The Australian MOD has shortlisted two companies for the Land 400 Phase 3 Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) of the next-generation tracked infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and armored personnel carriers (APC), to replace the Australian M-113s. The two contenders are Hanwha Defense System AS21 Redback and Rheinmetall Lynx KF-41.
LAND 400 Phase 3 is a $10-15 billion program which will recapitalize the M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) force of the Australian Army, with a combination of tracked IFV and APCs. The new family of vehicles will be better armed, highly protected and more efficient than the current M-113s. They will also be heavier and will rely on a new combat service support systems to sustain the battle.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “These advanced vehicles will provide new levels of protection, firepower, mobility, and enhance communications… When fully delivered the LAND 400 Program will allow the Army to successfully sustain mounted close combat operations against emerging and future threats, as part of an integrated Australian Defence Force”
The Lynx KF-41 is based on a brand new platform developed by Rheinmetall, which is operated by a crew of three and has the capacity to carry nine troops. It mounts the Lance 2.0 turret with 30-35mm automatic cannon, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. Rheinmetall can rely on the significant workshare already launched with Australian industries, and the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence MILVEHCOE (facility) being established Redbank to support the Land 400 Phase 2 (Boxer) vehicle acquisition.
The AS21 Redback is also based on a new platform that integrates an advanced Australian designed and built turret that mounts a 40mm automatic cannon, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and provisions for active protection system (APS). The vehicle is operated by a crew of three and has the capacity to carry eight troops. Both vehicles have an operational range of 500 km, and a top road speed of 70 km/h. Hanwha has approached Australian companies and has already teamed with some, to develop the Australian configuration of AS21. While the power train and automotive elements would be delivered by the Koreans, Hanwha said it is open to local participation in the fields of armor, electronics, structural assemblies, and system integration for the AS21.
Defense Industry Minister Melissa Price welcomed the announcement and stressed the importance of Australian Industry Content (AIC) in the multi-billion recapitalization effort. During the testing-phase Defence will work with the shortlisted tenderers to ensure small and medium enterprises across Australia have the opportunity to showcase their capabilities. Minister Price said.