Two contenders for the largest acquisition project in the history of the Army have been officially unveiled in Canberra.
The two shortlisted tenderers for the $18.1–$27.1 billion Land 400 Phase 3 project are Rheinmetall Defence Australia, offering its KF-41 Lynx, and Hanwha Defense Australia, with its Redback.
The new Infantry Fighting Vehicles prototypes are currently under evaluation. Both companies have delivered three prototypes, two for test and evaluation activities and one for blast testing – as part of the two-year Risk Mitigation Activity.
“These next generation infantry fighting vehicles will provide Australian soldiers with higher levels of protection, mobility, firepower and connectivity,” Acting Minister for Defence Marise Payne said. “They will give our troops the best possible opportunity to successfully complete their mission safely."
If successful, both companies have proposed to build the vehicles in Australia, with 'substantial investment' in Australian industry capability.
Attending the official unveiling in Canberra, a former Army Major General, Senator Jim Molan said Defence was seeking a tracked infantry fighting vehicle, capable of accommodating six soldiers in addition to a crew of three.
“Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia have each delivered three prototype vehicles which will be tested over the course of this year, as part of a two-year risk mitigation activity,” Senator Molan said.
“These activities include Australian soldiers participating in user evaluation and testing, with a particular focus on the armour, firepower and mobility of the platforms.”
A decision on the preferred tenderer will be presented to Government for consideration in 2022.
The Infantry Fighting Vehicles will replace the current M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers that have been in service since the mid-1960s.