• Credit: Rheinmetall
    Credit: Rheinmetall

On Monday ADM reported the surprise unveiling by Rheinmetall at its Redback, Queensland facility of its Australian-designed and manufactured Lynx Combat Support Vehicle (CSV), based on a version of the Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).

But that was not the full story.

As confirmed to ADM by Rheinmetall Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart, development of the CSV began in secret three years ago and remained secret until Monday’s unveiling of the first-of-type.

Far from being developed as a stand-alone capability, the original CSV concept was included in Rheinmetall’s 2019 tender for Land 400 Phase 3 to meet the manoeuvre support, logistics, repair, and recovery requirements, leaving the other six Phase 3 requirements to be met by the KF41, whose modular architecture it shared.

”Since then we’ve been beavering away behind a fence to create this vehicle," Stewart told ADM. “Between the IFV and the CSV we can provide all 10 roles that Army is asking for. The crane is modular, the winch is modular, the vehicle can be configured into whatever role you require it to do.

“The design was presented through the Phase 3 Risk Mitigation activities but there was no requirement for testing”.

The CSV fits within the baseline Lynx IFV size envelope, features Australian-developed Bisalloy armoured steel, weighs about 40 tonnes, and is operated by a crew of three. The first of type mounts a Rheinmetall MSSA (main sensor slaved armament) remote weapon station, but other weapon stations of choice can be integrated.

Development of the CSV capability for export from Australia would continue whether or not Rheinmetall was selected as the preferred tenderer for Land 400 Phase 3, Stewart said.

The platform filled a gap for a highly-protected combat support vehicle and discussions had taken place with Hungary – which is buying the Lynx KF41 – and other European countries, he added.

Briefings for US Army representatives at the AUSA trade event in Washington DC earlier in October had developed into discussions on how the CSV could fit into the service’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) requirements.

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