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Through the Land 400 Phase 3 Programme, Australia intends to procure a new Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with Rheinmetall’s LYNX KF41 and the AS21 REDBACK, from Hanwha Defense Systems, having been selected as preferred bidders.

For the “Risk Mitigation Activity” now commencing, Rheinmetall has handed over the first of three LYNX KF41 IFVs to the Australian Army. The trial phase, which will last around a year, will focus on testing the vehicles’ effectiveness, mobility and protection. The first vehicle will undergo detonation tests at the customer’s premises throughout the Australian continent over the next few months. The systems will have to withstand tropical, subtropical and temperate climates with hot-dry, sandy and hot-humid as well as cool-humid conditions. Temperatures below zero and ice and snow are practically non-existent.

The project has a budget of over €11Bn, which will be used to procure 450 armoured IFVs and 17 support vehicles. The first examples should be operational by 2024 while the supply of the vehicles should be completed by 2030/2031. If Australia selects the LYNX KF41, the vehicles will be built at the new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, south-west of Brisbane in the State of Queensland. Australian companies are already involved in the production of the first three test vehicles.

Gerhard Heiming