Rheinmetall announced that it has lodged a bid in response to the Australian Army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 – Mounted Close Combat Capability Request For Tender (RFT), on March 1.
Under the tender, the Australian Army is offered the Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with the Lance turret, Lynx Manouevre Support Vehicle (MSV), an established and growing network of suppliers across Australia, continued use of the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Queensland, and a comprehensive support and training system.
The Lynx IFV and the Lynx MSV have been designed and tested to meet the demanding requirements of the Australian Army, NATO and NATO allies. Lynx establishes a vehicle system with unmatched levels of survivability, mobility, lethality, knowledge, and growth that will excel in close combat operations.
The modular architecture of the Lynx also delivers significant cost benefits by drawing on Rheinmetall’s expertise and extensive development of contemporary combat vehicles. This results in a system that requires only two Lynx base vehicle configurations to achieve the nine roles sought under the Australian Army’s RFT. The modular system architecture also covers the four additional roles sought in the Australia Army’s Request for Information, including a mortar variant, a logistics variant, and a protected amphibious Lynx.
Lynx provides protection against the full spectrum of threats including blast, IED, direct and indirect fire, cluster munitions, and anti-tank guided missiles. With enhanced lethality and the mobility of a main battle tank, Lynx will enable Army to cope with the complex nature of warfighting in diverse environments and against a range of adaptive threats.
Rheinmetall’s Global Head of Vehicle Systems, Ben Hudson said, “the significant protected volume within the Lynx vehicle is unmatched in this class, and ensures the three crew and a minimum of six dismounts can conduct effective close combat operations while providing unrivalled growth and flexibility for the future.”
“The Australian Army deserves an Infantry Fighting Vehicle that will ensure their soldiers can fight, survive and win on the modern battlefield,” Mr Hudson said. “If selected for LAND 400 Phase 3, the Lynx will provide the Australian Army with a future-proof vehicle solution that can rapidly transition into service and be easily supported through life.”
The Rheinmetall Lance turret is contracted to be delivered to the Australian Army under LAND 400 Phase 2, and will be manufactured in Brisbane for the local and export markets.
The digital Lance turret provides the crew with sensor systems, advanced automatic tracking and targeting capabilities, and weapon integrated battle management all in a connected and digitally enabled platform. This common electronic architecture provides enhanced combat effectiveness for the crew, generating a range of scalable and precise effects to deal with threats on the current and future battlefield.
Rheinmetall is creating an enduring Australian capability with the construction of the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) near Brisbane. By the time LAND 400 Phase 3 is contracted, the MILVEHCOE and its supporting national military vehicle industry network of Australian suppliers will be qualified for all of the common systems and components required for the Rheinmetall Lynx and Lance solution.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Managing Director, Gary Stewart said, “the Australian Army will benefit from the Lynx IFV that will be designed, built and supported from the MILVEHCOE, with an expanded Australia-wide military vehicle industrial network.”
“This national approach will directly reduce the total cost of ownership for Defence, create long term highly skilled regional jobs, and deliver enduring economic benefit through a strong sovereign military vehicle industry,” Mr Stewart said.
Components and designs already incorporated into the Lynx platform are supplied from companies located around Australia like Supashock in Adelaide, Cablex in Melbourne, Bisalloy Steels in Wollongong, and Milspec Manufacturing in Albury.
Ongoing investment by Rheinmetall in research and product development directly contributes to Australian Lynx and Lance designs and foundation technologies. Coupled with targeted global opportunities, this creates new export orders for Australian industry.
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):
+ Lynx KF41 – Rheinmetall
+ Puma – Projekt System Management GmbH (PSM), a JV of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall .
+ CV90 – BAE Systems Australia
+ AS21 Redback – South Korea’s Hanwha Defence Systems
+ Ajax/ ASCOD – General Dynamics