Rheinmetall has unveiled a new member of the company’s Lynx combat vehicle family. Described as the mechanized fire support variant of the Lynx KF41 IFV, the Lynx 120, comprises a turret concept that mounts the proven 120mm smoothbore cannon with the Lynx KF 41 chassis.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Rheinmetall Defence Australia unveiled a combat support vehicle (CSV) variant of the Lynx, now there is the fire support version as well. With this direct fire weapon, derived from the main armament of the Leopard 2, the Lynx 120 provides mechanized troops fire support capacity derived from high-explosive anti-structure rounds and anti-tank capabilities based on high explosive anti-tank (DM11) or kinetic (APFSDS) ammunition.

The Lynx 120 provides additional battlefield assets for Lynx platform users, such as Hungary, that already selected the Lynx KF41 for the modernization of its mechanized forces. The KF41 provides a medium-weight, well-protected, and versatile platform designed for rapid customization to specific missions. The vehicle architecture has been simplified and provides an open ‘plug-and-play’ capability for future upgrades, while complying with, and adapting to, NATO standards.

Utilizing the KF 41 modular chassis and a scalable large-caliber turret concept, the Lynx 120 harbors vast growth potential and an assured overmatch capability. As such, Lynx 120 is designed to deliver maximum lethality and firepower on tracks, paired with the latest platform defense technologies. The secondary armament includes a coaxial machine gun, and the commander’s independent weapon station will feature an additional .50 cal. machine gun. A 360° camera system with automatic target detection and tracking provides fire control for the gun.

Two of Rheinmetall’s KF-41 Lynx family members are the armored infantry fighting vehicle (right) and combat support vehicle (left). Photo: Rheinmetall
KF-41 command vehicle variant. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Special protection modules enable a mission-specific response to ballistic threats, improvised explosive devices, explosively formed penetrators, and artillery fire, and can be quickly mounted with limited tools. Moreover, the Lynx 120 can be readily equipped with the proven, already fielded Rheinmetall Active Defence System, or ADS, to defeat rocket-propelled grenades and antitank missiles. Additional armor packages and active protection systems can be provided on request.

The basic idea behind the Lynx 120 design concept is to provide a combat system that offers maximum operational performance in combination with logistic advantages within a reasonable timeframe at a realistic cost.

Various nations are interested in acquiring the Lynx as a next-generation replacement for their aging inventories. The platform is currently a strong contender in Australian and Slovak IFV modernization plans and is competing for the USA’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program. Hungary became the launch customer in 2021. Going beyond strictly military aspects such as increased interoperability and capability upgrades, major localization elements form an integral part of these procurement plans, aimed at boosting local industry and creating jobs.