Germany’s Rheinmetall said Friday it will compete for Australia’s potentially $10 billion competition to replace its M113 armored carriers with a modernized tracked vehicle, joining BAE Systems, General Dynamics [GD] Land Systems and South Korea’s Hanwha Defense Systems.
The bid period for Land 400 Phase 3, also known as the Mounted Close Combat Capability vehicle program, concluded on March 1 with the four companies vying to deliver up to 450 new armored vehicles for the Australian Army.
Rheinmetall is offering the Lynx fighting vehicle outfitted with its Lance turret, a new weapons system that is currently being developed under a contract with Australia for Land 400 Phase 2.
“With enhanced lethality and the mobility of a main battle tank, Lynx will enable Army to cope with the complex nature of warfighting in diverse environments and against a range of adaptive threats,” Rheinmetall officials wrote in a statement.
Rheinmetall said its bid includes plans to deliver two Lynx base vehicle configurations– an Infantry Fighting Vehicle and Maneuver Support Vehicle — that will be modular to meet the Australian Army’s goal to go after nine vehicle roles, including a mortar variant and logistics variant.
“If selected for Land 400 Phase 3, the Lynx will provide the Australian Army with a future-proof vehicle solution that can rapidly transition into service and be easily supported through life,” Ben Hudson, Rheinmetall’s global head of vehicle systems, said in a statement. “The significant protected volume within the Lynx vehicle is unmatched in this class, and ensures the three crew and a minimum of six dismounts can conduct effective close combat operations while providing unrivalled growth and flexibility for the future.”
Following Rheinmetall’s announcement, the four competitors now include General Dynamics with an offering based on its Ajax armored vehicle, BAE System’s CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and Hanwha’s AS21 Redback IFV.
Rheinmetall, BAE Systems and General Dynamics are also looking to offer similar vehicles for the U.S. Army’s program to replace its Bradleys with an Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (Defense Daily, Oct. 2018).
At the Association of the United States Army conference last October, Rheinmetall, in partnership with Raytheon [RTN], showed a concept offering of its Lynx, BAE Systems brought its CV90 and GD highlighted its Griffin III, which is modeled after the Ajax.
Australia has previously signed a deal with Rheinmetall for LAND 400 Phase 2 to deliver the Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle.
Rheinmetall officials also noted the company is continuing construction of their new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence near Brisbane, which is expected to be certified around the time a contract is award for LAND 400 Phase 3.