Rheinmetall hybrid protection technology for the Lynx KF41

 01. 05. 2021      category: Military vehicles
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For more than 60 years, Rheinmetall has specialised in the development and production of various military protection systems and components. The company’s domestic and international customers have come to expect one attribute of Rheinmetall products above all else: maximum safety, whether for people, vehicles, aircraft, ships, or other vital assets and equipment.

Rheinmetall’s customers around the world include local ministries, authorities, and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers and platform manufacturers) for land, air and marine equipment. Rheinmetall offers these customers the latest generation of technologically advanced hybrid protection – combined protection devices which go beyond conventional systems to combine active softkill and hardkill technologies with a passive protection solution.

The LYNX KF41 infantry fighting vehicle features a highly modular protection system, meaning it can be adapted to perform in all modern combat environments and scenarios. Rheinmetall’s latest hybrid protection technology developments form a key part of the LYNX’s overall vehicle protection package, which meets the needs of modern, tactical fighting platform by effectively combining elements of active and passive protection.

Specially designed passive protection modules form the interface for the outer part of the LYNX’s Active Defence System (ADS), which enhances the vehicle’s overall level of protection. These hybrid modules significantly improve the LYNX’s overall protection level, while being lighter and more space-efficient than stand-alone protection technologies. In addition, state-of-the-art softkill solutions complement these protection modules to enhance LYNX protection and survivability.

Active Defence System (ADS)

The purpose of the LYNX’s hardkill autonomous emergency systems, which include Rheinmetall’s active ADS protection system, is to disable incoming projectiles, such as shape-charged warheads and anti-tank guided missiles, before they impact their target – a highly innovative and efficient way of dealing with such threats. The LYNX’s ADS devices have been successfully tested across multiple environments, and against a range of threat types. These protection devices are available either in customized forms to meet specific end-user requirements, or as a standard offering.

ADS is a state-of-the-art hardkill system which can be installed in military vehicles of all weight classes, providing crew members with extremely reliable protection against various types of threats. Through sensor systems that continuously search for hazards (such as anti-tank missiles), ADS ensures a high level of situational awareness for LYNX operators. The system responds to incoming threats within milliseconds, automatically activating protective equipment to disable the threat. ADS is the only active protection system with countermeasures to detect threats in the close vicinity of the vehicle, significantly reducing the risk of collateral damage. 

Protection-01_ads170814_01Picture: The purpose of the LYNX’s hardkill autonomous emergency systems, which include Rheinmetall’s active ADS protection system, is to disable incoming projectiles, such as shape-charged warheads and anti-tank guided missiles, before they impact their target – a highly innovative and efficient way of dealing with such threats. | Rheinmetall / CC BY-NC-SA

Thanks to ADS, LYNX operators can share information about threats and tactical developments through the built-in battle management system (BMS), and respond through various means, including a remote-controlled weapon station. In addition, various sensors relay information to the ADS (such as optical sensors, shelling systems, laser warning systems, and others) to ensure the highest levels of protection throughout operations. The integration can be individually designed to the requirements of the customer.

Given the increased attention being paid by armies of the world to the most modern capability to defend and survive during a multitude of peacekeeping operations and support missions, it is no wonder that soldiers and commanders appreciate active defence equipment possibilities. Rheinmetall’s proven capabilities provide unparalleled protection in any combat environment.

ROSY – Rapid smoke / shading effect

Rheinmetall’s rapid obscuring system ROSY is successfully expanding in the global defence market, and is currently being used by eleven armed forces around the world, including the German Bundeswehr. ROSY’s main task is to protect crew and passengers of both military and civilian vehicles from unexpected attacks or ambushes, such as may occur during reconnaissance patrols or when travelling in a convoy.

Run_3_02Picture: The fumigation agent, which can be installed in weapons stations, can be used by tanks, light military vehicles, special forces vehicles, and trucks. | Rheinmetall / CC BY-NC-SA

The fumigation agent, which can be installed in weapons stations, can be used by tanks, light military vehicles, special forces vehicles, and trucks. Unlike conventional smoke and  obscuring systems, ROSY can instantly (within a second) interrupt and visually impair the enemy, protecting moving vehicles with a dynamic and long-lasting smoke screen. Thanks to powerful screening in the visual and infrared spectrum, including integrated IR jamming and decoying, ROSY reliably thwarts conventional weapons as well as weapons with advanced optical equipment and laser sights. ROSY’s multi-purpose capability meanwhile provides 360˚ protection against various types of threat, including wave attacks.

Run_4_03Picture: Rheinmetall’s rapid obscuring system ROSY | Rheinmetall / CC BY-NC-SA

LYNX operators using ROSY achieve a range of effects enhancing protection, including an immediate, dynamic, 360 ˚ smoke screen in the field of view, multispectral protection, and multiple uses without the need for recharging. Operational ease-of-use is meanwhile ensured through minimised weight and recoil, automatic response when the sensor is triggered, and the potential for non-lethal riot control efficacy.

The LYNX’s modular vehicle protection concept

The LYNX’s essential protection equipment is intended to protect against similarly armed enemy forces in conventional combat through a variety of passive protection solutions, called the Mounted Combat Operations (MCO) kit. In addition, LYNX operators benefit from a combination of active and passive protection measures protecting against threats such as hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles.

The LYNX’s scalable armour means protection levels can be expanded to deal with powerful attacks from technologically advanced, modern weapons systems. The combination of tailored passive armour protection and ADS provides the LYNX with a level of survivability unmatched by any other infantry fighting vehicle.

If the combat environment prevents the use of active protection measures, or if it is necessary to strengthen crew protection, the LYNX’s modular system can be fully exploited to provide adequate protection against current threats. The Complex Urban Environment (CUE) passive protection kit was specially designed to ensure maximum protection in asymmetric combat environments, including in urban terrain. Advancing through hostile territory often entails small arms fire from close range and the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs and EFPs) – the LYNX’s protection ensures a safe approach to enemy targets while weathering the most sophisticated forms of attacks.

The LYNX’s balance between protection and mobility is perhaps best evidenced by the combination of approaching the target, and engaging in conflict. Rheinmetall has ensured that the vehicle’s armour succeeds in a variety of combat environments, including the incorporation of heavy armour to protect against shape-charged warheads, as well as state-of-the-art passive armour ensuring protection against machine gun fire. Such a balance is difficult to achieve for smaller and lighter vehicles – but constantly evolving threats make an extremely high level of situational awareness and mobility an absolute necessity for modern armoured vehicles. The LYNX’s easily interchangeable protection kits are a compelling answer to such requirements.

 Author: Martin Šiška