The Department of Defence has released an extended video showcasing the capabilities of the nation’s next era of infantry fighting vehicles, showing how the models will add to the lethal capabilities of the Australian Defence Force.
In the running to be selected for the LAND 400 Phase 3 program are Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s KF-41 Lynx and Hanwha Defense Australia’s Redback. The IFVs are competing to replace the Australian Army’s fleet of M113 armoured personnel carriers, which had been in use by the Army since the 1960s.
Both contenders are undergoing testing and evaluation procedures at Puckapunyal Military Area, before a recommendation is passed to government in 2022.
According to the Department of Defence, both vehicles are able to support three crew members and six infantry members. The IFVs are designed to operate alongside Australia’s present and future tanks.
Major Joel Sloane, Platoon Commander for the LAND 400 trials, confirmed that the Army has thoroughly tested both IFVs across a range of difficult tasks and exercises before making a determination.
“Our trials have involved literally blowing the vehicles up in order to test how they can withstand a range of firepower and threats,” MAJ Sloane said.
“We have been testing the Redback and Lynx through a range of tactical scenarios in the field that will be realistic to how they will be employed in the future.”
Major General David Coghlan, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Head Armoured Vehicle Division, outlined that the contenders to replace the M113 were more lethal against a greater range of enemy equipment than has ever been seen in Army.
“These vehicles will provide increased firepower, mobility and, most importantly, protection for our infantry soldiers,” MAJGEN Coghlan said.
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“We are rapidly approaching the end of the risk-mitigation activity and submission of the short-listed tenderers’ final offers. We will then undertake a final evaluation to identify the preferred tenderer.
“The live-fire shoot showcases the extensive testing and evaluation process we are undertaking to provide confidence that these new vehicles are fit-for-service.”
The deal is valued at an estimated $18.1 billion to $27.1 billion. According to Defence, this makes up the Army’s largest acquisition program.