• The Lynx comes in a version capable of carrying 8 troops, making it more suitable for Australian requirements. Credit: Rheinmetall
    The Lynx comes in a version capable of carrying 8 troops, making it more suitable for Australian requirements. Credit: Rheinmetall

At Eurosatory 2016 Rheinmetall has presented its new Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to the international public for the first time. ADM understands from informed sources the IFV will be a contender for Land 400 Phase 3 – Mounted Close Combat Capability. 

Lynx features a Rheinmetall LANCE turret similar to that fitted to the Phase 2 contender – the Boxer CRV. It is armed with a stabilised, externally powered, airburst-capable automatic cannon (either 30mm or 35mm) enabling engagement of targets with high precision at ranges of up to 3,000 metres on the move.

Rheinmetall claims that with a diesel engine mounted in the forward section and a modular armour concept, the vehicle architecture offers a high degree of protection. The vehicle’s ballistic armour shields Lynx from antitank weapons, medium-calibre ammunition, artillery shrapnel, IEDs and bomblets. In addition, a spall liner in the vehicle interior protects the entire crew.

Mine and IED protection packages, decoupled seats and the optional hard kill Active Defence System (ADS) significantly boost the vehicle’s survivability.

The unveiling of Lynx at Eurosatory 2016 and comments from Ben Hudson head Rheinmetall Vehicle Systems division. Credit: DefenseWebTV via YouTube. (Start at 1:00)

The commander and gunner both have access to the Stabilised Electro Optical Sight System/SEOSS, a digital TV - IR optical system with an integrated laser range finder and fire control computer. In the fighting compartment, displays provide the crew with a 360 degree panoramic view.

According to Rheinmetall, the Situational Awareness System (SAS), featuring automatic target detection and tracking, enhances the hunter-killer capability and minimises crew reaction time. Laser warning sensors and the Acoustic Sniper Locating System (ASLS) likewise form part of the sensor suite. A combat management system and intercom for tactical communication round out the array of on-board equipment.
Owing to the manned turret, the commander can still lead from the hatch. The gunner and driver each have hatches, too, while two soldiers in the rear of the fighting compartment can also observe the area around the vehicle from an open hatch.

Rheinmetall claims Lynx has an excellent power-to-weight ratio and can handle gradients of up to 60 per cent and lateral inclines of more than 30 per cent. It can cross ditches up to 2.5 metres wide and ford bodies of water up to 1.50 metres deep. Furthermore, it can climb over one-metre-high obstacles. The vehicle can run on either rubber or light metal tracks.

The IFV comes in two versions: the KF31 and KF41 (KF stands for ‘Kettenfahrzeug’, or tracked vehicle in German). Weighing up to 38 tonnes, a Lynx KF31 in AUSCAM livery was on display at Eurosatory and can seat 3+6 soldiers. Lynx KF41 is slightly larger and can carry 3+8 soldiers, making it more suitable for the Australian requirement.

According to Rheinmetall, both vehicle classes – Lynx KF31 and Lynx KF41 – can be configured for other roles include a command & control, an armoured reconnaissance, repair & recovery and an ambulance.
Rheinmetall has also partnered with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann in the Projekt Systems and Management (PSM) consortium to offer the lighter (31.5 tonnes) Puma IFV for Phase 3, and the vehicle entered service with the German Bundeswehr in June 2015.

Australian Ben Hudson, Head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, said “Lynx is an advanced new modular family of vehicles that offers our customers the highest levels of survivability, mobility, lethality and capacity while utilising proven technologies to deliver a compelling value proposition for our global customers. Lynx delivers the capabilities that will allow our customers to fight, survive and win on the battlefields of today and tomorrow”.

This article first appeared in ADM's Defence Week Premium No.401 dated 16th June 2016.

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