Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have confirmed the successful signing of contracts to progress the $10-15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 program.
Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia will participate in risk mitigation as part of Defence’s project to acquire infantry fighting vehicles.
The risk mitigation activity phase will occur over the next two years, allowing both companies to engage with Defence, as well as clarify, refine and negotiate their tenders.
The vehicles will undertake a test and evaluation program including destructive testing at sites across Australia.
Minister Reynolds said the signing of the contracts brings Army a step closer to having world-class infantry fighting vehicle capability.
"This program is a significant investment in Army’s capability – it will make our personnel safer, more effective on operations, and will complement our investment in Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles under LAND 400 Phase 2," she said.
Both LAND 400 Phase 3 contenders present different options to the Australian Army with a range of capabilities, including:
- 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.
Minister Price encouraged Australian industry to get behind this project, saying, "Australian industry involvement and Australian workers will be critically important.
"Defence will work with the shortlisted tenderers to ensure small and medium enterprises across Australia have the opportunity to showcase their capabilities."
LAND 400 Phase 3 is a $10-15 billion program, which will recapitalise the Army’s Vietnam-era M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) force, with a combination of a tracked IFV and tracked APC.
Following completion of the RMA, Defence will undertake a detailed evaluation of the shortlisted contenders with a decision on the preferred tenderer to supply the Phase 3 capability presented to government for consideration in 2022.