Both contenders for the largest acquisition project in the history of the Australian Army were officially unveiled in Canberra today.
CAPTION: Rheinmetall’s KF41 Lynx, left, and Hanwha’s Redback, dwarf the M113 APC one of them will replace. Defence image.
Two infantry fighting vehicle prototypes are currently under evaluation and, once delivered, will provide the Army with an advanced, mounted, close-combat capability.
Acting Minister for Defence Marise Payne said up to 450 infantry fighting vehicles would be acquired at a project cost of up to $27billion.
“These next generation infantry fighting vehicles will provide Australian soldiers with higher levels of protection, mobility, firepower and connectivity,” Minister Payne said.
“They will give our troops the best possible opportunity to successfully complete their mission safely.”
The two shortlisted tenderers for LAND 400 Phase 3 project are Rheinmetall, offering its KF-41 Lynx, and Hanwha, with its Redback.
If successful, both companies have proposed to build the vehicles in Australia, with substantial investment in Australian industry capability, supporting Australian jobs, talent and technology.
Attending the official unveiling in Canberra, 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.