With the government’s recent announcement of the LAND 400 Phase 3 request for tender (RFT), Land Forces ‘18 is providing the perfect opportunity for the contenders to showcase their unique systems and capabilities to key decision-makers as the race to secure the lucrative contract begins to speed up.
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Three main industry partners are preparing to showcase their contenders for the LAND 400 Phase 3 at Land Forces '18 drawing from three companies, with three different vehicles to compete for the approximately $10-15 billion project to recapitalise Army's M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) force, with an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and APC.
The main industry contenders are: BAE Systems, Hanwha Defense Systems and Rheinmetall.
BAE Systems CV90: The CV90 family of vehicles give unrivalled performance in the 20-35 tonne class and have been deployed by national forces, the UN and NATO in missions across the globe, including in Afghanistan.
With more than 25 years’ experience in enhancing and developing the CV90 family, we have maximised the availability and cost-efficiency of these vehicles throughout their life cycle. Customer priorities and affordability are key, with future- proof designs leading to further advances.
According to BAE Systems, the CV90 will provide a number of key advantages over its competitors, including:
- Designed for mobility;
- Flexible firepower packages;
- Survivability focus;
- Industrial collaboration and commitment;
- Through-life commitment;
- Ability to control the battlefield; and
- Operator-centric focus.
A BAE Systems Australia spokesperson said, "The CV90 is a combat proven in operation infantry fighting vehicle. It is a versatile and modern vehicle using the latest technology and innovation to help keep soldiers safe. As always, we look to support the Commonwealth to protect and enable our military forces where we can offer value for money, high performance system solutions that meet their needs. We are assessing the RFT and will make a decision in due course."
CV90 has room for a crew of 11 (three crew, eight troops), a top speed of 70km/h, with an operational range of 900 kilometres and can be armed with a 30mm Bushmaster Cannon, a secondary 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and six 76mm grenade launchers.
Hanwha Defense Systems AS21 Redback: An evolved variant of the in-service K21 the AS21 builds on the basic platform of the K21. The K21 infantry fighting vehicle is described by Hanwha as the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) that introduced the concept of "transport for infantry troops with combat capability".
K21 features 20 per cent lighter weight and 50 per cent lower price competitiveness than other countries. The K21 IFV has achieved a high localisation rate and is expanding the line-up into 105mm turret loaded medium tanks and medium recovery vehicle. It is the top-of-the-line armored fighting vehicle in service with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.
A Hanwha spokesperson was confident the company could adapt the K21 platform to meet requirements outlined by the ADF: "Hanwha Defense Systems is able to customise its armoured solutions to a variety of specifications in order to meet future warfare requirements of any country."
The AS21 will include the capability to integrate active protection systems into an evolved turret system, the Redback will, like its BAE competitor, be capable of hosting a crew of 11 (three crew, eight troops), a top road speed of 70km/h, cross country speed of 40km/h, an operational range of 500 kilometres, with an armament consisting of a 40mm autocannon and a single 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
Rheinmetall Lynx KF41: The Lynx KF41 is a tracked, highly protected IFV designed to meet the stringent military requirements of LAND 400 Phase 3, which was officially unveiled at Eurosatory 2018.
The Lynx, described as highly survivable, adaptable to diverse environments, extremely agile, hard hitting, and with huge payload reserves, is a next-generation combat vehicle designed to confront the challenges of the future battlefield like no other.
Gary Stewart, Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director, said, "Rheinmetall has developed this vehicle so it is positioned at an ideal level of maturity when Australia needs it to enter service in 2026 – and it will have a growth path to extend these capabilities through its 40-year life."
The Lynx KF41 has been designed to meet the following operational needs from inception:
- Combined arms capabilities at the platoon level so that commanders can adapt while in contact;
- Combined arms fighting systems to conduct operations across the spectrum of conflict;
- High mobility to enable tactical flexibility in contact;
- Adaptable vehicle systems that can be upgraded or modified in theatre; and
- Survivability that forces the enemy to operate above the detection threshold.
This has resulted in a vehicle with:
- High levels of inherent capability;
- Modularity to tailor protection and achieve rapid upgrades;
- Open electrical, electronic, software and mechanical architectures; and
- Growth in payload and electrical power.
The Lynx KF41 will include the capability to support a crew of 12 (three crew, up to nine troops), have a max road speed of 70km/h, a road range of more than 500 kilometres, with an armament consisting of the Lance 2.0 30-35mm autocannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a variety of additional close in weapons systems.
LAND 400 Phase 3 will acquire and support the next generation of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) with the firepower, protection and mobility to defeat increasingly adaptive adversaries well into the future.
The broader LAND 400 project will deliver enhanced levels of survivability to the Joint Land Force, including sensors, weapons and information systems that will be networked to strategic intelligence platforms, and is made up of four of key capability development phases:
- LAND 400 Phase 1 – Project Definition Study (completed);
- LAND 400 Phase 2 – Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability, primarily enabled by the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) mission system (the ASLAV replacement);
- LAND 400 Phase 3 – Mounted Close Combat Capability, primarily enabled by the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) (the M113 APC replacement) and MSV mission systems; and
- LAND 400 Phase 4 – Integrated Training System.
Land Forces 2018 will provide a number of opportunities for industry engagement, including:
- LAND 400 Phase 3 RFT Industry briefing session – Wednesday, 5 September 2018
- LAND 400 Phase 3 RFT one-on-one meetings – Wednesday, 5 and Thursday, 6 September 2018
- LAND 400 Phase 3 RFT classified briefing registration: The project will hold a classified briefing to vehicle OEMs and primes that intend to submit a response to the RFT to detail classified technical requirements, specifically the protection requirements listed in the Technical Requirements Matrix (TRM), shortly after release.
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.