Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR JUL 2016 Contents 25
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 22 | JUL 2016
Lynx IFV rattles Land 400 cage
THE WELL-PUBLICISED unveiling of
Rheinmetall’s newest vehicle design – the
Lynx IFV – at the 2016 Eurosatory defence
exhibition in Paris on 14 June heralded not
only the emergence of a new tracked ar-
moured fighting vehicle (AFV) from one
of the world’s premier AFV manufacturers
(somewhat of a rarity in itself) but also a
consequently changed competitive land-
scape for Phase 3 of Land 400.
For the first time in the project, the Aus-
tralian Army/Capability Acquisition and
Sustainment Group has an IFV option
which meets the eight dismount seats re-
quirement without compromise.
Led by the Rheinmetall Land Systems’
chief executive officer and ex-Australian
Army officer Ben Hudson, the Lynx IFV
concept exploits the gap in the market for
an IFV that is fitted with a two-man me-
dium calibre turret and able to accommo-
date eight 95th percentile males in the rear
compartment on blast attenuating seats.
DTR understands that Rheinmetall in-
cluded the Lynx IFV in its response to the
Phase 3 request for information (RFI) in
February this year. The eight-dismount
Lynx KF 41 (‘KettenFahrzeug’ (KF) is
German for tracked vehicle) is the princi-
ple variant aimed at Land 400. The shorter
hull of the KF 31 is also part of the Phase
3 RFI response, being adopted for a num-
ber of the non-turreted Lynx variants
such as ambulance, repair/recovery and
armoured personnel carrier.
Whether the Commonwealth is pre-
pared to admit it or not, the presence of
an IFV candidate solution that seats eight
dismounts for real – and not just as stated
in marketing material – introduces new
procurement options and strategies that
were not available prior.
For one, and considering that the 450
IFV target for Phase 3 is based on a 6-man
lift, an eight dismount IFV will make pos-
sible a reduction in the total number of ve-
hicles ordered, from 450 to perhaps around
350-375. This would represent a potential
saving of around AUD$1-$1.3 billion in
the Phase 3 acquisition phase alone and at
least the same again in through-life costs.
Critically, an 8-man IFV allows reten-
tion of the basic building block of the Aus-
tralian Army: the 8-man infantry section.
The subsequent savings and efficiencies
Rheinmetall’s new Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) has irrevocably altered
the landscape of the Australian Army’s Land 400 program.
BELOW: The new eight-seat Lynx IFV
(KF 31 shown) is a confirmed entry into
Australia’s looming Land 400 Phase 3
contest. The Lynx KF 41 IFV variant has
an extended hull to accommodate an
extra two troop seats. Image: Rheinmetall
ABOVE: The Lynx KF 31 provides the
basis for a number of variants including
repair/recovery (pictured top) and
ambulance. Images: Rheinmetall
ABOVE: Lynx IF V at the Eurosatory
launch on 14 June. Image: Shaun Connors
LYNX IFV AT A GLANCE
The KF 41 IFV is around 500mm longer than the KF 31, which carries six
dismounts. The increase in internal hull volume in the KF 41 that allows for
the two extra troop seats is brought about by extending the hull rear of the
turret ring, but does not involve adding another set of road wheels.
Unlike the German Army’s Puma IFV, the design of the Lynx KF 41 IFV
is unconstrained from having to be transported in the A400M medium
airlifter and as such has a maximum combat weight of approximately 44
tonnes, indicating very high protection levels against ballistic and blast
threats. Even at this mass, the KF 41 IFV is readily transportable by the
C-17A Globemaster III heavy airlifter in ser vice with the Royal Australian
Rheinmetall’s Active Defence System can also be fitted as a hard-kill
survivability measure against hand-held anti-armour weapons and anti-tank
guided missiles (ATGM) if required.
In addition, the location of the radiator and engine cooling system at the
rear of the hull enables the front upper glacis plate to receive maximum
armour protection and be presented as one continuous surface without
bullet traps or weak points.
The maximum combat weight of the KF 31 is around 38 tonnes,
allowing it to utilise rubber tracks. Supplied by Diehl, the rubber tracks
are not in a continuous band but rather in segments about 1m long.
This allows for easier and more rapid track repair, with individual track
segments able to be replaced when worn or damaged. The use of rubber
tracks saves about 1,500kg compared to steel tracks. The KF 41, because
of its higher combat weight, uses lightweight steel tracks.
Central to the Lynx family of vehicles concept is a Base Vehicle
comprising the hull, running gear and powertrain that is common across
all Lynx variants. To reduce cost and complexity Rheinmetall opted for a
conventional suspension system comprising swing arms with torsion bars
and hydraulic shock absorbers – a set-up long proven on class-leading
AFVs like the Leopard 2 main battle tank and Marder IF V. This approach
with Lynx is in contrast to the highly sophisticated, heavy and inherently
expensive decoupled running gear and hydropneumatic suspension
system of the Puma IF V.
The KF 41 IFV makes a departure from the traditional military vehicle-
specific powerplant and instead uses a largely commercial-off-the-shelf
Liebherr 800kW+ (1,050hp) 12-cylinder diesel engine, coupled to an
Allison automatic transmission. Compared to a similar MTU product, the
Leibherr engine adopted for the KF 41 is cheaper and around 300kg
lighter. The KF 31 utilises a 563kW (755hp) engine. Maximum road speed
is 70km/h and 65km/h for the KF 41 and KF 31 respectively.
Lynx features high power-to-weight ratios and can traverse gradients
of up to 60°, side slopes of more than 30° and cross ditches up to 2.5m
wide, climb 1m high vertical obstacles and ford bodies of water up to 1.5m
To create a specific variant, a specialist Mission Kit is installed onto the
Base Vehicle. The Mission Kit consists of a specific roof, all specialised
installations and equipment. Integration of both parts is undertaken during
manufacture. This design approach provides significant tactical and
logistics advantages as well as cost efficiencies in production.
The choice of main armament is the same for both Lynx IF V versions:
the Lance turret in manned or unmanned configuration and equipped with
a choice of a fully-stabilised 30mm or 35mm ex ternally powered automatic
cannon capable of firing conventional and air burst ammunition. A 7.62mm
co-axial machine gun is located to the right of the main armament.
The main armament is slaved to a 360° panoramic stabilised electro-
optical sight system (SEOSS) mounted on the turret roof behind the
gunner’s hatch, providing a hunter-killer target engagement capability. A
secondary remote weapon station, also slaved to the SEOSS, can act in
killer-killer mode, whereby the commander and gunner can observe and
engage targets independently of each other.
A reduced complexity, lower cost twin-round launcher taken from the
Puma IF V and firing the Rafael Spike-LR ATGM can be integrated into the
portside of the turret if required. There is currently no requirement for the
Phase 3 IFV to possess an integrated ATGM capability.
The Lance turret is also at the core of the Lynx IFV’s situational
awareness capabilities and is fitted with a laser warning system, acoustic
shot locator system and a 360° day/night camera system with automatic
continued on page 28
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