Hungary has ordered 218 LYNX Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) from Rheinmetall in a deal worth more than €2bn, making the country the first NATO and EU member state to order the type. This important contract represents a major breakthrough in the global defence market for the Düsseldorf-based technology group’s innovative new combat vehicle.
The contractual agreement, which has now been signed in Budapest, encompasses 218 LYNX KF41 IFVs and nine BUFFALO Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs). The contract includes additional products and services such as simulators, training and instruction plus an initial supply of spare parts as well as maintenance support. The Lynx IFVs will be equipped with a manned 30mm LANCE turret, also developed by Rheinmetall. Given an expected service life of several decades, the LYNX will require spare parts and regular maintenance in order to remain operationally ready, meaning the company sees further potential orders stemming from this contract.
During a first phase of production, Hungary is to receive 46 LYNX IFVs as well as nine BUFFALO ARVs, all built in Germany, with delivery to be complete by the start of 2023. In the second production phase, an additional 172 LYNXs will be built in Hungary to meet the full needs of the country’s armed forces. To this end, the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall agreed in August 2020 to establish a joint venture responsible for creating a LYNX production facility in Hungary, to be financed by a local company.
As Armin Papperger, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall AG, explains: “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.”
Rheinmetall will hold a majority stake and take the lead in the joint venture company, a process in which Hungary will make a material investment in the project in the form of a newly constructed production facility. The resulting centre of excellence for the development, production and maintenance of armoured vehicles will create an important nucleus for the Hungarian defence industry. This constellation will ensure that a substantial share of the added value deriving from the procurement project takes place in the customer country.
For Hungary, this procurement order represents a big step in its efforts to introduce a new generation of military equipment, with key systems that meet the latest NATO standards. The LYNX is currently competing in similar procurement programmes in the neighbouring Czech Republic as well as in Australia. It is foreseen that a majority of the LANCE turrets for the first phase will be produced and supplied from the Rheinmetall Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.