The US Army is expected to consider the KF-41 Lynx family of infantry fighting vehicles as part of the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program to replace the M2 Bradley IFV family, providing opportunities for Australian industry participation.
Raytheon and Rheinmetall joined forces in 2018 to offer Lynx for the Army’s OMFV competition. Lynx is a next-generation, tracked armoured fighting vehicle designed to address the critical challenges of the future battlefield. Lynx provides ample growth capacity to support new technologies over the vehicle’s lifetime, and features lower life cycle costs.
A joint team of Raytheon and Rheinmetall Defence have established a joint venture to offer the Lynx IFV for the US Army’s OMFV competition. The US-based joint venture is called Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems.
Sam Deneke, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president, said, "Our team will produce and deliver a fighting vehicle to the US Army that protects our troops and gives them an overwhelming advantage on the battlefield. This advanced combat vehicle will be made in America."
Scheduled for fielding in 2026, the OMFV is expected to replace the Bradley fighting vehicle. The new vehicle will be optimised for urban combat and rural terrain. The Army has named the OMFV as a top modernisation priority supported under the service’s Futures Command structure.
The Lynx offered to the US Army shares a range of commonalities with the variant offered to the Australian Army as part of its multibillion-dollar LAND 400 Phase 3 program – providing a range of industry collaboration and supply chain opportunities for Australian industry.
Ben Hudson, global head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems division, said, "Lynx will be built in America by American workers. By choosing Lynx, the Army has an extraordinary opportunity to provide US troops with a fighting vehicle that will enable them to outmatch the threat for decades to come."
The US Lynx team will submit its bid on or before 1 October 2019.
Australia's LAND 400 Phase 3 program will replace the M113 armoured personnel carriers, providing the Army with an advanced, world-class IFV capability.
Both options will provide the Army with a range of capabilities:
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- Hanwha Defense Systems AS21 Redback: The AS21 will include the capability to integrate active protection systems into an evolved turret system. The Redback will 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 KF-41: 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 is a $10-$15 billion program, which will recapitalise the Army’s Vietnam-era M113 APC force, with a combination of a tracked IFV and tracked APC.
The risk mitigation activity will commence later this year. Following its completion, Defence will undertake a final detailed evaluation of the shortlisted tenders.
A decision on the preferred tenderer to supply the Phase 3 capability will be presented to government for consideration in 2022.