of protection, lethality and mobility, and is capable of lifting a standard infantry battalion section (minimum of 6 dismounts).
The tactical maneuverability characteristics of the vehicle are to be similar to the Australian Army M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (MBT) fleet to enable combined arms manoeuvre.
The IFV will be selected on the basis of whole of life (acquisition and sustainment) fleet costs and the optimal value for money within the funding provision available within the Defence budget.
The stated preference is for a tracked and turreted vehicle but Australia will also consider a mixed fleet of both tracked and wheeled vehicles if this enables fulfillment of the range of IFV missions with better value for money and affordability over the life of the fleet.
They possible contenders of the project are (all tracked vehicles):
+ Rheinmetall Lynx KF41
+ Puma – Projekt System Management GmbH (PSM), a JV of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall .
+ CV90 – BAE Systems Australia
+ K21 – South Korea’s Hanwha Defence Systems
+ General Dynamics Ajax/ ASCOD