Page 86 - Australian Defence Magazine Dec 2018 - Jan 2019
P. 86

ON 14 March the government announced it had selected the 8x8 Boxer CRV proposed by Rheinmetall Defence to replace Army’s age- ing fleet of 250 Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs). Some 211 CRVs will be acquired under Project Land 400 Phase 2.
The heavily-protected 38.5 tonne Boxer defeated the rival Armoured Modular Ve- hicle (AMG35) offered by BAE Systems in partnership with Finnish company Patria – not necessarily a surprise given the Com- monwealth’s focus on survivability.
Total acquisition cost is $5.2 billion, with the government formally signing a $3.2 bil- lion delivery contract with Rheinmetall in Canberra on 17 August. The first vehicles will be produced in Germany to meet the aggressive delivery schedule, and are expect- ed to be available for training in early 2020.
A Boxer on show at EX Chong Ju 2018.
Land programs
stated preference for a manned turret. As of early December, participation by BAE Sys- tems’ CV90 combat vehicle was still “under consideration”, the company said.
centred around joint
At the same time, newly-appointed (July 2018) Chief of Army Lieutenant-General Rick Burr lost no time in articulating his vision of an ‘Army in Motion’ operating in, and responding to, an environment of what he termed ‘accelerated warfare’.
“Accelerated warfare provides the start-state for how we think, equip, train, educate, orga- nise and prepare for war. This is a critical step in becoming future ready,” he stated. “Future warfare, in certain parts, will be fought at the speed of machines with success belonging to the side who can adapt the fastest...
“Future advantage will lie with the side who can ‘own the time’ and best prepare the environment,” he said, declaring that Army must respond proactively by rethinking its contribution to joint warfighting philoso- phy, strategy and concepts.
A more coordinated approach to major projects within CASG will see the creation in early 2019 of a new armoured vehicle di- vision under Major General David Cogh- lan to consolidate programs such as Land 400, Land 907 (main battle tank replace- ment), and Land 8160 (enhanced gap cross- ing capability).
Land 907 Phase 2 looks to address a num- ber of technology and mechanical areas that will see the service of Army’s 59 M1A1 MBTs extended out to 2035. These are pri- marily target sensors and communications
The ADF will utilise several variants of the Boxer including reconnaissance, com- mand and control, joint fires, surveillance, ambulance, and battlefield repair and recov- ery. The 133 reconnaissance variants will be equipped with Rheinmetall’s digital Lance turret system and armed with a 30 mm au- tomatic cannon and a two-round launcher for the Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile.
A Request for Tender for Phase 3 of Land 400, seeking a fleet of up to 450 modern infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles to replace Ar- my’s expensively-upgraded but obsolescent M113AS4 armoured personal carriers at an anticipated cost of up to $15 billion, was officially released on 23 August. The tender closes on 1 March 2019.
Representing the largest-ever investment in Army capability, this phase has attracted keen international attention. Rheinmetall’s success in Phase 2 and Defence’s empha- sis on commonality between Phase 2 and Phase 3, for which Rheinmetall is bidding its Lynx tracked IFV, also fitted with a Lance turret, suggests possible problems for the Commonwealth in creating competi- tive tension.
Yet confirmed contenders after conclu-
sion in early September of the Land Forces exposition included Rheinmetall’s Lynx, General Dynamics Land Systems’ (GDLS’) AJAX armoured fighting vehicle, and the AS21 Redback IFV from South Korea’s Hanwha Group.
The highly-regarded tracked Puma IFV produced by Rheinmetall Defence and Kra- vis Maffei Wegmann (KMW) was with- drawn from contention due to the RfT’s
In the Land domain, 2018 will be primarily remembered as the year in which a multi- billion dollar decision on
the acquisition of Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) began shaping a significant element of Army’s combat capability for decades ahead.
86 | December 2018 – January 2019 |

   84   85   86   87   88