LAND 400 Phase 3 contender Rheinmetall has secured a launch customer for the KF-41 Lynx IFV, establishing a joint venture with Hungary worth in excess of €2 billion ($3.3 billion) to support the modernisation of the nation’s military and defence industrial base.
Hungary is the first NATO and EU member state to choose the Düsseldorf-based group’s innovative new IFV. The step is of central importance in Hungary’s ongoing program of military and industrial development, which aims to transform the Hungarian Army as quickly as possible into a world-class fighting force capable of actively addressing security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic region
With the signing of an agreement in Unterlüss on 17 August 2020, the government of Hungary has embarked on a massive program worth over €2 billion to modernise the country’s defence industry and military capabilities.
The move was announced by Hungary’s Secretariat of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the Commissioner for Defence Development.
Rheinmetall, Europe’s foremost maker of army equipment, will be co-operating with Hungary to create a joint venture and production facility in Hungary to manufacture the most modern Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.
László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, and Gáspár Maróth, Commissioner for Defence Development, welcomed the announcement, saying, “As part of its commitment to NATO, Hungary is replacing its heavy ground forces equipment. Following the tanks and artillery, it is now the turn of the infantry combat vehicles, which form the backbone of the capabilities set. As the most advanced system of its kind, the Lynx has demonstrated its suitability for a central role in the Army’s capabilities spectrum for decades to come. In keeping with earlier promises by the Hungarian government to enhance the nation’s armed forces, this co-operative endeavour extends far beyond the modernisation of military technology.”
This was reinforced by Rheinmetall AG executive board chairman Armin Papperger, who added, “The Lynx’s market breakthrough is a major success for us. And the fact that we were able to convince Hungary – an important EU and NATO partner – to choose this innovative vehicle makes this success all the greater. In making this forward looking procurement decision, Hungary’s top political and military officials have demonstrated real leadership. Not only does the move place Hungary at the forefront of European army technology. It reaffirms the Hungarian government’s commitment to being a reliable, more militarily effective partner of its NATO allies, a policy which it is pursuing with systematic energy.”
LAND 400 Phase 3 is a $10-15 billion Army program which will recapitalise Army’s Vietnam-era M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) force with a combination of a tracked infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and tracked APC.
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.
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.