The Lynx Is a Contender across the Globe

 18. 11. 2020      category: Events

Rheinmetall’s Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle recently received its first order, constituting a great vote of confidence in the next generation IFV which utilises and combines proven components from Rheinmetall’ existing vehicle portfolio. These, for example, include transmission, power electronics, tracks, and nuclear and biochem filtration as realized in vehicles such as PUMA, KODIAK, PzH 2000 and BOXER. The breakthrough order makes the Lynx an even stronger contender for the ongoing tender in the Czech Republic for 210 IFVs, as well as for other programmes around the world.

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Picture: Rheinmetall recently unveiled first Australian Lynx KF41 IFV | courtesy of the Australian Defence Forces

A next generation predator

The decision of the Czech Republic for the replacement of their aging BVP-2 fleet is close. Lynx KF41 could be the logical choice for the renewal of its IFV capabilities with a modern option to face and overcome present and future battlefield threats, as it offers also the industrial and military cooperation with partnering nations.

Hungary recently placed an order for 218 Lynx IFVs in a deal worth more than €2 billion. In the first phase of production Rheinmetall will supply 46 Lynx produced in Germany. In the second phase the remaining 172 units will be produced at a brand-new production plant in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary. Rheinmetall will take a leading role in the joint venture being set up to facilitate this major leap forward for the Hungarian Armed Forces and military industry.

Rheinmetall recently opened a Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Queensland, Australia. The Centre constitutes a new sovereign military vehicle capability for the country, facilitating the development and manufacturing of military vehicles, platforms and turrets both for the Australian Armed Forces and for export. MILVEHCOE underlines the economic and industrial benefits of Rheinmetall’s involvement in two of Australia’s most significant military development programmes. While the Lynx continues to compete in the Land 400 Phase 3 programme, the Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle has already been selected in 2018 for the Land 400 Phase 2 programme. Rheinmetall is establishing an advanced manufacturing workforce of more than 450 employees within the MILVEHCOE precinct including highly skilled and qualified workers across a range of specialist disciplines. The MILVEHCOE in Queensland has already received their first export order: the delivery of 30 LANCE medium calibre turrets for the Hungarian program.

Video: Evolution of the Lynx / YouTube

In America, Rheinmetall and Textron Systems, a decades-long combat platform provider for the U.S. armed forces, recently announced a cooperation to supply a new variant of the Lynx for the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle programme (OMFV) replacing aging M2 Bradleys. American Rheinmetall Vehicles, a subsidiary of Rheinmetall Defence, has formed “Team Lynx”, a cooperation group, where two leading US defence companies Textron and Raytheon Technologies participate. 

“Team Lynx will work together to provide the U.S. Army with a tender-specific variant ensuring overmatch on the battlefield, not just today but for years to come.”, says Matthew Warnick, CEO of  American Rheinmetall Vehicles “Involvement in the Team Lynx effort provides excellent production and innovation opportunities for Textron and Raytheon Technologies, potentially resulting in enhanced manufacturing capabilities and significant job creation.”.

“The Lynx is creating waves on distant shores, but especially within Europe,” says Oliver Mittelsdorf, Senior Vice President Sales at Rheinmetall Defence. “The actual tenders reflect the high interest in the Lynx’s innovative capabilities. Hungary’s forward-looking decision to choose the Lynx for its holistic ZRINYI 2026 modernisation programme shows that Armed Forces around the world, like the Czech Republic, are now preparing themselves for future combat challenges.”

Targeted design, localised production

The Lynx appeals to Armed Forces decision makers through its exciting possibilities for customisation, specification, and localised production. Domestic manufacturing for the Hungarian Lynx joint venture will result in the creation of several hundred high-qualified direct and indirect jobs, with a new facility serving as a focal point for the growing Hungarian defence industry.

The U.S. Lynx variant includes modular scalable armour packages to bring the vehicle’s parameters in line with the requirements of the OMFV programme. Raytheon Technologies will provide much of the innovative electronic capabilities for the U.S. Lynx, while the final product will be manufactured by Textron at its site in Slidell, LA. Textron’s subsidiary Howe & Howe will meanwhile help to implement the high degree of automation specified by the U.S. military; such automation is also a key consideration within the Australian Army’s Land 400 Phase 3 programme.

For the Czech IFV program Rheinmetall plans to cooperate with VOP, TATRA, CZ, MEOPTA, RayService and others for the production of passive and active armour, fire control systems and sensors, weapons and ammunition.

Modularity, cooperation, enhanced capabilities

The Lynx’s unique modularity and adaptability is a key factor generating interest among top military circles. Mechanics can swap out key components, converting the vehicle’s entire functionality in less than three hours. This high degree of flexibility makes the vehicle a versatile threat in any environment. 

Besides the technical features and operational capabilities, cooperation with the local industries has become a crucial factor for competitiveness and long-term national sovereignty.

Only through a holistic type of localisation, starting from development and leading to production, resulting not only in service but also in modernisation and export opportunities, can real cooperation be achieved.

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Picture: Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle | courtesy of the Hungarian Defence Forces

In the Czech Republic Rheinmetall is in serious discussions with the state-owned company VOP CZ, as well as TATRA, Ray Service, Quittner & Schimek, Meopta and CZ to fulfil the requested more than 40% local workshare for the PBVP program.

“It is clear that a fully modular, flexible design is a key consideration on the modern battlefield, and that the importance of such modularity will only increase in coming years and decades,” says Oliver Mittelsdorf. “The Lynx is a pioneering example of IFV modularity which pre-empts the future concerns of military leaders and facilitates ground-breaking industrial cooperation. As such, it is no wonder that it is regarded as a leading contender in IFV modernisation programmes across the world. Generating excitement in the U.S., Australia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, there is no question that the Lynx offers a powerful battlefield solution for today and for decades to come.”

 Author: Martin Šiška